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Truex paces “Happy Hour” at Las Vegas

Mar 9, 2013, 5:00 PM EDT

Martin Truex Getty Images

Martin Truex Jr. led today’s Sprint Cup final practice session at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a top speed of 188.383 miles per hour in the No. 56 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota.

Truex, who will start 11th in tomorrow’s Kobalt Tools 400 at LVMS, paced the session ahead of the series’ most recent winner, Carl Edwards (187.007 mph), Las Vegas’ own Kyle Busch (186.845 mph), championship leader Jimmie Johnson (186.528 mph), and one of Truex’s teammates, Mark Martin (185.816 mph).

The starting grid for the race was set primarily by last year’s owner points after steady rains washed away qualifying on Friday, which gave Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer the front row. Keselowski was only 21st-quickest in “Happy Hour,” while Bowyer posted the sixth-fastest lap of the session (185.803 mph).

In Saturday’s morning practice, Kasey Kahne (eighth-fastest in the afternoon) was the quickest in his No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, followed by Greg Biffle, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, and Carl Edwards. Kahne starts fourth on Sunday.

The Cup teams will be going into tomorrow at a bit of a deficit on track time. Outside of an extended test-and-tune session on Thursday at LVMS (which saw some teams use different cars than what they’ll use in the race), today’s two practices served as the only time for teams to get everything squared away before their big 400-miler.

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