Friday, April 9, 2010
Hamlin Fastest in First Phoenix Practice Session; Mears Takes a Few Laps in The No. 11
Hamlin had surgery last week to repair a torn ACL ligament and there is some uncertainty whether he will be in the car for the entire race.
Mears times were close to what Hamlin had put on the board and the team should feel confident that Mears could do a nice job feeling in if needed.
For the final 10 minutes of practice, Hamlin's crew put on qualifying trim, one of the only cars to do so in the first session, and put up the top speed. The others were some of the start and park drivers like Michael McDowell who had the second fastest lap after running only two laps for the entire session. Tony Stewart also tried a qualifying set-up just as the session ended but didn't improve his times as drastically as Hamlin did.
Stewart also spun out with fresh tires on a very slick surface coming around turn four midway through the practice but didn't hit anything or do damage to the car.
The final practice should be interesting as every team will be mixing up race and qualifying set-ups throughout.
Top 5 Speeds From First Phoenix Practice Session
1) #11-Hamlin 131.210 mph
2) #66-McDowell 130.274
3) #1-McMurray 130.110
4) #2-Busch 130.025
5) #88-Earnhardt, Jr. 129.992