Ryan Blaney sweeps both Friday Nationwide practice sessions at Homestead

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Ryan Blaney’s quick pace in this afternoon’s first NASCAR Nationwide Series practice session carried over into an almost two-hour-long final practice this evening at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Blaney’s lap of 168.240 mph in the No. 12 Team Penske Ford allowed him to go P1 over Ty Dillon (168.072), Kyle Busch (167.105), Elliott Sadler (166.883), and Kyle Larson (166.847).

Now, Blaney will shift his attention to winning tonight’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series finale from the front row and possibly upsetting Matt Crafton for the series championship as well.

Brian Scott was sixth, followed by Matt Kenseth in seventh and John Wes Townley in eighth. Brad Keselowski was ninth (166.512) in the Penske No. 22 that could win the Nationwide owner’s title in tomorrow’s Ford Ecoboost 300. Newly crowned driver’s champ Chase Elliott was 14th-quickest (165.970).

In regards to 10-consecutive-lap averages, Sadler had the fastest with a speed of 164.912 mph over Laps 43-52 in the 64 laps he turned in the session.

Qualifying will take place tomorrow afternoon at 1:15 p.m. ET, with the race to follow at 4:30 p.m. ET.

NASCAR Nationwide Series at Homestead – Final Practice Times

Valtteri Bottas takes pole position for season-opening Austrian GP

Leonhard Foeger/Pool via Getty Images
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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas upstaged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to take pole position Saturday for the Formula One Austrian GP.

The Finnish driver edged out the world champion by 0.012 seconds to claim the top spot for the season opener at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg. He clenched his fist as he climbed out of his car and shared a hug with Hamilton.

“It’s something special when you push the car to the limit,” said Bottas, who is chasing an eighth career win. “Feels so good. It’s very impressive (from the team).”

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was third, and Lando Norris gave McLaren a boost by finishing fourth. Verstappen has won the past two years here, including 2019 when he started third behind Hamilton and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.

“It’s going to be interesting quite a bit warmer tomorrow and hopefully this will play to our advantage,” Verstappen said. “Today, Mercedes was on a different level, unfortunately. Last year we were also a little bit off in qualifying so I expect we will be a bit better in the race.”

Bottas had the leading time when drivers embarked on their final laps and beat his own mark before sliding off the track into the gravel.

Hamilton was chasing a record-extending 89th career pole. He was ahead but then dropped off slightly as Bottas secured a 12th career pole.

“Great job by Valtteri. It’s a great start to the season,” Hamilton said. “We show year on year that we continue to be the best team. We’re open-minded … constantly learning from each other and pushing the boundaries.”

Ferrari struggled for speed, with Leclerc nearly one second behind in seventh and Sebastian Vettel failing to make it into the third and final part of qualifying, known as Q3. He starts the race from 11th on the grid.

Vettel is leaving Ferrari at the end of the season with his future in F1 uncertain.

Earlier, Hamilton posted the fastest time in morning practice. The 35-year-old British driver was also quickest in both sessions on Friday.

Midway through third practice, F1 newcomer Nicholas Latifi misjudged the exit of a turn and spun his Williams car into a protective tire wall.