Smith tops Kansas Nationwide practice
October 04, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com
RELATED: Practice results
KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Regan Smith capped a strong day of on-track work by pacing the field in the second practice session Friday afternoon at Kansas Speedway with a top speed of 179.617 mph. After finishing second in the opening practice, Smith led a final practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series that saw two caution periods and multiple cars hit the wall.
Matt Kenseth (179.146 mph) was second in the final session, which is used to set the qualifying order for Saturday's Kansas Lottery 300 (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). Qualifying is scheduled for 12:05 p.m. ET Saturday and will be televised on FOX Sports 2.
Joining Smith and Kenseth as drivers to finish in the top 10 in both practices were points leader Sam Hornish Jr. (sixth in the final session, fourth in the first), Austin Dillon (ninth, fifth) and Paul Menard (seventh, 10th). Dillon is four points behind Hornish Jr. in the standings.
The final 80-minute practice was delayed after 20 minutes of on-track action when rookie Kyle Larson smacked the wall in Turn 4, crumpling the fender of his No. 32 Chevrolet and bringing out the caution. After a quick evaluation, the Turner Scott Motorsports team unloaded the backup car.
"The guys made me a great race car," Larson told FOX Sports 1. "I'll try not to make any more mistakes."
Later, Bayne also got into the wall, but his contact was more of a scrape down the right side of his No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford. Same thing for Kyle Busch, whose No. 54 Toyota incurred a similar scrape a few minutes after Bayne took his car back to the garage. Busch's hit brought out the second yellow.
Bayne and Busch finished the second session fifth and 18th, respectively.
Friday's practice took place in breezy, warm conditions. The temperature is expected to drop by as much as 20 degrees for Saturday's race.
Rookie Alex Bowman led the opening 65-minute practice session, turning a fast lap of 177.223 mph on the 1.5-mile oval.
Bowman, 20, has never started a NASCAR race at Kansas, but he won here in 2011 and 2012 in ARCA. He's driving the No. 99 Toyota for RAB Racing and finished 14th in the second session.
Chris Buescher, running the No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford, was third in the opening session, ahead of Hornish and Dillon.