Elliott tops speed chart in final practice
April 13, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com
ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- Rookie Chase Elliott shot to the top of the speed charts in final NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice Saturday afternoon at Rockingham Speedway.
Elliott -- driving the No. 94 Chevrolet owned by his father, NASCAR legend Bill Elliott -- turned a lap at 142.813 mph around the mile-long oval ahead of Sunday's North Carolina Education Lottery 200 (2 p.m. ET on SPEED). The 17-year-old driver finished sixth last weekend in his Truck Series debut at Martinsville Speedway.
Veteran David Starr was second-fastest at 141.282, more than a quarter of a second off Elliott's time in Bobby Dotter's Toyota. Series points leader Johnny Sauter, who will vie for his third straight win to open the season in Sunday's 200-miler, was third-fastest at 140.961 in a ThorSport Racing Toyota.
Rookie Ryan Blaney, second-fastest in the opening session, was fourth-best in final practice. Matt Crafton, Sauter's ThorSport teammate, completed the top five.
Kyle Larson, another rookie, led the first practice, but tailed off to ninth-fastest in the final 60-minute session. Coleman Pressley, subbing for Sprint Cup driver Joey Logano while he drives a Sprint Cup car at Texas Motor Speedway, was 18th-best on the practice chart.
The session was slowed once by a piece of debris with 15 minutes remaining.
Rookie Kyle Larson proved to be a quick study on a track more that twice as old as he is, setting the fastest lap in opening practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Rockingham Speedway.
Larson, 20, registered a speed of 144.341 mph on his second lap around the 48-year-old track in a Turner Scott Motorsports Chevrolet. He was just ahead of 19-year-old Ryan Blaney, who was second-fastest at 144.127 mph in a Ford owned by reigning Sprint Cup champ Brad Keselowski.
Series points leader Johnny Sauter, bidding for a third straight victory to open the season in Sunday's 200-mile race, was ninth-fastest of the 36 trucks to record a lap in the opening 90-minute session.
Coleman Pressley drove in relief of Joey Logano, who is scheduled to participate in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series action Saturday night at Texas Motor Speedway. Pressley, who will help set up the truck for Logano, set the 12th-fastest time.
Opening practice was slowed once for debris 15 minutes into the session.
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