NASCAR is taking over Las Vegas. Well, sort of, though the cabbies weren't too happy with the shutdown of Las Vegas Blvd. on Thursday night.
Here's the news as it happens from Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Friday:
9:28 a.m. PT: Bomb-sniffing dogs are walked through the media center. Seriously.
9:50: Greg Biffle has acquired partial ownership of Sunset Speedway - a dirt track in Banks, Ore.
10:04: Carl Edwards is a new father. His wife gave birth to Anne Edwards on Wednesday.
10:05: Edwards also has a new crew chief on the Nationwide Series. It's Drew Blickensderfer, who last week was jettisoned as Matt Kenseth's Cup crew chief.
10:14: Rain is expected on Saturday, which could wipe out the final Sprint Cup practice and possibly the Nationwide race. On the Cup side, that means teams won't spend much time in qualifying trim today. It will be race trim only.
10:23: Kevin Harvick says the turnaround at Richard Childress Racing dates back to last year at Indianapolis. Prior to that, RCR had begun building a new fleet of cars. Indy was when they finally unveiled the first.
While Harvick is happy to be sitting in the points lead, he says the introduction of the spoiler next month will challenge every team in the garage.
11:20: Jimmie Johnson, when asked if it bothers him when people say he was lucky to win last weekend at California: "Nah, the hell with 'em."
11:30: First Sprint Cup practice begins at Noon PT.
11:35: Danica Patrick is 22nd fastest midway through the first Nationwide practice.
11:51: Patrick finished the first Nationwide practice session 23rd fastest.
12:20 p.m.: The early leader in Sprint Cup practice is ... Dale Earnhardt Jr. They're only 20 minutes into practice and we're not sure if Junior is in qualifying trim. Regardless, it's a positive step for the 88 team.
12:30: Kevin Harvick has scraped the wall. Doesn't look like he will have to go to a backup car.
1:00: Jimmie Johnson has moved to the stop of the speed chart. Earnhardt Jr. remains seconds.
1:23: Juan Pablo Montoya has moved to the top of the speed chart.
2:30: Jeff Gordon has no idea how one of his trophies ended up on "Pawn Stars." He insists he never gives away trophies. He's going to launch an investigation and get back to us.