Dillon, Bowman nab top practice speeds
June 07, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com
NEWTON, Iowa -- Austin Dillon paced the field in Friday’s second NASCAR Nationwide Series practice, turning in a best lap time of 23.181 seconds (135.887 mph) in a contested session on Iowa Speedway’s .875-mile oval.
In the final practice for Saturday’s DuPont Pioneer 250 (8 p.m. ET, ESPN), every driver that finished in the top 25 on the speed chart logged at least 30 laps in the 80-minute time trial. Qualifying for the race is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. ET on Saturday.
Dillon, who finished fifth in the first practice earlier Friday afternoon, charged to the lead of the pack during a late flurry of changes on the leaderboard. When the dust settled, four Chevrolets -- including Dillon’s No. 3 -- claimed spots in the top five.
Brad Sweet, driving the No. 5 for JR Motorsports, finished the session second with a speed of 135.583 mph. Fellow Chevrolet driver Kyle Larson, who logged 61 laps, was fourth with a speed of 135.402 mph and Brian Scott was fifth with a speed of 135.147 mph in his No. 2 car for RCR.
Parker Kligerman finished third in the final session in his No. 77 Toyota (135.519 mph) for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
Alex Bowman, who led the early practice session, finished sixth in the final go-round. Behind him rounding out the top 10 were Elliott Sadler, Trevor Bayne (the top Ford), series points lead Regan Smith and Brian Vickers.
Earlier Friday, Bowman was the leader in logged laps in Practice 1. That allowed him to lead a more important category -- best lap.
Bowman posted the best time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series’ opening practice with a speed 135.008 mph (lap time of 23.332 seconds) on his 37th lap of the session. Pacing practice is nothing new for Bowman, who did so twice at Charlotte Motor Speedway in late May.
The series’ opening practice on the .875-mile track was delayed for 25 minutes -- and then extended five minutes past the original ending time -- for a quick repair on the track.
Larson was just behind Bowman, posting a time of 23.553 seconds (133.741 mph) in his No. 32 Chevrolet on his 36th lap to finish second on the speed chart.
Veteran Kenny Wallace -- like Bowman, driving a RAB Racing Toyota -- sped to the third spot on the practice grid with a late run of 23.637 seconds. Wallace, who has 538 career Nationwide Series starts, is driving his third race in the series this weekend.
In the No. 12 Penske Racing Ford, Sam Hornish Jr. posted the fourth-fastest speed of the afternoon (133.159 mph) and was one of four drivers to top the 133-mph barrier.
Dillon, who logged just three laps and was atop the leaderboard for a spell, was fifth at 132.878 mph in the No. 3 Chevrolet.
Rounding out the top 10 were sixth-place Kevin Swindell, Max Papis, Travis Pastrana, Joey Logano and Smith.
Logano, the only NASCAR Sprint Cup Series regular driving this week, made it in time for the first practice. A washed-out day at Pocono Raceway allowed the 23-year-old to hop on a plane and make it to Iowa in time for the opening session.