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Newman, Larson top Richmond Cup practices

April 25, 2014, Staff report,

Newman sneaks up charts late; rookie continues to impress in early stages of season


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Practice 2 | Results

Richmond International Raceway veteran Ryan Newman paced the second and final Sprint Cup Series practice of the day, topping his old boss Tony Stewart late in the session on Friday afternoon.

The Richard Childress Racing driver, who has 14 top-10 finishes in 24 starts at the 0.75-mile track, ran his 35th of 37 laps at a 124.235 mph clip to top Stewart's No. 14 Chevrolet. Stewart, a Richmond darling himself with 19 top-10 finishes in 29 starts, topped out for a best speed of 123.468 to place second in a field 45 cars deep.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. also ran a late fast lap, his 45th of 46 putting him third on the charts at 123.429. Team Penske driver Joey Logano (123.378) was close behind, squeezing in ahead of fifth-place Kasey Kahne (123.310).

Roush Fenway Racing's Carl Edwards -- who won the last Cup race held at Richmond -- was sixth on the charts at 122.996, while defending race-winner Kevin Harvick notched a time of 122.968 for seventh.

Defending series champion Jimmie Johnson was eighth on the charts at 122.956, while rookie Kyle Larson -- who paced the opening practice Friday morning -- was ninth at 122.884.

Follow Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Pole qualifying at 5:10 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 and be sure to tune in Saturday night for the Toyota Owners 400 (7 p.m. ET, FOX).

Practice 1 | Results

No Sprint Cup Series starts at Richmond? No problem.

Rookie Kyle Larson led the way in opening practice on Friday morning at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway, continuing the torrid start to his premiere series career.

Larson, who entered the weekend with just a pair of Nationwide Series starts at Richmond under his belt, topped a field of 44 cars with a best speed of 126.880 mph, achieved on his third of 70 laps. His speed equated to a time of 21.280 seconds around the 0.75-mile oval.

Former series champion Brad Keselowski (126.192) was second on the leaderboard, while Clint Bowyer -- on his path to redemption at the track where last season's race manipulation scandal took place -- was third on the charts at 125.909.

RELATED: Clint Bowyer on return to site of scandal

Kasey Kahne was fourth at 125.780, while Kevin Harvick, who won the most recent Cup race two weekends ago at Darlington Raceway and is the defending race-winner, was fifth at 125.424.

Series points leader Jeff Gordon struggled in the session, posting a speed of 123.666 to place 25th.

Denny Hamlin, one of the favorites heading into the weekend because of his past Richmond history, ran 67 laps for a best speed of 123.265. He was 28th.

J.J. Yeley, recently inserted into the No. 30 after the Swan Racing shakeup resulted in the car being sold to Xxxtreme Motorsports, was last in the opener at 118.265.


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