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Rookie Bowman settles in atop practice leaderboard

NASCAR.com

Related: Practice results

CONCORD, N.C. -- Rookie Alex Bowman continued his speedy start to his first NASCAR Nationwide Series season, leading Thursday afternoon's first practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Bowman, driving the No. 99 Toyota for team owner Robby Benton, turned a lap of 184.483 mph around the 1.5-mile track in preparation for Saturday's History 300 (2:45 p.m. ET, ABC). Bowman also turned the second-fastest lap speed in Wednesday's four-hour test session.

Parker Kligerman was second-fastest Thursday for Kyle Busch Motorsports at 184.420 mph in a 1-2 sweep of the speed charts by Toyota. Sam Hornish Jr. (183.287) was third-best in the No. 12 Penske Racing Ford.

Austin Dillon and Kasey Kahne completed the top five in a pair of Chevrolets. Kyle Busch -- the series' most recent winner, at Darlington Raceway -- was eighth-fastest in a Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.

Series points leader Regan Smith managed to post just the 31st-fastest speed of the 45 drivers who participated in the session.

The two-hour, 20-minute practice was slowed once by John Wes Townley's solo spin on pit entry. He continued without making contact with the retaining wall.

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