Friday, August 20, 2010

Bristol First Practice: Johnson Runs 143 Laps During Two-Hour Session

by Micah Roberts

The first practice session Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway was a lengthy two-hours as the NASCAR Sprint Cup series crams all practices and qualifying into one day in preparation for Saturday’s IRWIN Tools Night Race.

Most of the drivers raced exclusively in race trim. Those who need to qualify well to make the race used part of the session in qualifying trim. Six of the 49 entered drivers will not make it.

David Gilliland had the fastest lap of 120.543 mph early in the session and it held up as the fastest for the rest of practice. Gilliland ran a total of 55 laps. Robby Gordon came in with the second fastest lap late during the session.

Dale Earnhardt Jr found some speed early in practice and held on to be third fastest while running 80 total laps. Five-time Bristol winner Jeff Gordon was fourth fastest while running 95 laps followed by A.J. Allmendinger and Juan Pablo Montoya.

Allmendinger spun out on two separate occasions during the practice with the last one causing some minor damage to the right rear fender. The No. 43 team was hopeful that they would be able to fix the damage and avoid going to a back-up because that particular car -- the same car that finished sixth in Atlanta -- was fast throughout.

The driver who got the most lap time was Jimmie Johnson who took in what looks to be some kind of record with 143 laps in a single session, albeit an abnormal two hours. The Bristol spring race winner had the seventh fastest lap overall.

Bristol Practice Speeds

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