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Crafton leads Kentucky practice

September 20, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com

No. 33 Crafton leads in the first Nationwide practice at Kentucky, Dillon follows in second

SPARTA, Ky. -- Matt Crafton paced the field in the opening -- and only -- NASCAR Nationwide Series practice session Friday at Kentucky Speedway, which was shortened by 45 minutes due to rain.

The opening session was scheduled to go from 3:30 p.m. ET to 5 p.m. ET, but was yellow-flagged at 4:15 p.m. for rain. It began to pour soon after cars were called off the track. 

Track drying got underway at approximately 4:45 p.m. ET, but additional storms moved into the area, dumping more precipitation on the freshly dried track at 6:10 p.m. ET. That forced the cancellation of the planned 6:30-7:30 p.m. ET second practice. 

Saturday's Kentucky 300 is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET, with qualifying at 4:35 p.m. ET that same day. Track officials said Friday's planned second practice will not be rescheduled for Saturday morning.

Either way, Crafton is looking for his third top-10 finish in his third Nationwide Series starts. Earlier this year, Crafton placed third at Kentucky and 10th at Chicagoland Speedway.

With the Camping World Truck Series off until next weekend's event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, five drivers from that series are in Nationwide Series cars at for Saturday's Kentucky 300 (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNEWS). In addition to Crafton, Ryan Blaney was ninth in the opening session with a lap of 171.293 mph in his No. 22 Ford, and Joey Coulter was 10th in the No. 18 Toyota (171.23 mph).

The opening session was scheduled to go from 3:30 p.m. ET to 5 p.m. ET, but was yellow-flagged at 4:15 p.m. for rain. It began to pour soon after cars were called off the track.

Austin Dillon, currently second in the points standings, finished behind Crafton in second place. Running his familiar No. 3 AdvoCare Chevrolet for Richard Childress, Dillon turned in a speed of 173.410 mph.

Brian Scott also topped 173 mph, and at 173.077, finished third on the grid. 

Nationwide Series regulars Brian Vickers (172.983 mph) and Kyle Larson (172.315 mph) rounded out the top five. 

Series points leader Sam Hornish Jr. was the first Ford in the field, taking seventh place in his No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts machine with a speed of 171.898 mph. 

Also in the top 10 were Justin Allgaier (sixth, 171.117 mph) and Parker Kligerman (eighth, 171.325 mph).

Saturday's Kentucky 300 is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET, with qualifying at 4:35 p.m. ET that same day. Track officials said Friday's planned second practice will not be rescheduled for Saturday morning.

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