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from Texas Motor Speedway
Roush Fenway Racing's Chris Buescher ended Friday at Texas Motor Speedway with the fastest time of any of the NASCAR Nationwide drivers as the series gets back to work after two weekends off.
Buescher set his best time toward the end of the first 50-minute morning practice session, clocking in at 29.019s (186.085mph) on the 1.5-mile Texas Motor Speedway to put him 0.130s ahead of Cup regular Joey Logano.
Logano had been top of the timesheets for much of the session up to that point, but was also responsible for bringing out the sole caution of the session when his #22 Penske Ford began to send up smoke signals.
Buescher's team mate Trevor Bayne was next fastest, two tenths of a second off the fastest time of the day, making it a Ford 1-2-3 ahead of a brace of Richard Childress Racing Chevys driven by Austin Dillon and Brian Scott.
Dillon improved in the 90-minute afternoon session and ended up with topping the timesheets with a lap of 29.108s (185.516mph), making him the second fastest man of the day overall after Buescher's earlier effort.
Logano was the model of consistency, repeating his morning second place, and Bayne was once again in third place albeit this time three tenths back from the best time of the session. Fourth place was once again claimed by an RCR driver, this time Brendan Gaughan in the #62 car, while fifth went to Turner Scott Motorsports' Dylan Kwasniewski.
Kyle Busch was sixth fastest in the afternoon in the #54 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, an improvement on his morning effort which had resulted in the 14th fastest time of first practice, which had put him one spot ahead of championship leader Chase Elliott in the #9 JR Motorsports Chevy.
Elliott seemingly wasn't able to make much progress in the afternoon and ended up 17th fastest of the 42 drivers at work in the session. Elliott is seeking to protect his 42 point lead at the top of the Nationwide championship standings, but the good news for the 18-year-old is that his closet rival (and team mate) was one spot further back in afternoon practice.
Quaifying for this weekend's 200-lap O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge race will take place on Saturday morning, with the race itself scheduled for 2.30pm local time (7.30pm GMT).
It'll be the first race outing for the Nationwide Series since the Drive for the Cure 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway on October 11. That race was won by Brad Keselowski who just edged Kyle Busch in the final run to the line.
Keselowski is not competing in this week's Nationwide race while he focusses instead on saving his 2014 Sprint Cup Chase campaign form a premature end, but Busch - who was eliminated from title contention two weeks ago at Talladega - will be doing triple duty with appearances in the Cup and Truck races as well as the Nationwide event.
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See full practice 2 results from Texas
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