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Keselowski leads way in final Talladega practice

May 03, 2013, Staff report,

Defending race winner tops Happy Hour session

Related: Aaron's 499 practice speeds | Qualifying order | Complete Talladega coverage

Brad Keselowski claimed the fastest lap in final practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Friday afternoon at Talladega Superspeedway.


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Keselowski, the defending series champion and winner at Talladega last spring, turned a fast lap of 195.896 mph on the 2.66-mile Alabama track in his No. 2 Penske Racing Ford in preparation for Sunday's Aaron's 499 (1 p.m. ET, FOX), the 10th race of the season.

Speeds were down in the final one-hour session from the opening 45-minute practice. Carl Edwards turned a 199.675 mph lap in the first practice, which would have been good for the fastest Sprint Cup pole speed since Bill Elliott ran a 199.388 mph lap under different engine restriction rules in 1990.

David Stremme posted the second-fastest lap at 195.544 mph in the No. 30 Swan Racing Toyota. Kasey Kahne, Aric Almirola and Travis Kvapil completed the top five.

Only 27 drivers made practice laps in the second session, compared to 44 in the opening practice. Denny Hamlin, injured since a last-lap crash at Auto Club Speedway on March 24, did not participate in final practice after making his first laps since the accident in the earlier session.

Series points leader Jimmie Johnson, a two-time winner at Talladega, was 19th-fastest in final practice.


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