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Larson sets pace in final practice at Michigan

June 14, 2014, Staff report,

Chevrolet sweeps leaderboards in both Saturday Sprint Cup sessions

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Rookie Kyle Larson set the pace in final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice Saturday at Michigan International Speedway, turning a 198.424 mph lap as speeds subsided somewhat in the afternoon heat.

Larson, in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, continued his strong showing at the 2-mile track. While he qualified just 12th in the 43-car field, he was also fourth in the next-to-last practice for Sunday's Quicken Loans 400 (1 p.m. ET, TNT).

Jeff Gordon was second-fastest for the second straight session at 198.265 mph in the Hendrick Motorsports No. 24 Chevy. Coors Light Pole Award winner Kevin Harvick was third with next-to-last practice leader Jimmie Johnson fourth in a 1-2-3-4 sweep of the leaderboard by Chevrolets.

Brian Vickers again was the fastest non-Chevy, claiming fifth in the Michael Waltrip Racing No. 55 Toyota.

Joey Logano, the defending race winner, continued to lag in 22nd place on the leaderboard.

David Stremme, slowest of the 43 cars to participate in final practice, slowed with a minute left in the 50-minute session with mechanical trouble in the No. 33 Circle Sport Racing Chevrolet.

Johnson tops penultimate practice at Michigan

With almost half of the field surpassing the 200-mph mark, speeds continued to be high at Michigan International Speedway in preperation for Sunday's Quicken Loans 400 (1 p.m. ET, TNT). Jimmie Johnson took the top speed of the morning, with a fastest lap of 202.054 mph in his No. 48 Chevrolet.

Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jeff Gordon followed on the leaderboard, his lap of 201.726 mph putting the No. 24 second on the leaderboard. A slew of Chevrolets followed, with Kevin Harvick (201.556 mph), Kyle Larson (201.489 mph), Kasey Kahne (201.354 mph) and Tony Stewart (201.106 mph) taking third through sixth.

Brian Vickers' Toyota was the first non-Chevrolet on the leaderboard in seventh.

The red flag flew about seven minutes into practice, when Brett Moffitt spun out in Turn 2. He was in the seventh-fastest position when the incident occured. Moffitt's No. 66 Toyota didn't hit the wall, saving the team from having to move to a backup car. Moffitt ended the session 15th-fastest.

Defending race-winner Joey Logano struggled again in practice, his 199.077 mph lap putting him in the 31st spot on the leaderboard. He finished 26th-fastest in the first practice session of the weekend but will start the race in the top 10.