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DATE News (chronologically)
03/08/14
nassprint
McMurray tops final practice in Vegas
Jamie McMurray
Jamie McMurray set the pace in final NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

McMurray, driving the No. 1 Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing, turned a fast lap of 186.942 mph on the 1.5-mile track as speeds dropped off considerably from Coors Light Pole Qualifying the day before.

Rookie Austin Dillon was second-fastest in the No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevy at 186.896 mph, just seven thousandths of a second off McMurray's time. Clint Bowyer, Kasey Kahne and Kevin Harvick -- last weekend's winner at Phoenix International Raceway -- completed the top five on the practice leaderboard ahead of Sunday's Kobalt 400 (3 p.m. ET, FOX).

Rookie Kyle Larson, McMurray's teammate in the No. 42 Chevy, was sixth-fastest. He turned the most laps (62) of any driver in the 63-minute session.

Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, a four-time Las Vegas winner, was seventh-fastest in final practice. Series points leader Dale Earnhardt Jr. was ninth-fastest, Coors Light Pole Award winner Joey Logano 15th-fastest and defending race winner Matt Kenseth 19th-fastest.

The practice session was extended by three minutes after a late caution period when Parker Kligerman's No. 30 Toyota slowed in a trail of smoke off Turn 2.

Vickers, driving the No. 55 Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing, turned a lap of 188.950 mph. He was just ahead of MWR teammate Clint Bowyer, who ran 188.350 mph in the No. 15 Camry.

Brad Keselowski, who clinched the second position for Sunday's Kobalt 400 (3 p.m. ET, FOX) in Coors Light Pole Qualifying on Friday, was third-best in the penultimate practice. Defending Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, a four-time winner on the 1.5-mile Vegas track, was fourth-fastest as Jamie McMurray completed the top five.

Joey Logano, who will start from the Coors Light Pole on Sunday, was 18th-fastest in the early Saturday practice. Defending race winner Matt Kenseth was 26th-fastest.

Cole Whitt triggered the only stoppage in the 50-minute session, walloping the Turn 2 retaining wall with his No. 26 Toyota and forcing his Swan Racing team to go to a reserve car for Sunday's main event. He was evaluated and released from the infield care center.

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