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Menard, Bayne set pace in Kentucky test

June 25, 2014, Staff report, NASCAR.com

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Paul Menard and Trevor Bayne set the pace in two sessions of NASCAR Nationwide Series testing Wednesday at Kentucky Speedway.

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Menard drove the Richard Childress Racing No. 33 Chevrolet to a fast lap of 173.969 mph in the opening 2-hour, 30-minute session. He was just ahead of RCR teammate Brian Scott's second-fastest lap of 173.958 mph, a difference of just two-thousandths of a second.

Bayne upped the speed in the afternoon's three-hour session, pushing his Roush Fenway Racing No. 6 Ford to a 174.137-mph pace. Scott was second-fastest again in the second session, followed by Menard.

Menard notched his first Nationwide Series win since 2006 earlier this month at Michigan International Speedway. Combined with Brendan Gaughan's victory last weekend at the Road America circuit in Wisconsin, RCR carries a modest two-race win streak into this weekend's Nationwide event.

Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski completed the top five on the early speed chart. Gaughan and Keselowski rounded out the top five in the afternoon session.

Nationwide Series points leader Regan Smith was sixth-fastest early and 10th-fastest late.

NASCAR officials opted to give teams the option of extra track time on the the bumpy 1.5-mile track ahead of Friday night's John R. Elliott Hero Campaign 300 (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN). Of the 47 teams on the Nationwide Series entry list, 28 turned laps in the first session and 35 participated in the late session.

The 200-lap, 300-mile race will be the Sparta, Kentucky facility's 16th event for the Nationwide Series. Saturday night, the track will host its fourth race for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the Quaker State 400 (7:30 p.m. ET, TNT).

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