Austin Dillon paces final Nationwide practice
August 31, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com
Related: Full results
HAMPTON, Ga. -- Fans at Atlanta Motor Speedway are accustomed to seeing a No. 3 car atop the scoring tower, and Saturday morning was no different.
On the track where Dale Earnhardt won nine times, Austin Dillon drove his No. 3 car to the top of final Nationwide Series practice, turning a lap of 181.023 mph that paced the session. Brian Vickers was second, while Sprint Cup Series regular Joey Logano, Trevor Bayne, and Regan Smith rounded out the top five. Dillon, like Earnhardt a driver for Richard Childress Racing, is making just his second career start on the 1.5-mile Atlanta track. He finished sixth here last season.
Sprint Cup star Kyle Busch, winner of last week's Nationwide race at Bristol, was seventh, while Kasey Kahne was 11th and Kevin Harvick 12th. Although not entered in the Nationwide race, Sprint Cup pole winner Carl Edwards made a few laps in Travis Pastrana's No. 60 car Saturday to help his Roush Fenway teammate get up to speed. Pastrana's car posted the ninth-fastest speed of the session, with Edwards behind the wheel.
Dillon entered the weekend six points behind Nationwide leader Sam Hornish Jr., who was 15th-fastest in final practice Saturday. Elliott Sadler, third in the standings and 11 points behind Hornish, was 17th fastest in the practice.
The Nationwide cars qualify at 4:05 p.m. local time Saturday, and the Great Clips/Grit Chips 300 is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.