Joey Logano leads Champ. 4 in Sprint Cup final practice; Johnson fastest overall

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All that’s left is to crown a NASCAR Sprint Cup champion.

Jimmie Johnson paced the last final practice of the 2014 season at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a top lap of 175.200 mph, while Joey Logano led the Championship 4 that will race for the title Sunday with the seventh-fastest lap overall (173.127).

Logano may say or may have already said a quick prayer after this session, but it appears he avoided a potential disaster on one of his runs. Team Penske tweeted the following:

When asked where he stood going into Sunday’s Ford Ecoboost 400, Logano felt he was in pretty good shape but did not have as much speed on short runs as he would like.

“It doesn’t quite have the take-off speed that we need, so we just have to find a little bit there,” Logano told Fox Sports. “I feel like the long run is where the Shell-Pennzoil Ford is really fast. To be able to just maintain speed for a long time, I think that’s key here at Homestead.

“…There’s a lot of room to race here, so you have a lot of green flag runs. Just because I tell myself that doesn’t make me feel good, but you have seen that in the past quite a bit, so I feel pretty good about it.”

Logano also talked about needing to find a way to make the middle and bottom groove work for him, even though he acknowledges that the top groove is the preferred way around the 1.5-mile oval.

“You’ve gotta be able to move around a little bit, and I feel like our car can do that too,” he added.

Following him on the time sheets was Practice 2 leader and fellow title contender Kevin Harvick in P8 overall with a lap of 173.099 mph. A little farther back were Ryan Newman in 12th (172.806) and Denny Hamlin (172.756) in 13th.

In regards to 10-lap averages, Johnson’s first 10 circuits in “Happy Hour” netted the fastest average of 171.446 mph. But among the Championship 4, Hamlin was tops at 170.095 mph, which also came during his first 10 laps; Harvick was seventh (Laps 18-27, 169.380), Newman was eighth (Laps 1-10, 169.222), and Logano was 12th (Laps 26-35, 169.043).

Green flag for Sunday’s race is scheduled to fall at 3:17 p.m. ET.

Sports imitates art with Tyler Bereman’s Red Bull Imagination course

Red Bull Imagination Bereman
Chris Tedesco / Red Bull Content Pool
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This past weekend riders took on the Red Bull Imagination, a one-of-a-kind event conceived by Tyler Bereman – an event that blended art, imagination, and sports.

In its third year, Red Bull Imagination opened to the public for the first-time, inviting fans to experience a more personal and creative side of the riders up close and personal.

As the event elevates its stature, the course gets tougher. The jumps get higher and the competition stouter. This year’s course took inspiration from a skatepark, honoring other adrenaline-laced pastimes and competitions.

“There’s a ton of inspiration from other action sports,” Bereman said told Red Bull writer Eric Shirk as he geared up for the event.

MORE: Trystan Hart wins Red Bull Tennessee Knockout 

Bereman was the leading force in the creation of this event and the winner of its inaugural running. In 2022, Bereman had to settle for second with Axell Hodges claiming victory on the largest freeride course created uniquely for the Red Bull Imagination.

Unlike other courses, Bereman gave designer Jason Baker the liberty to create obstacles and jumps as he went. And this was one of the components that helped the course imitate art.

Baker’s background in track design comes from Supercross. In that sport, he had to follow strict guidelines and build the course to a specific length and distance. From the building of the course through the final event, Bereman’s philosophy was to give every person involved, from creators to riders, fans and beyond, the chance to express themselves.

He wanted the sport to bridge the valley between racing and art.

Tyler Bereman uses one of Red Bull Imagination’s unique jumps. Garth Milan / Red Bull Content Pool

Hodges scored a 98 on the course and edged Bereman by two points. Both riders used the vast variety of jumps to spend a maximum amount of time airborne. Hodges’s first run included nearly every available obstacle including a 180-foot jump before backflipping over the main road.

The riders were able to secure high point totals on their first runs. Then, the wind picked up ahead of Round 2. Christian Dresser and Guillem Navas were able to improve their scores on the second run by creating new lines on the course and displaying tricks that did not need the amount of hangtime as earlier runs. They were the only riders to improve from run one to run two.

With first and second secured with their early runs, Hodge and Bereman teamed up to use their time jointly to race parallel lines and create tandem hits. The two competitors met at the center of the course atop the Fasthouse feature and revved their engines in an embrace.

Julien Vanstippen rounded out the podium with a final score of 92; his run included a landing of a 130-foot super flip.