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Regan Smith soars in final Nationwide practice

April 12, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com

Regan Smith soars in final Nationwide practice
JR Motorsports driver edges Bowman on speed chart

Regan Smith, following up the rapid pace he established in Thursday's first practice, led the way in final NASCAR Nationwide Series practice Friday morning at Texas Motor Speedway.

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Smith, driving the No. 7 Chevrolet Camaro for JR Motorsports, turned a fast lap of 185.427 mph to sweep practice in advance of the O'Reilly Auto Parts 300 later Friday (8:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2). His speed was considerably faster than the 181.056-mph lap he recorded Thursday, when he also set fast time for the session.

LEADERBOARD: Final Nationwide practice results

Rookie Alex Bowman continued to impress, logging the second-fastest speed at 185.008 mph on the 1.5-mile Fort Worth track. The 19-year-old driver of RAB Racing's No. 99 Toyota will be making just his 10th Nationwide start in Friday night's 300-miler.

Parker Kligerman rose to third place on the speed chart late in the session with a 183.955-mph lap in a Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota. Behind him was a tie for the fourth-fastest time between Kyle Larson, another top-notch rookie, and Sprint Cup star Dale Earnhardt Jr. Both ran identical laps of 183.524 mph in a pair of Chevys.

Trevor Bayne, Elliott Sadler, Nelson Piquet Jr., Justin Allgaier and Mike Bliss completed the bottom half of the top 10. Nationwide Series leader Sam Hornish Jr., who heads Smith by 28 points in the standings, was 12th-fastest in a Penske Racing Ford.

Qualifying for the sixth Nationwide Series race of the season is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. ET (ESPN2).

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