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Truex trumps Dale Jr. in first Texas practice

April 12, 2013, Staff report,

Last year's pole-starter shows speed in opening session

Martin Truex Jr. jumped to the top of the leaderboard Friday afternoon at Texas Motor Speedway, leading the first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice on the 1.5-mile track.


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Truex, the pole-starter at Texas last April, edged Dale Earnhardt Jr. atop the practice chart with a fast lap of 192.143 mph in the No. 56 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. Earnhardt, who scored his first victory in NASCAR's top series at Fort Worth in 2000, was second-fastest with a lap of 192.123 mph.

LEADERBOARD: Sprint Cup practice results

Earnhardt was just ahead of teammate Jimmie Johnson, who won from the pole position at Texas last November. Johnson, the series' points leader, registered a 191.510-mph lap in another Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.

Jamie McMurray, driving for Earnhardt Ganassi Racing, landed the fourth-fastest lap at 191.347 mph with Kevin Harvick (190.853 mph) right behind as Chevys claimed the next four spots behind Truex in the opening 90-minute session.

Carl Edwards, Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle -- sixth through ninth -- were the only other drivers to eclipse the 190-mph plateau. Edwards, in a Roush Fenway Racing Ford, leads the all-time win list at Texas with three victories. Biffle, who won last April at Texas in another Roush entry, was also fastest during the last of two test sessions for the new Gen-6 Sprint Cup car Thursday.

Defending Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski, who lagged during Thursday's testing, continued to search for elusive speed. Keselowski -- 28th and 30th in the two test sessions -- was only 25th-best of the 45 drivers who made laps in Friday's opening practice.

Friday's first practice was red-flagged just after the 60-minute mark for a piece of debris in the racing groove in Turn 3.


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