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Weather causes schedule changes; Cup qualifying canceled, Saturday practice added

Persistent rain showers and brief bouts of lightning in the area jumbled Friday’s on-track schedule at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Saturday was impacted, too.

Both Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practices, NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series qualifying and NASCAR Xfinity Series final practice were canceled due to weather on the opening day of championship weekend. NASCAR later announced that Saturday’s Monster Energy Series qualifying was canceled in favor of adding one of the missed practices back to the schedule.

The starting lineup for Sunday’s Ford EcoBoost 400 will be set by the rule book, meaning owner points — Denny Hamlin will start from the pole position, with Kevin Harvick, Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch lined up behind him in spots 2-4. All drivers are part of the Championship 4 field. All points for the four title hopefuls were reset to 5,000 for this race, with the tiebreaker being best finish of the Round of 8 — and then second-best finish as necessary.

That practice is scheduled from 2:05-2:55 p.m. ET, sandwiched between NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying and the Ford EcoBoost 300 title race in that series.

Earlier Friday, the first Monster Energy Series practice session of championship weekend was slated to begin at 3:35 p.m. ET, but wet weather forced other plans. Moments before the planned start time, NASCAR officials warned there had been a lightning strike in the area. That sparked the first cancellation. Rain later stopped, and the track began its drying process — only for it to start back up again. The second and final Monster Energy Series practice was slated for 6:30 p.m. ET and was ultimately called around 7:15 p.m. ET.

Increased rain made practices, Gander Trucks qualifying (slated for 4:35 p.m. ET) and Xfinity Series final practice (slated for 5:35 p.m. ET) all washouts. Rain had started earlier in the afternoon, starting less than 15 minutes after opening NASCAR Xfinity Series practice began at 2:35 p.m. ET.

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NAPA Spring Sizzler at Stafford Postponed

STAFFORD, Conn. — Persistent rain in the area forced officials to postpone the 48th annual NAPA Spring Sizzler at Stafford Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon.

Shortly before NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour teams were scheduled to take to the track for group qualifying, officials decided that the weather forecast for the remainder of Saturday, and the duration of Sunday, wouldn’t allow the event to take place.

Instead, the Spring Sizzler will be run next weekend, May 4-5. The entire Spring Sizzler schedule will be announced at a later date.

Stafford’s Friday night May 3 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series program has been cancelled, and their divisions will run over the course of next weekend as well.

Prior to the rain, teams did have two practice sessions, with defending series champion Justin Bonsignore pacing both of them.

Doug Coby leads the Whelen Modified Tour point standings by seven points after the first three races of the season.

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Kevin Harvick Leads Final Richmond Practice

RICHMOND, VA — The metaphorical cream rose to the top during final practice for the Federated Auto Parts 400 as defending Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick paced the field in the final on-track session prior to pole qualifying at Richmond International Raceway.

Harvick posted a 125.348 mph lap to lead the way and was joined in the top-5 by Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Kasey Kahne and Kurt Busch. Like Kyle Larson, who topped the field in the first session, Kahne is in must-win mode this weekend as going to Victory Lane is the only way that he would qualify for the Chase for the Championship.

Larson was 17th in the second session on Friday.

JUSTIN ALLGAIER: Responds to 2016 HScott Rumors

The complete results from “Happy Hour” can be viewed below.

  1. Kevin Harvick Ldr.
  2. Kyle Busch -0.014
  3. Jimmie Johnson -0.027
  4. Kasey Kahne -0.035
  5. Kurt Busch -0.084
  6. Martin Truex Jr. -0.087
  7. Danica Patrick -0.094
  8. Jeff Gordon -0.121
  9. Brad Keselowski -0.130
  10. Dale Earnhardt Jr -0.133
  11. Austin Dillon -0.137
  12. Matt Kenseth -0.152
  13. AJ Allmendinger -0.153
  14. Joey Logano -0.164
  15. Ryan Newman -0.178
  16. Tony Stewart -0.205
  17. Kyle Larson -0.208
  18. Justin Allgaier -0.211
  19. Paul Menard -0.214
  20. Clint Bowyer -0.217
  21. Casey Mears -0.229
  22. Brett Moffitt -0.238
  23. David Gilliland -0.250
  24. Ricky Stenhouse Jr -0.255
  25. David Ragan -0.290
  26. Cole Whitt -0.302
  27. Landon Cassill -0.308
  28. Jamie McMurray -0.309
  29. Aric Almirola -0.312
  30. Sam Hornish Jr -0.312
  31. Carl Edwards -0.334
  32. Michael Annett -0.356
  33. Trevor Bayne -0.362
  34. Michael McDowell -0.389
  35. Alex Bowman -0.470
  36. Brian Scott -0.542
  37. Josh Wise -0.580
  38. Matt DiBenedetto -0.608
  39. Jeffrey Earnhardt -0.612
  40. J. Yeley -0.622
  41. Greg Biffle -0.627
  42. Denny Hamlin -0.681
  43. Reed Sorenson -0.744
  44. Jeb Burton -0.896
  45. Timmy Hill -1.032

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Kyle Larson Takes First Practice at Richmond

RICHMOND, VA — With teams executing a variety of different agendas on Friday morning at Richmond International Raceway, Kyle Larson was the fastest driver in the opening round of practice for the Federated Auto Parts 400 — the final event on the Sprint Cup Series regular season schedule.

Larson paced the field with a fast time of 21.508 seconds at 125.535 mph around the Virginia short track and was followed by a hodge-podge of drivers that included Casey Mears, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch within the top-5. The speed was encouraging for Larson who is one of a handful of drivers who must win on Saturday night in order to qualify for the Chase for the Championship that begins next week at Chicagoland Speedway.

The event was uneventful in terms of incidents or spins despite the field practicing during the heat of day.

Goodyear has brought a new right side tire and has replaced the multi-zone tread tire with a different compound entirely.

  1. Kyle Larson 21.508
  2. Casey Mears -0.021
  3. Brad Keselowski -0.082
  4. Kevin Harvick -0.124
  5. Kyle Busch -0.145
  6. AJ Allmendinger -0.158
  7. Martin Truex Jr -0.161
  8. Carl Edwards -0.167
  9. Ryan Newman -0.173
  10. Joey Logano -0.190
  11. Matt Kenseth -0.234
  12. Danica Patrick -0.253
  13. Jimmie Johnson -0.256
  14. Kurt Busch -0.265
  15. Dale Earnhardt Jr -0.278
  16. Austin Dillon -0.279
  17. Paul Menard -0.329
  18. Denny Hamlin -0.337
  19. David Ragan -0.342
  20. Clint Bowyer -0.348
  21. Aric Almirola -0.349
  22. Justin Allgaier -0.364
  23. Jeff Gordon -0.408
  24. Kasey Kahne -0.421
  25. Brian Scott -0.461
  26. Sam Hornish Jr -0.480
  27. Tony Stewart -0.502
  28. Jamie McMurray -0.503
  29. Josh Wise -0.507
  30. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. -0.520
  31. David Gilliland -0.520
  32. Trevor Bayne -0.549
  33. Michael McDowell -0.554
  34. Greg Biffle -0.559
  35. Michael Annett -0.571
  36. Cole Whitt -0.577
  37. Matt DiBenedeto -0.577
  38. Brett Moffitt -0.610
  39. Landon Cassill -0.657
  40. Alex Bowman -0.699
  41. JJ Yeley -0.780
  42. Jeb Burton -0.795
  43. Reed Sorenson -0.957
  44. Jeffrey Earnhardt -0.963
  45. Timmy Hill -1.542

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Race Day Need to Know: Darlington

NASCAR goes back in time this weekend with throwback paint schemes and much more for the 66th annual Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.

What you need to know:

Start Time: The green flag is scheduled for approximately 7:20 p.m. ET

Race Distance: 367 laps, 501.322 miles around the 1.366 egg-shaped oval

National Anthem: Tanya Tucker

Grand Marshal: Terry Labonte

Honorary Starter: TBD

TV / Radio Broadcast: The pre-race show begins at 6:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network with race coverage beginning at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC … the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM Channel 90 will carry the radio broadcast

Broadcast Booth: Rick Allen, Jeff Burton, Steve Letarte

Pit Reporters: Dave Burns, Mike Massaro, Marty Snider

Competition Caution: None

To The Rear: Danica Patrick (backup car)

One Year Ago: Kevin Harvick dominated early and then had to charge late to win his first Southern 500 at Darlington. Harvick took the lead from Dale Earnhardt Jr. off a restart with two laps to go for his second win of the season. The race featured 11 cautions for 50 laps and 22 lead changes.

Misc.: Seven-time Darlington winner Jeff Gordon makes his final Southern 500 start … Chase Elliott makes his final start of the season before becoming a full-time Sprint Cup driver in 2016 … The Southern 500 returns to Labor Day weekend for the first time since 2003 … Ryan Blaney makes his first Sprint Cup start at Darlington in the Wood Brothers No. 21

Starting Lineup:

  1. (2)  Brad Keselowski, Ford, 178.874 mph.
  2. (41)  Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 177.588 mph.
  3. (4)  Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 177.415 mph.
  4. (22)  Joey Logano, Ford, 177.319 mph.
  5. (24)  Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 177.192 mph.
  6. (11)  Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 176.905 mph.
  7. (78)  Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, 176.848 mph.
  8. (17)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 176.670 mph.
  9. (21)  Ryan Blaney(i), Ford, 176.195 mph.
  10. (18)  Kyle Busch, Toyota, 176.075 mph.
  11. (43)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 175.962 mph.
  12. (27)  Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 175.297 mph.
  13. (19)  Carl Edwards, Toyota, 177.511 mph.
  14. (20)  Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 177.217 mph.
  15. (5)  Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 177.204 mph.
  16. (42)  Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 177.134 mph.
  17. (14)  Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 177.045 mph.
  18. (6)  Trevor Bayne, Ford, 177.013 mph.
  19. (48)  Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 176.860 mph.
  20. (1)  Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 176.568 mph.
  21. (55)  David Ragan, Toyota, 176.264 mph.
  22. (25)  Chase Elliott(i), Chevrolet, 176.119 mph.
  23. (31)  Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 175.943 mph.
  24. (16)  Greg Biffle, Ford, 153.498 mph.
  25. (83)  Matt DiBenedetto #, Toyota, 177.339 mph.
  26. (88)  Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 177.000 mph.
  27. (51)  Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 177.000 mph.
  28. (15)  Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 176.714 mph.
  29. (3)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 176.682 mph.
  30. (10)  Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 176.613 mph.
  31. (40)  Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 176.594 mph.
  32. (13)  Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 176.511 mph.
  33. (9)  Sam Hornish Jr., Ford, 176.372 mph.
  34. (47)  AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 176.144 mph.
  35. (7)  Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 176.025 mph.
  36. (26)  JJ Yeley(i), Toyota, 175.981 mph.
  37. (35)  Cole Whitt, Ford, Owner Points
  38. (38)  David Gilliland, Ford, Owner Points
  39. (46)  Michael Annett, Chevrolet, Owner Points
  40. (34)  Brett Moffitt #, Ford, Owner Points
  41. (23)  Jeb Burton #, Toyota, Owner Points
  42. (33)  Mike Bliss(i), Chevrolet, Owner Points
  43. (98)  TJ Bell, Ford, Owner Points
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Greg Biffle Leads Opening Southern 500 Practice

DARLINGTON, S.C. — It’s no secret that Roush Fenway Racing has struggled the past several seasons using packages with increased downforce and lower speeds so perhaps the low downforce package used this weekend for the Southern 500 will help the former Ford powerhouse start to dig out of its multi-year slump.

The veteran of the organization looked pretty solid through one practice session at least with Greg Biffle posting the fastest time on Friday morning at Darlington Raceway.

Biffle paced the field with a fast lap of 176.201 mph and was followed closely by three Stewart-Haas Racing team members in Kurt Busch (175.842), Tony Stewart (175.710) and defending event winner Kevin Harvick (175.710).

Carl Edwards completed the top five at 175.647 mph.

Several drivers got into the wall during the practice session, earning a famous Darlington Stripe in the process. The low downforce package made cars considerably more unstable in the corners just like it did at Kentucky and Trevor Bayne received the worst of the damage all the drivers that slapped the wall.

He tagged the rear of his Roush Racing Ford into the Turn 3 wall but drove away to the attention of his awaiting crew.
The complete results from first practice can be viewed below.

  1. Greg Biffle Ldr.
  2. Kurt Busch -0.057
  3. Tony Stewart -0.078
  4. Kevin Harvick -0.097
  5. Carl Edwards -0.088
  6. Paul Menard -0.105
  7. Joey Logano -0.116
  8. Ryn Blaney -0.193
  9. Denny Hamlin -0.215
  10. Brad Keselowski -0.237
  11. Kasey Kahne -0.255
  12. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -0.281
  13. Martin Truex Jr. -0.338
  14. AJ Allmendinger -0.350
  15. Jimmie Johnson -0.374
  16. Jeff Gordon -0.378
  17. Austin Dillon -0.381
  18. Kyle Busch -0.392
  19. David Ragan -0.398
  20. Ryan Newman -0.433
  21. Clint Bowyer -0.479
  22. Sam Hornish -0.517
  23. Alex Bowman -0.520
  24. Casey Mears -0.534
  25. Matt Kenseth -0.566
  26. Chase Elliott -0.606
  27. Jamie McMurray -0.609
  28. Ricky Stenhouse -0.611
  29. Aric Almirola -0.616
  30. Kyle Larson -0.626
  31. Trevor Bayne -0.757
  32. JJ Yeley -0.828
  33. Landon Cassill -0.828
  34. Danica Patrick -0.858
  35. David Gilliland -0.968
  36. Travis Kvapil -1.153
  37. Josh Wise -1.192
  38. Matt DiBenedetto -1.198
  39. Michael Annett -1.198
  40. Justin Allgaier -1.234
  41. Cole Whitt -1.270
  42. Brett Moffitt -1.281
  43. Timmy Hill -1.691
  44. Jeb Burton -1.763
  45. Mike Bliss -1.842
  46. TJ Bell -1.899

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Bristol Night Race — Driver Intro Song Selections

As has become tradition prior to the Bristol Night Race, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers were introduced to the crowd by veteran boxing ring announcer Bruce Buffer. Additionally, drivers are also allowed to select their own custom ‘walk-out’ songs. Their selections can be viewed below.

  1. Denny Hamlin — Avicii \ Heart Upon my Sleeve
  2. Kyle Busch — DJ Barry
  3. Carl Edwards — Foreigner \ Juke Box Hero
  4. David Ragan — Brooks and Dunn \ Only in America
  5. Joey Logano — Dropkick Murphy \ Shipping Up To
  6. Brad Keselowski — Snoop Dogg \ Drop It Like Its Hot
  7. Kevin Harvick — Jake Owen \ Real Life
  8. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. — Billy Squire \ The Stroke
  9. Clint Bowyer — Dwight Yokam \ Honkey Tonk
  10. Jimmie Johnson — X-Ambassadors \ Renegades
  11. Kurt Busch — DMX \ Party UP
  12. Kyle Larson — Elton John \ Saturday Night
  13. Matt Kenseth — Trivium \ Stife
  14. Justin Allgaier — Chase Rice \ Ready Set Roll
  15. Ryan Blaney — Pearl Jam \ Evenflow
  16. Austin Dillon — Ludacris \ Move
  17. Greg Biffle — Motley Crew \ Wild Side
  18. Ryan Newman — Waylon Jennings \ Good Olde
  19. Kasey Kahne — John Mellancamp \ Cherry Bomb
  20. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. — The Who \ Emincient Front
  21. Jamie McMurray — Aerosmith \ Walk This Way
  22. Trevor Bayne — Kenny Chesney \ Back Where I
  23. Martin Truex, Jr. — ZZ Top \ La Grange
  24. Jeff Gordon — Nelly \ E.I.
  25. J. Allmendinger — Marilyn Manson \ Tainted Love
  26. Sam Hornish, Jr. — Grateful Dead \ Touch of Grey
  27. Brett Moffitt — Kid Rock \ Cowboy
  28. Casey Mears — Metallica \ Fuel
  29. Paul Menard — Megadeth \ Symphony of Destruction
  30. Michael McDowell — Tedashii \ Nothing I Can’t Do
  31. Aric Almirola – Sammy Hagar \ I can’t drive 55
  32. Danica Patrick — Foreigner \ Hot Blooded
  33. Cole Whitt — Blake Whitley \ Armor for The
  34. Josh Wise — Alabama \ Dixieland Delight
  35. Michael Annett — Bernie Dance \ Bernie Lean
  36. Alex Bowman — Throne \ Bring me the Horizon
  37. David Gilliland – Motley Crew \ Kick Start My Heart
  38. JJ Yeley — Elvis \ Devil in Disguise
  39. Landon Cassill — Santana \ Smooth
  40. Tony Stewart — Deep Purple \ Smoke on the Water
  41. Timmy Hill — Silento \ Watch me Nae Nae
  42. Matt DiBenedetto — Joan Jett \ I Love Rock & Roll
  43. Mike Bliss – AC/DC Hells Bells

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Race Day Need to Know: Bristol

It’s back to the short track for NASCAR as they go under the lights at Bristol Motor Speedway with the 55th annual IRWIN Tools Night Race.

What you need to know:

Start Time: The green flag is scheduled for approximately 7:43 p.m. ET

Race Distance: 500 laps, 266.5 miles around the concrete half-mile oval

National Anthem: MRO Children

Grand Marshal: Bruton Smith

Honorary Starter: Dave Ramsey, NY Times Best Selling Author and Nationally Syndicated Radio Host

TV / Radio Broadcast: The pre-race show begins at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network with race coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET … the Performance Racing Network (PRN) and SiriusXM Channel 90 will carry the radio broadcast

Broadcast Booth: Rick Allen, Jeff Burton, Steve Letarte

Pit Reporters: Dave Burns, Mike Massaro, Marty Snider

Competition Caution: None

To The Rear: None

One Year Ago: Joey Logano held off his Team Penske teammate Brad Keselowski to score his first win at the Bristol short track. The teammates led a combine 122 laps in what was also Logano’s third win of the season. The race featured nine cautions for 64 laps and 16 lead changes.

Misc.: Matt Kenseth will attempt to sweep the 2015 Bristol races … Joe Gibbs Racing looks for their sixth win in seven weeks … Jeff Gordon makes his final start at Bristol Motor Speedway with a paint scheme that symbolized most of his early career

Starting Lineup:

  1. (11)  Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 131.407 mph.
  2. (18)  Kyle Busch, Toyota, 131.263 mph.
  3. (19)  Carl Edwards, Toyota, 130.655 mph.
  4. (55)  David Ragan, Toyota, 130.460 mph.
  5. (22)  Joey Logano, Ford, 130.344 mph.
  6. (2)  Brad Keselowski, Ford, 130.327 mph.
  7. (4)  Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 130.300 mph.
  8. (17)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 130.123 mph.
  9. (15)  Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 130.053 mph.
  10. (48)  Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 129.947 mph.
  11. (41)  Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 129.447 mph.
  12. (42)  Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 128.848 mph.
  13. (20)  Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 129.675 mph.
  14. (51)  Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 129.351 mph.
  15. (21)  Ryan Blaney(i), Ford, 129.212 mph.
  16. (3)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 129.151 mph.
  17. (16)  Greg Biffle, Ford, 128.822 mph.
  18. (31)  Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 128.701 mph.
  19. (5)  Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 128.606 mph.
  20. (88)  Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 128.537 mph.
  21. (1)  Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 128.262 mph.
  22. (6)  Trevor Bayne, Ford, 128.193 mph.
  23. (78)  Martin Truex Jr, Chevrolet, 128.159 mph.
  24. (24)  Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 127.988 mph.
  25. (47)  AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 128.563 mph.
  26. (9)  Sam Hornish Jr., Ford, 128.253 mph.
  27. (34)  Brett Moffitt #, Ford, 128.176 mph.
  28. (13)  Casey Mears, Chevrolet, 127.920 mph.
  29. (27)  Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 127.801 mph.
  30. (95)  Michael McDowell, Ford, 127.605 mph.
  31. (43)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 127.563 mph.
  32. (10)  Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 127.537 mph.
  33. (35)  Cole Whitt, Ford, 127.461 mph.
  34. (32)  Josh Wise, Ford, 127.368 mph.
  35. (46)  Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 127.241 mph.
  36. (7)  Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 127.208 mph.
  37. (38)  David Gilliland, Ford, Owner Points
  38. (23)  JJ Yeley(i), Toyota, Owner Points
  39. (40)  Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, Owner Points
  40. (14)  Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, Owner Points
  41. (98)  Timmy Hill(i), Ford, Owner Points
  42. (83)  Matt DiBenedetto #, Toyota, Owner Points
  43. (33)  Mike Bliss(i), Chevrolet, Owner Points

3 drivers failed to qualify.

  1. (30)  Travis Kvapil(i), Chevrolet, 126.545 mph.
  2. (26)  Jeb Burton #, Toyota, 125.906 mph.
  3. (62)  Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 125.150 mph.

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Race Day Need to Know: Michigan

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series makes their second and final stop of the 2015 season at Michigan International Speedway with the 46th annual Pure Michigan 400.

What you need to know:

Start Time: The green flag is scheduled for approximately 2:46 p.m. ET.

Race Distance: 200 laps, 400 miles around the D-shaped oval

National Anthem: Jena Irene Asciutto (American Idol runner-up)

Grand Marshal: Michael Harris (Executive Director – Michigan Chapter – Paralyzed Veterans of America)

Honorary Starter: Kyle Oliver (MIS Contest Winner)

TV / Radio Broadcast: The pre-race show begins at 2:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network with race coverage beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET … the Motor Racing Network (MRN) and SiriusXM Channel 90 will carry the radio broadcast

Broadcast Booth: Rick Allen, Jeff Burton, Steve Letarte

Pit Reporters: Dave Burns, Mike Massaro, Marty Snider, Kelli Stavast

Competition Caution: Lap 20

To The Rear: Kyle Busch (backup car), Austin Dillon (engine change)

One Year Ago: Jeff Gordon powered past dominant Joey Logano on a late restart to score third win of the season. It was also his third win at Michigan and first since 2001. Logano, who led a race-high 86 laps, slipped to finish third. The race featured eight cautions for 37 laps and 20 lead changes.

Misc.: Jeff Gordon makes his final start at Michigan today … Kurt Busch looks to become just the fifth driver to sweep a season at Michigan … Chevrolet looks for their fourth consecutive win at Michigan … Brad Keselowski looks to become the ninth active driver to win in his home state

Starting Lineup:

  1. (20)  Matt Kenseth, Toyota, 197.488 mph.
  2. (11)  Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 196.990 mph.
  3. (19)  Carl Edwards, Toyota, 196.276 mph.
  4. (3)  Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 195.918 mph.
  5. (14)  Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 195.477 mph.
  6. (18)  Kyle Busch, Toyota, 195.450 mph.
  7. (4)  Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet, 195.249 mph.
  8. (48)  Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 195.228 mph.
  9. (88)  Dale Earnhardt Jr., Chevrolet, 194.884 mph.
  10. (22)  Joey Logano, Ford, 194.405 mph.
  11. (5)  Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 194.133 mph.
  12. (15)  Clint Bowyer, Toyota, 193.606 mph.
  13. (55)  David Ragan, Toyota, 193.632 mph.
  14. (2)  Brad Keselowski, Ford, 193.554 mph.
  15. (9)  Sam Hornish Jr., Ford, 193.476 mph.
  16. (41)  Kurt Busch, Chevrolet, 193.309 mph.
  17. (31)  Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 193.309 mph.
  18. (1)  Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 193.149 mph.
  19. (21)  Ryan Blaney(i), Ford, 193.128 mph.
  20. (16)  Greg Biffle, Ford, 193.029 mph.
  21. (24)  Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 193.009 mph.
  22. (78)  Martin Truex Jr., Chevrolet, 192.921 mph.
  23. (10)  Danica Patrick, Chevrolet, 192.771 mph.
  24. (27)  Paul Menard, Chevrolet, 192.622 mph.
  25. (6)  Trevor Bayne, Ford, 192.005 mph.
  26. (47)  AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 191.826 mph.
  27. (17)  Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Ford, 191.586 mph.
  28. (51)  Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 191.367 mph.
  29. (26)  Jeb Burton #, Toyota, 190.713 mph.
  30. (43)  Aric Almirola, Ford, 190.527 mph.
  31. (40)  Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 190.049 mph.
  32. (83)  Matt DiBenedetto #, Toyota, 190.049 mph.
  33. (7)  Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 189.384 mph.
  34. (42)  Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 189.230 mph.
  35. (35)  Cole Whitt, Ford, 189.091 mph.
  36. (38)  David Gilliland, Ford, 188.927 mph.
  37. (23)  JJ Yeley(i), Toyota, Owner Points
  38. (34)  Brett Moffitt #, Ford, Owner Points
  39. (46)  Michael Annett, Chevrolet, Owner Points
  40. (13)  Casey Mears, Chevrolet, Owner Points
  41. (32)  Josh Wise, Ford, Owner Points
  42. (33)  Travis Kvapil(i), Chevrolet, Owner Points
  43. (98)  Timmy Hill(i), Chevrolet, Owner Points

1 drivers failed to qualify.

  1. (62)  Reed Sorenson, Ford, 186.379 mph.
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Carl Edwards Fastest in Friday Sprint Cup Practice at Michigan

Carl Edwards was fastest in practice on Friday afternoon for the Sprint Cup Series event at Michigan International Speedway — the second race using the high drag aerodynamic configuration first ordered up for the Brickyard 400 last month at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Edwards paced the field with a fast lap of 196.046 mph around the historic two-mile venue. He was also the pole sitter at the Brickyard. His fastest lap was more than one mph faster than Kevin Harvick, who clocked in at second with a lap at 194.858 mph.

Austin Dillon was third-fastest followed Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin.

The session lasted nearly two-and-a-half hours to allow teams to adapt to the new package which was designed to create a slipstream to increase passing during the race itself. Teams were not allowed to use computer data acquisition devices during the session.

Edwards said this package certainly feels different than the one used at Michigan in June and is faster through the corners. On the other hand, it still has the same issue that it did at Indianapolis — with a lead car stalling a trailing one in it’s the dirty air.

“This race is going to be different,” Edwards said. “The cars throw a huge wake off. You really struggle behind other guys to figure out how to get your car to work. Fortunately, we have a wide race track. This track has four or five grooves in the corner so you’ll be able to search around.

“It’s going to be very difficult in practice to make your car do what you want it to do.”

Four-time Michigan winner Greg Biffle agreed about the corner speed and said the jury is out for how the package will perform on race day.

“I’m surprised how fast the center-corner speed is here,” Biffle said. “We’re really fast in the middle of the corner. Not a lot of throttle off time. We’ll have to wait and see … It’s going to be interesting to see how they drive around other cars. That’s the most important thing for this package.”

This is the only practice session scheduled for Friday. Qualifying will highlight the day at 5:05 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Two additional practice sessions are scheduled for Saturday at 8:30 at 11:30 respectively.

Defending Truck Series champion Matt Crafton practiced for the ailing Aric Almirola in the Richard Petty Motorsports No. 43 Ford.

The complete times from practice can be viewed below.

  1. Carl Edwards Ldr.
  2. Kevin Harvick -0.224
  3. Austin Dillon -0.258
  4. Tony Stewart -0.271
  5. Denny Hamlin -0.362
  6. Kasey Kahne -0.406
  7. Kyle Busch -0.415
  8. David Ragan -0.426
  9. Dale Earnhardt Jr. -0.47
  10. Matt Kenseth -0.475
  11. Joey Logano -0.522
  12. Kurt Busch -0.572
  13. Sam Hornish Jr. -0.608
  14. Ryan Blaney -0.618
  15. Jeff Gordon -0.62
  16. Jimmie Johnson -0.63
  17. AJ Allmendinger -0.652
  18. Martin Truex Jr. -0.7
  19. Jamie McMurray -0.723
  20. Ryan Newman -0.726
  21. Trevor Bayne -0.758
  22. Brad Keselowski -0.789
  23. Greg Biffle -0.81
  24. Danica Patrick -0.915
  25. Paul Menard -0.919
  26. Kyle Larson -0.924
  27. Clint Bowyer -0.954
  28. Casey Mears -1.0
  29. Matt Crafton (Aric Almirola) -1.018
  30. Justin Allgaier -1.05
  31. Ricky Stenhouse -1.291
  32. Michael Annett -1.408
  33. Alex Bowman -1.557
  34. David Gilliland -1.617
  35. Matt DiBenedetto -1.624
  36. Cole Whitt -1.631
  37. Jeb Burton -1.649
  38. Brett Moffitt -1.698
  39. Landon Cassill -1.721
  40. Josh Wise -2.322
  41. Travis Kvapil -2.51
  42. Timmy Hill -3.169
  43. Reed Sorenson -3.224
  44. JJ Yeley -3.692

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