Thursday, May 26, 2011

Burton Fastest in First Charlotte Practice Session

Burton had something working well in Q-trim Thursday
Jeff Burton, with a lap speed of 188.580 mph, was the fastest during the first Coca-Cola 600 practice session at Charlotte. Burton looks to capture his fourth win at Charlotte and third Coca-Cola 600 on Sunday. His last win on the track came in the fall of 2008.

Carl Edwards was second fastest with a lap speed of 188.029 mph, and was followed by Jimmie Johnson (188.009) who was third fastest, Denny Hamlin (187.970) fourth and Ryan Newman (187.728) was the fifth.

Rounding out the top-ten fastest in practice were Brad Keselowski (187.676) who was sixth fastest, Kasey Kahne (187.624) seventh, Clint Bowyer (187.474) eighth, Kurt Busch (187.461) ninth and A.J. Allmendinger (187.363) was tenth fastest.

The teams will return to the track later this evening for their 7:10 PM (EDT) scheduled qualifying session, before returning to the track on Saturday (as there is no track activity on Friday) for their final two practice sessions (11:30 AM – 12:15PM & Final Practice: 12:50 PM 1:50 PM – EDT).

Top 5 Speeds from Thursday's 90 minute practice session:
#31-Burton 188.580
#99-Edwards 188.029
#48-Johnson 188.009
#11-Hamlin 187.970
#39-Newman 187.728
#21-Stenhouse Jr. was 12th fastest
slowest: #81-Riggs 180.234 & #37-Raines 181.026

Complete List of First Practice Speeds

Driver Quotes Following First Practice Session

TONY STEWART ON HOW HIS CAR IS FOR SUNDAY: “I think it’s pretty good. I’m pretty happy with the balance so far in race trim. It’s just staying focused on what we’re doing. There have been so many distractions in the last week and a half, and everybody wants to talk about Kansas or something else that doesn’t pertain to anything that we’re doing right now, that it’s hard to focus on it.”

STEWART ON THE 600 BEING A LONG RACE IF THE CAR ISN'T RIGHT: “500 miles is a long time when you’re car’s not right. I’m not sure that we’re practicing in the heat of the day here for qualifying tonight; so that’s why we’ve got Saturday to work on the race stuff.”

RYAN NEWMAN ON THE TEMPO OF THE RACE AND LEADERS BREAKING AWAY: “I think a big part of that depends on the caution flags when you get bunched back up, because you can have a bad run on your second fuel run and be one of the slowest cars on the track if you pulled the lead out and still stay out front. So a good part of it is the restarts because the restarts are so chaotic it seems. But yeah, a team can dominate with or without the temperature change and the track change and everything else. The guy who leads the most laps might only lead 50 of them, you just never know.”

NEWMAN ON KYLE BUSCH SPEEDING TICKET: “My point about the license part of it is if you don’t have to have a driver’s license to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, then, no matter what, it’s DMV (Department of Motor Vehicle) related in my opinion. If he would have clobbered a mail box at 128, then that is a Federal situation. There are different ways of looking at it is my point. If something was to happen to it…it is just a private car incident that has no affect on his eligibility to drive a Sprint Cup car or a Nationwide car. But, to me, it is a very gray area in reference to the police officer and what he did as to how he got away as clean as he did. I think that is probably your judgment question. If it was you running 128 in a 45, would he have treated you the same way? Every officer has to answer that question a different way depending on who he is dealing with.”

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