Friday’s first practice for Sprint Cup cars concluded under a mostly clear sky, and 1998 Las Vegas Cup winner Mark Martin had the fastest lap.
The 50-year-old driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet completed a lap in 29.298 seconds (184.313 mph). He was one of 31 drivers to go faster than the time of last year’s winning pole effort of 29.613 (182.352).
The track qualifying record was set two years ago at 29.212 seconds (184.856 mph) by Kasey Kahne.
Fifty-one Cup cars recorded practice laps. …
Las Vegas native Brendan Gaughan of Rusty Wallace Racing was fastest in the afternoon’s Sam’s Town 300 Nationwide Series practice session.
His best lap was of 30.423 seconds (177.497 mph).
Gaughan’s teammate, Steve Wallace, posted the ninth-fastest effort.
KURT BUSCH WINS BEFORE RACING BEGINS
Kurt Busch posted a victory in town before NASCAR racing began Friday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Busch joined with Kyle Johnson, Matt Jaskol and Scott Rhoden to win the first Sprint for the Kids indoor endurance go-kart race at Pole Position Raceway.
The event raised $30,000 for Victory Junction Gang Camps through the Kurt Busch Foundation.
The winning team finished five laps ahead of the runner-up.
“Everybody had a smile on their face. It was quite pleasing,” Kurt said.
“My other objective was to give a couple (young racers) the chance to show their go-karting skills. You may hear their names down the road. One of those is Kyle Johnson … a kid here locally. Another is Matt Jaskol, who has been racing around here in Vegas for quite some time in stock cars and open-wheel cars. He’s 23 years old and looking for a big break.
“I’m not out there soliciting for him, I just think the kid is a good driver and he can use a break.