Friday, April 29, 2011

Earnhardt Jr. Fastest in First Richmond Practice Session

By Micah Roberts

Junior fastest in first Richmond practice
Dale Earnhardt Jr. laid down the fastest lap of 125.465 mph early in Friday’s first practice session in preparation for Saturday night’s Crown Royal 400 at Richmond. The two-hour practice session was the first of scheduled practices prior to Friday night’s qualifying.

In order to get a jump on several of the other teams for an optimum late start in qualifying, most of the top speeds were set within the first few laps using qualifying trim. The idea for many of the teams was to set their fastest times early when the track was much cooler with less rubber build-up. The final 45 minute session figures to much hotter and have two hours of rubber build up from 44 cars, which won’t have the same grip as it did earlier.

Teams that didn’t go early with their qualifying set-up either ran one later in the first session or will attempt a mock qualifying run in the final practice.

Since their idea proved correct, because the top times stood throughout, they will likely have the top speeds of the day which allows them to qualify later when the track will be cooling down tonight. Qualifying order is based on the top practice speeds of the day. For Earnhardt Jr,, should the times stick through the final session, he will have the chance to run when the track is expected to be at it’s coolest moment.

Friday's First Practice Top-5:
#88-Earnhardt Jr. 125.465
#99-Edwards 125.313
#33-Bowyer 124.994
#27-Menard 124.711
#39-Newman 124.608
slowest: #71-Lally 120.085 & #92-Keselowski 120.930
incident: #11-Hamlin scraped the wall, but no major damage. (

Practice 1 Results

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