NSCS: Earnhardt Jr. Rises to the Top; Hendrick Motorsports Driver Paces Second Indianapolis Practice

Jacob Seelman Featured, Midwest, NASCAR 0 Comments

SPEEDWAY, Ind. — Report by Race Chaser Online Managing Editor Jacob Seelman — NASCAR photo —

Dale Earnhardt Jr., whose father won the 1995 running of the Crown Royal presents the Jeff Kyle 400 at the Brickyard, channeled his family’s long legacy at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway to lead the second practice session for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Friday.

Earnhardt’s lap of 49.596 seconds (181.466 mph) topped all comers as the two-time season winner looks for his first win in one of NASCAR’s crown jewel races on Sunday (3:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN).

2012 Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski followed Earnhardt on the speed charts, with his time of 49.601 seconds (181.448 mph) just five one-thousandths of a second off of the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Earnhardt’s teammate Kasey Kahne was third-quick, at a clip of 49.612 seconds (181.408 mph).

Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson (49.620/181.378) and Michael Waltrip Racing’s Clint Bowyer (49.633/181.331) rounded out the fast five.

All five drivers are looking for their first-career Brickyard victory at the Cup level, though Keselowski won the inaugural XFINITY race at IMS in 2012.

Five-time Brickyard 400 champion Jeff Gordon, Martin Truex Jr., David Ragan, Ryan Blaney and Jamie McMurray rounded out the top ten on the pylon, with four-time winner and six-time series champion Jimmie Johnson in 11th.

Denny Hamlin, who paced the opening practice session, had issues at the very start of the second session — when his hood blew up into the windshield and damaged his No. 11 FedEx Toyota.

“It completely blew apart,” Hamlin said immediately over the radio. “Killed the windshield, killed everything. It’s just practice, so I think I could manage [seeing through the scratches left on his windshield], but we’ll see.”

NASCAR determined that the bizarre incident was caused by Hamlin’s hood nto being properly pinned down prior to the machine entering the race track.

The incident drew a red flag for debris, after the hood splintered and left a carbon-fiber chunk on the inside groove of the frontstretch, but Hamlin’s crew installed the hood from his backup car onto the primary and Hamlin ultimately returned to the track to post the 12th-fastest speed in the session.

Defending Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick was 14th overall, while defending NASCAR XFINITY Series champion Chase Elliott clocked in 17th on the board in preparation for his fourth Cup start of the 2015 season.

Final practice for Sprint Cup Series teams kicks off at 4 p.m. Eastern, live on NBCSN.


RESULTS: NASCAR Sprint Cup Series; Practice No. 2; Indianapolis Motor Speedway; July 24, 2015

  1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  2. Bard Keselowski
  3. Kasey Kahne
  4. Kyle Larson
  5. Clint Bowyer
  6. Jeff Gordon
  7. Martin Truex Jr.
  8. David Ragan
  9. Ryan Blaney
  10. Jamie McMurray
  11. Jimmie Johnson
  12. Denny Hamlin
  13. Danica Patrick
  14. Kevin Harvick
  15. Matt Kenseth
  16. Tony Stewart
  17. Chase Elliott
  18. Casey Mears
  19. Kyle Busch
  20. Carl Edwards
  21. Austin Dillon
  22. Paul Menard
  23. Greg Biffle
  24. Kurt Busch
  25. Ryan Newman
  26. Michael McDowell
  27. Trevor Bayne
  28. Cole Whitt
  29. Joey Logano
  30. A.J. Allmendinger
  31. Landon Cassill
  32. Brian Scott
  33. Matt DiBenedetto
  34. Aric Almirola
  35. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
  36. Jeb Burton
  37. Sam Hornish Jr.
  38. J0sh Wise
  39. Brett Moffitt
  40. Justin Allgaier
  41. Alex Bowman
  42. Michael Annett
  43. David Gilliland
  44. J.J. Yeley
  45. Reed Sorenson
  46. Timmy Hill


About the Writer

Jacob Seelman is the Managing Editor of Race Chaser Online and creator of the Motorsports Madness radio show, airing at 7 p.m. Eastern every Monday on the Performance Motorsports Network. Seelman grew up in the sport, watching his grandparents co-own the RaDiUs Motorsports NASCAR Cup Series team in the 1990s. He is currently studying Broadcast Journalism at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., and is also serving as the full-time tour announcer for both the United Sprint Car Series and the Must See Racing Sprint Car Series.

Email Jacob at: speed77radio@gmail.com

Follow on Twitter: @Speed77Radio or @JacobSeelman77

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