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Stenhouse shows the way in Sprint Showdown practice

May 17, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com

Stenhouse shows the way in Sprint Showdown practice
Rookie sets fast pace ahead of All-Star qualifying race

CONCORD, N.C. -- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. led Friday’s practice for the Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Stenhouse, driving the No. 17 for Roush Fenway Racing, posted a fast lap of 188.881 mph.

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Jamie McMurray was second at 186.968 mph in the prelude to qualifying for Saturday night’s Sprint Showdown that will determine two of the final entries into the Sprint All-Star Race.
 
Jeff Burton, Juan Pablo Montoya and Mike Bliss rounded out the top five in the practice session, the only one scheduled for the Showdown at the 1.5-mile speedway before qualifying.
 
Participants in the Sprint Showdown have not met one of the qualifications for entry into the Sprint All-Star Race, but to participate in the Showdown they needed to have placed either in the top 55 in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points in 2012 or attempted a Cup race in 2013.
 
Twenty-three cars participated in practice Friday. The top two finishers in the Sprint Showdown, set for 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday and televised on SPEED, will make the field for the Sprint All-Star Race, 9 p.m. ET Saturday.
 
The final spot in the Sprint All-Star Race will go to the winner of the Sprint Fan Vote.

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