Kyle Busch Leads Nationwide Practice As Super Weekend Opens
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series star Kyle Busch was the fastest driver Thursday, July 26 in practice for the Indiana 250 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Busch led both sessions on the 2.5-mile oval, posting a top overall speed of 175.836 mph in the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota during the final 90-minute practice.
"It felt really good," Busch said. "The car's fast, obviously. It's run well all day. We've just been trying to work on it to make it better in the long run. You've got to be snug here to be fast because the place is so flat. But, overall, it feels stable. Hopefully it will stay with us all day Saturday."
The inaugural Nationwide Series race at IMS is scheduled to start at 4:50 p.m. Saturday.
Busch was one of four full-time Sprint Cup Series competitors among the five fastest drivers Thursday. His older brother, 2004 Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch, was second at 174.700 in the No. 1 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, followed by Kasey Kahne at 174.639 in the No. 38 Great Clips Chevrolet.
2006 Indianapolis 500 winner Sam Hornish Jr. was the first Nationwide regular, fourth at 173.695 in the No. 12 Alliance Truck Parts Dodge. Hornish also will drive the No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Dodge in the Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard Powered by BigMachineRecords.com NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race Sunday due to the indefinite suspension of full-time Penske Racing Cup driver A.J. Allmendinger.
Sprint Cup regular Denny Hamlin rounded out the top five at 173.671 in the No. 18 SportClips Toyota. Hamlin was the only driver in the top five to record his fastest speed in the opening 3 ½-hour practice session.
Indianapolis 500 veteran Danica Patrick was 13th in the final practice at 171.916 in the No. 7 GoDaddy.com Chevrolet. This is Patrick's first race at IMS since the 2011 Indianapolis 500, as she is competing full time this season in the Nationwide Series.
GRAND-AM Road Racing will take center stage Friday during the Kroger Super Weekend at the Brickyard, with practice, qualifying and two races on the 13-turn, 2.534-mile Grand Prix road course. The Brickyard Sports Car Challenge for the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge starts at 1 p.m., while the Brickyard Grand Prix for the Rolex Sports Car Series starts at 4:10 p.m.