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Bayne tops Nationwide practice opener at 'Dega

May 01, 2014, Staff report, NASCAR.com

Bayne tops Nationwide practice opener at 'Dega
Roush Fenway Racing takes top three spots early; Tommy Joe Martins leads second session

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Practice 1 | Results

Trevor Bayne got off to a good start Thursday, narrowly edging a pair of Roush Fenway Racing teammates to top opening practice at Talladega Superspeedway.

After all, he does have some pretty noteworthy success on restrictor-plate tracks.

The 2011 Daytona 500 winner's best speed of 190.378 mph topped Roush's Chris Buescher (190.370) and Ryan Reed (190.366). Kyle Larson was fourth at 190.121 and David Ragan -- the winner of last year's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event -- was fifth at 189.808.

Points leader and two-time 2014 winner Chase Elliott was 19th on the charts at 184.573, sandwiched by a pair of JR Motorsports teammates in Regan Smith (184.590), the defending race-winner, and Kasey Kahne (184.569).

Sam Hornish Jr., making his first Nationwide start of 2014 in the No. 54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota regularly driven by Kyle Busch, was 12th with a speed of 187.934.

Practice 2 | Results

Tommy Joe Martins paced the second and final Nationwide Series practice of the weekend in a session that featured just 29 cars.

Martins, whose best career Nationwide finish of 30th came at Darlington Raceway last month, topped the charts with a best speed of 185.891 mph, achieved on his 10th of 15 laps.

Jeffrey Earnhardt, still looking for the first top-10 finish of his career, was second on the leaderboard at 185.877 mph. He finished 16th in this race last year. Kyle Larson (185.823), Trevor Bayne (185.226) and Brendan Gaughan (185.136). Bayne paced the first practice with a speed of 190.378.

Coors Light Pole Qualifying is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. Friday (FOX Sports 1).