Leffler, Braun Pace "Meijer 300 presented by Ritz" Practice
Braun Racing's Jason Leffler and Roush Fenway Racing 's Colin Braun paced the first and final NASCAR Nationwide Series practice sessions at Kentucky Speedway on "Click It or Ticket. Buckle-Up! Kentucky Practice Night."
Leffler, who will make his sixth Kentucky Speedway Nationwide Series start in tomorrow's "Meijer 300 presented by Ritz," topped the opening session chart with a 173.166-mph (31.184 seconds) circuit in the No. 38 Great Clips machine. He placed his Nationwide Series track-best sixth in the 2009 300-mile tilt after starting 11th. Braun was second on the chart in the first session with a 172.883-mph (31.235-seconds) lap in the No. 16 Con-way Ford. Danny O'Quinn, Jr., and his No. 90 D'Hondt-Humphrey Motorsports Chevrolet layed down the third-quickest lap in the session at 172.839-mph (31.243-seconds).
Roush Fenway crew chief Jason Ratcliff refined Braun's No. 16 race set-up and helped his 22-year-old driver lead the second session with a 175.154-mph (30.830 seconds) lap as temperatures cooled in the Kentucky twilight. Justin Allgaier tore off the second-fastest lap in the closing session at 174.921-mph (30.871 seconds) in the No. 12 Penske Racing machine and Reed Sorenson was third after generating a 174.842-mph (30.885 seconds) lap in the No. 32 Braun Racing ride.
Braun will make his Kentucky Speedway NASCAR Nationwide Series debut in tomorrow's "Meijer 300 presented by Ritz." He made two previous starts at the track in the 2009 and 2008 225-mile NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events. He placed 20th last season after his truck was involved in a Lap 134 crash and 16th the year before.
The Ovalo, Tex., driver will make his 10th Nationwide Series start of 2010 tomorrow coming off his season-best 10th-place finish at Dover International Speedway May 15.
"We didn't make a qualifying run in that first practice, but we did in the second. We picked up some speed and we just have a really good car. My crew chief has done a really nice job of figuring out how the track was going to change (with the temperature) and he made some good adjustments. The biggest thing for us today was being able to drive the car hard and make it driveable, not so much perfect, but ready for the race," Braun said.
Tickets for tomorrow's "Meijer 300 presented by Ritz" will go on sale at the speedway gates beginning at 1:00 p.m., tomorrow.
Speedway gates will open at 2:00 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series drivers will sign autographs at 2:30 p.m., on the display midway, Sawyer Brown will entertain fans with its rich portfolio of country favorites at 6:00 p.m., and prerace festivities get underway at 7:30 p.m. Cincinnati Bengals linebacker and Travel Channel star of "Dhani Tackles the Globe" Dhani Jones will give 43 drivers the command to start engines before the green flag waves for the "Meijer 300 presented by Ritz" at 8:15 p.m.
Story by Mike Schmaltz
~Kentucky Speedway ~