Race Weekend Central

Menard, Bayne Lead Nationwide Open Test Sessions

On Wednesday, Kentucky Speedway’s bumpy track surface played host to two open test sessions for the Nationwide Series. However, with 5.5 hours of testing available before the official race weekend began, a number of teams chose to take it easy.

Paul Menard, last seen in the series at Michigan, where he emerged victorious, was fastest in the morning session with a lap of 31.040 seconds (173.969 mph), followed by RCR teammate Brian Scott. Ryan Blaney was third, despite tweeting that the track surface gave him a nosebleed. Chase Elliott and Brad Keselowski rounded out the top-5. Only 28 of the 47 teams entered this week turned in laps.

Speeds were a little bit higher during the three hour afternoon session. There, Roush Fenway Racing’s Trevor Bayne was fastest with a lap of 31.010 seconds (174.137 mph). Scott was again second, followed by Menard. Road America winner Brendan Gaughan was fourth quickest, while Keselowski was again fifth. 35 of the 47 entries turned in laps. That number included all 28 that turned in laps in the first session.

12 teams chose to skip the open test sessions all together. They were the No. 01 of Landon Cassill for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller, TriStar Motorsports’ No. 10 for Jeff Green, Carl Long’s own No. 13, Vision Racing’s No. 17 for Tanner Berryhill, Rick Ware Racing’s No. 23 for Josh Reaume, The Motorsports Group’s No. 40 for Josh Wise, and Jeremy Clements’ own No. 51. In addition, Jimmy Means Racing’s No. 52 for Joey Gase, Viva Motorsports with Frank Cicci/SS-Green Light Racing’s No. 55 for Jamie Dick, Carter Racing’s No. 72 for Matt Carter, Mike Harmon Racing’s No. 74 for Kevin Lepage and Identity Ventures Racing’s No. 87 for Joe Nemechek.

About the author

Phil Allaway has three primary roles at Frontstretch. He's the manager of the site's FREE e-mail newsletter that publishes Monday-Friday and occasionally on weekends. He keeps TV broadcasters honest with weekly editions of Couch Potato Tuesday and serves as the site's Sports Car racing editor.

Outside of Frontstretch, Phil is the press officer for Lebanon Valley Speedway in West Lebanon, N.Y. He covers all the action on the high-banked dirt track from regular DIRTcar Modified racing to occasional visits from touring series such as the Super DIRTcar Series.

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Wow, maybe the eventual series “champion” will actually finish 6th, 6 laps behind the cup parade! I just cannot figure out how a racing series without competition and no identity could be shedding viewers like fleas jumping off a swimming dog.

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