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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – It seems like Greg Pursley came to Daytona International Speedway for the inaugural UNOH Battle At The Beach on a mission.
The 2011 NASCAR K&N Pro Series West champion and 2012 runner-up topped the charts in final practice for the K&N Pro Series on Tuesday with a time of 19.676 seconds for an average speed of 73.186 mph around the .4-mile oval at “The World Center of Racing.”
Pursley, who hails from Newhall, Calif., led two of the three K&N Pro Series practice sessions while his 16-year-old Gene Price Motorsports teammate Cameron Haley led the other.
Fellow K&N West competitor Derek Thorn, out of Lakeport, Calif., was second-fastest in the session with a time of 19.701 seconds (73.093 mph).
As a result of those times, Pursley and Thorn will start from the pole in the two qualifying heat races later today with Pursley getting the nod in the first heat.
Haley finished the session ranked third with a 19.715-second lap (73.041 mph) and was followed by reigning K&N West champion Dylan Kwasniewski, who will tackle the K&N East schedule in 2013, on the board at 19.742 seconds (72.941 mph) while Ben Kennedy posted the exact time. Kwasniewski earns the upper hand by logging the time first.
Kennedy, who is gunning for a K&N Pro Series East championship in 2013, is the son of NASCAR Vice Chairwoman/Executive Vice President Lesa Kennedy and great-grandson of NASCAR founder Bill France Sr., is competing at the facility his family built for the first time. In fact, he is the first member of the France family tree to compete at DIS.
The speeds from the final practice session will be used to set the lineups for the two qualifying heat races. Drivers were permitted to enter the track just once for an unlimited time to establish their best lap.
In the first 45-minute practice session of the day Hayley paced the field way with a time of 19.749 seconds (72.915 mph) followed by Kwasniewski and Pursley.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series will have two qualifying heat races to set the race lineup with the first one getting underway at 5 p.m. ET. The K&N 150-lap main event is slated for approximately 8:30 p.m. ET following the Whelen Modified Tour event. SPEED and MRN will carry the action beginning at 7 p.m. The MRN coverage will also be picked up by SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.