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Vickers, Kurt Busch fastest in Saturday Cup practices

July 13, 2013, Staff report,

MWR driver, former Cup champion divide leaderboard honors



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Part-time Sprint Cup driver Brian Vickers recorded the best lap in final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

Vickers, driving the No. 55 Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing, clocked a lap of 133.417 mph in final preparation for Sunday’s Camping World RV Sales 301 (1 p.m. ET, TNT) on the 1.058-mile track. He’ll start 13th in the 43-car field.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was second-fastest at 133.212 mph in the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, just ahead of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Matt Kenseth (133.207), who ranked second-fastest after Saturday’s early practice for NASCAR’s top series.

Clint Bowyer was fourth-best in another Waltrip Toyota with series points leader Jimmie Johnson, who will start last after his qualifying time was disallowed because of a technical violation, completing the top five.

Kurt Busch, who led Saturday’s early Sprint Cup practice, was 14th-fastest in the second session in the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet. He turned the most laps (59) of the 41 drivers who participated in the last practice.

Coors Light Pole Award winner Brad Keselowski, the series’ defending champion, was 11th in Saturday’s first practice and 21st in the closing session. Kasey Kahne, last year’s winner of the 301-lapper, was 13th-fastest in the first Saturday practice and ninth-best in final practice.

Jamie McMurray looped his No. 1 Earnhardt Ganassi Racing Chevrolet and smacked the third-turn wall with about 15 minutes left in the hour-long session. A cut left-rear tire triggered the incident, making it two EGR cars with damage in pre-race practice. His teammate Juan Pablo Montoya crashed just five minutes into opening practice Friday.


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