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Ambrose ambushes final Texas practice

April 12, 2013, Staff report,

Aussie edges Kyle Busch for best lap; teammate Almirola third

Marcos Ambrose, still seeking an elusive oval-track win, showed plenty of speed in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series final practice Friday at Texas Motor Speedway.


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Ambrose, who won two pole positions last season driving the No. 9 Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports, logged a fast lap of 191.354 mph in the last of two practice sessions on the Fort Worth track. His lap edged the fastest offering from Kyle Busch, who ran a 190.988-mph lap in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

LEADERBOARD: Final Sprint Cup practice

Aric Almirola, Ambrose's teammate with the Petty operation, drove to the third-fastest speed (190.503 mph) in the King's famed No. 43. He was followed by Kurt Busch (190.476), who showed blazing speed in Gen-6 car testing Thursday, and Martin Truex Jr. (190.255), who led Friday morning's first practice for NASCAR's top series.

Kevin Harvick, winless in 20 career Sprint Cup starts at Texas, sputtered with engine failure a third of the way through the 90-minute practice session. His Richard Childress Racing team mounted a new motor in his No. 29 Chevrolet in time for qualifying (6:40 p.m. ET, SPEED) but Harvick will start at the rear of the 43-car field in Saturday night's main event after the engine change.

Clean-up for oil dropped by Harvick's car slowed practice for several minutes.

Series points leader Jimmie Johnson, who won at Texas last fall from the pole position, was 33rd in final practice. Defending Sprint Cup champ Brad Keselowski improved to 10th on the speed chart after placing no better than 25th in any of the previous three on-track sessions.


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