Ryan Blaney’s busy Friday continued with him leading this morning’s first NASCAR Nationwide Series practice at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
Blaney, who will try to pull an upset over Matt Crafton for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title later tonight, logged a lap of 167.942 mph in the No. 12 Team Penske Ford to pace the opening NNS session.
He is making his 14th and final NNS start for Penske (his third in the No. 12 car specifically) this season.
“I can’t believe we ran a lap that fast in race trim,” Blaney told Fox Sports. “We’ve made a couple changes and maybe it’ll be better. I’m just really excited to run this 12 again.”
Elliott Sadler, who is making his final start for Joe Gibbs Racing before he jumps to Roush Fenway Racing for 2015, was second-fastest at 166.991 mph. Matt Kenseth followed him in third (166.662), with recently crowned NNS driver’s champion Chase Elliott (166.318) and his JR Motorsports teammate Regan Smith (166.231) completing the Top 5.
Blaney’s teammate for Saturday’s NNS season finale, Brad Keselowski, was eighth-fastest in the practice with a lap of 165.568 mph. Keselowski is seeking to bring home a second NNS owner’s championship for Penske in the No. 22 this weekend, and can do it with a 24th-place finish in the Ford Ecoboost 300; Kyle Busch, who’s driving the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing machine that’s also in contention for the owner’s crown, was seventh-fastest (165.710).
Another NNS practice is on tap for later today at 4 p.m. ET.
This Saturday, the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles will debut a new exhibit honoring one of the most successful teams in American motorsports.
Titled “Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks to Success | 30th Anniversary Tribute,” the exhibit will display several significant cars, trophies, and other artifacts from CGR’s storied racing history. Ganassi will formally be honored April 15, 2020 at the Petersen’s Annual Racers Night before the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Vehicles displayed in the exhibit will include the 1983 Patrick Wildcat MK9B raced by Chip Ganassi to his best finish in the Indianapolis 500, the Lexus-powered Riley MK X1 raced by Scott Dixon in the 2006 24 Hours of Daytona, the Dallara IR-05 driven to victory by Dario Franchitti in the 2010 Indianapolis 500, the Ford GT that finished first in the LM GTE category at the 2016 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 driven by Kurt Busch in the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series.
“Chip Ganassi is an influential member of the automotive community, and his team’s penchant for success is a reflection of his raw skill and passion for the sport,” said Petersen Automotive Museum Executive Director Terry L. Karges. “Complemented by a visually dynamic and compelling 180-degree video, ‘Chip Ganassi Racing’will celebrate the team’s victories and tell its story while taking visitors on a trip down memory lane.”
“Chip Ganassi Racing: Fast Tracks to Success | 30th Anniversary Tribute” will run through January 31, 2021. The museum will host a ticketed opening reception on December 13. More information on the Petersen Museum can be found at www.petersen.org.