Dan Wetzel:

Stenhouse shows the way in Sprint Showdown practice

NASCAR.com

CONCORD, N.C. -- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. led Friday's practice for the Sprint Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Stenhouse, driving the No. 17 for Roush Fenway Racing, posted a fast lap of 188.881 mph.

Jamie McMurray was second at 186.968 mph in the prelude to qualifying for Saturday night's Sprint Showdown that will determine two of the final entries into the Sprint All-Star Race.
 
Jeff Burton, Juan Pablo Montoya and Mike Bliss rounded out the top five in the practice session, the only one scheduled for the Showdown at the 1.5-mile speedway before qualifying.
 
Participants in the Sprint Showdown have not met one of the qualifications for entry into the Sprint All-Star Race, but to participate in the Showdown they needed to have placed either in the top 55 in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points in 2012 or attempted a Cup race in 2013.
 
Twenty-three cars participated in practice Friday. The top two finishers in the Sprint Showdown, set for 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday and televised on SPEED, will make the field for the Sprint All-Star Race, 9 p.m. ET Saturday.
 
The final spot in the Sprint All-Star Race will go to the winner of the Sprint Fan Vote.

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