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Harvick fastest in Saturday AM Cup practice at Phoenix

Mar 1, 2014, 12:04 PM EDT

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Inclement weather is expected for today in and around Phoenix, but the Sprint Cup contingent at Phoenix International Raceway caught a break this morning by getting in their second practice of the weekend.

PIR received rain overnight but early morning track drying was able to get the one-mile oval ready in time for the scheduled 9 a.m. MT start of the session.

Kevin Harvick, who has won two of the last three Sprint Cup events at PIR and will start 13th in Sunday’s main event, was fastest in the 50-minute run with a lap of 26.133 seconds in the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet.

Chip Ganassi Racing’s tandem of Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson posted identical hot laps of 26.310 seconds behind Harvick, while Dale Earnhardt Jr. (26.342) and pole sitter Brad Keselowski (26.347) were fourth and fifth-fastest respectively.

Harvick also had the fastest 5 and 10-lap averages in this practice as well, which should bode well for him tomorrow.

Whether the wet stuff can stay away from PIR for the remainder of today’s activity remains to be seen. The Nationwide Series is set to qualify shortly for their 200-lap event later this afternoon at 3:45 p.m. ET. In between is Sprint Cup “Happy Hour” final practice at 2 p.m. ET.

During this morning’s broadcast, Fox Sports relayed word from NASCAR that the 2 p.m. ET Cup practice may be pushed up by 15 minutes to avoid the possible rain.

The National Weather Service in Phoenix has the chance of rain in the Phoenix region today at “near 100 percent” and lists the possibility of up to a half-inch of rainfall.

Video from NASCAR America

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