NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series rookie Colin Braun placed his No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford F-150 atop the 37-machine Kentucky Speedway speed chart during today's opening practice for tomorrow night's "Built Ford Tough 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers."

The Ovalo, Tex., driver, who will enter tomorrow's event holding the lead in the series rookie-of-the-year standings, turned his best practice lap at 171.532-mph (31.481 seconds). He was followed by three-time NCTS champion Jack Sprague with a 170.132-mph (31.740 seconds) lap in the No. 2 American Commercial Lines Chevrolet.; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings leader Kyle Busch in the No. 51 Miccosukee Resorts/NOS Energy Drink Chevrolet with a 169.918-mph (31.780 seconds) lap and veteran Rick Crawford in the No. 14 Circle Bar Truck Corral/Powerstroke Diesel Ford F-150 with a 169.790-mph (31.804 seconds) lap.

Braun will start tomorrow night's event 15th in the NCTS standings. He posted his season-best third-place finish at Kansas Speedway April 26 and tacked on three additional top-10 finishes. He earned his most recent top-10 with a sixth-place showing at Michigan International Speedway June 14, but he placed 31st and 29th respectively in the races that followed on The Milwaukee Mile June 20 and at Memphis Motorsports Park June 28.

"We had our No. 6 Con-way Freight Ford set up in race trim and I was kind of surprised at our mock (qualifying) run, but we'll take it. All the guys have been working hard back at the shop over these past few off weeks and it showed. We've shown we can run fast and strong at these mile-and-a-half tracks," he said.

He said his primary "Built Ford 225 Presented by the Greater Cincinnati Ford Dealers" race goal is to get his team back on solid series footing.

"We've struggled to put together some of the finishes we need, but this weekend we're focused on finishing and collecting some points," Braun said.

Qualifying for tonight's ARCA RE/MAX "Kentucky 150" is up next at the track and will be followed by NCTS final practice at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets for tonight's race will be on sale up until race time at the speedway main entrance.

Story by Mike Schmaltz

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