Brad Keselowski Runs Fastest in Watkins Glen NNS Practice

Brad Keselowski Runs Fastest in Watkins Glen NNS Practice

by August 8, 2014 0 comments

 Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. — With a lap of 72.123 seconds, Brad Keselowski (Team Penske) thrashed the competition in the opening practice for the Zippo 200 at the Watkins Glen International Circuit in Watkins Glen, New York.

Keselowski bested Paul Menard (Richard Childress Racing) and Marcos Ambrose (Richard Petty Motorsports) by over four tenths of a second with his quick lap that was completed in the closing stages of the 80-minute session. The top-five speeds of the session were run by Sprint Cup Series regulars who have entered tomorrow’s Zippo 200 for more experience ahead of Sunday’s Sprint Cup race – the Cheez-It 355 at the Glen.

Keselowski was joined in the top-10 by teammate Joey Logano, who ran the seventh-quickest lap of the session with a lap of 72.781 seconds. Richard Childress Racing was the only other team in the field that placed all of their drivers entered for the weekend in the top-10 of the session. Menard led the way for the group with his lap of 72.531 seconds while rookie Ty Dillon would run sixth-fastest and Brian Scott and Brendan Gaughan closing out the top-10 in ninth and 10th.

Ambrose led throughout a majority of the session but would be beaten out by Menard and Keselowski in the closing moments of practice. Ambrose would still run a competitive lap time of 72.561 seconds to place third on the speed chart.

While the Sprint Cup regulars took to the track quickly, the Nationwide Series regulars had a bit more trouble getting up to speed. Dillon was the quickest series regular with his lap of 72.699 seconds, but would be over half of a second off of Keselowski’s session-pacing time. Fellow series regular, rookie, and championship contender Chase Elliott (JR Motorsports) would run slightly behind Dillon on the speed chart in the eighth position with his lap of 73.020 seconds. Second and third-place drivers in the standings Regan Smith (JR Motorsports) and Elliott Sadler (Joe Gibbs Racing) would run the 12th and 16th-fastest laps of the session.

A final practice session of 80 minutes is scheduled to kick off at 2:10 p.m ET at the circuit.

Top-10 First Practice Speeds for the Zippo 200

  1. 22 – Brad Keselowski(i) – Ford – Team Penske – 72.123 | Leader
  2. 33 – Paul Menard(i) – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing – 72.531 | -0.408
  3. 09 – Marcos Ambrose(i) – Ford – Richard Petty Motorsports – 72.561 | -0.438
  4. 54 – Kyle Busch(i) – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing – 72.629 | -0.506
  5. 20 – Matt Kenseth(i) – Toyota – Joe Gibbs Racing – 72.644 | -0.521
  6. 3 – Ty Dillon# – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing – 72.699 | -0.576
  7. 12 – Joey Logano(i) – Ford – Team Penske – 72.781 | -0.658
  8. 9 – Chase Elliott# – Chevrolet – JR Motorsports – 73.020 | -0.897
  9. 2 – Brian Scott – Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing – 73.110 | -0.987
  10. 62 – Brendan Gaughan –  Chevrolet – Richard Childress Racing – 73.157 | -1.034

# = Rookie, (i) = Ineligible for NASCAR Nationwide Series points.

Kyle Pokrefky
Follow Kyle Pokrefky on Twitter at @KPokrefky

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