Rookie tops first Texas Nationwide practice

NASCAR.com

RELATED: Full practice results " Qualifying order

FORT WORTH, Texas -- Alex Bowman, looking to match his spring showing at Texas Motor Speedway, topped the leaderboard in the first of two Friday NASCAR Nationwide Series practices ahead of the O'Reilly Auto Part Challenge. His earlier showing at the track earned the rookie his first career pole.

The 20-year-old Bowman ran his 21st and final lap with a speed 182.180 mph, besting runner-up Ty Dillon's speed of 182.082 mph.

Parker Kligerman (182.070) was third. Sam Hornish Jr. (181.947), currently just eight points behind points leader Austin Dillon, and Penske Racing teammate Brad Keselowski rounded out the top five.

Kyle Busch (181.665), who swept both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series races here in the spring, was seventh on the chart. Dillon (181.507) was eighth.

Reigning Nationwide champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr., making his first series start of the season, was 11th with a speed of 180.783 mph. His Roush Fenway Racing teammate Trevor Bayne (180.765) was right behind him in 12th.

Sprint Cup Series points leader Matt Kenseth (180.548), who finished sixth in the spring Nationwide race, was 13th. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin, who will be making his first series start of the season but had two top-five finishes here last season, was 14th.

Currently third place in the standings but 52 points back, Regan Smith was 15th with a speed of 180.343 mph.

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