Scott, Smith tops in Chicagoland practices
July 20, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com
Smith, the series’ points leader, paced the opening practice with a blazing lap at 175.953 mph that was fastest overall on the 1.5-mile oval in preparation for Sunday’s STP 300 (3 p.m. ET, ESPN). His No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet posted the time in just its second lap in the early minutes of the opening 2 1/2 -hour session, easily outrunning second-fastest Travis Pastrana.
Scott’s turn at the top of the leaderboard came late in the 90-minute final practice with a fast lap of 173.751 mph. He led a 1-2 sweep of Richard Childress Racing Chevrolets with teammate Austin Dillon second at 173.483.
Rookie Alex Bowman showed consistency by running third-fastest on the leaderboard in both sessions. Former Chicagoland winner Justin Allgaier was fourth with Dillon fifth in the first session; Trevor Bayne was fourth with Pastrana fifth in session two.
Joey Logano, the only full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver competing here this weekend, was 10th-fastest in the opening session and 13th-best in the final practice. Elliott Sadler, the race’s defending champion, was 13th- and 12th-fastest, respectively.
The session was considered an extended practice, making up for a lost test session because of rain at 1.5-mile Las Vegas Motor Speedway in March. Therefore, the order for Sunday’s Coors Light Pole Award qualifying will be determined by the results of Saturday’s second practice.