Saturday, June 18, 2011

David Stremme Tops Final Michigan Practice Charts

David Stremme fastest during Happy misprint.
David Stremme, who has to qualify on time to make the starting lineup for Sunday’s NSCS Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400, was the fastest during the final practice session at Michigan International Speedway, with a lap speed of 185.428 mph,.

Stremme was followed by two other “go or go home” drivers, J.J. Yeley (185.095) who was second fastest and Travis Kvapil (184.554) who was third fastest, followed by Jimmie Johnson (184.516) fourth fastest and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (184.417) the fifth fastest.

Rounding out the top-ten fastest during “Happy Hour” were Mark Martin (184.407) who was sixth fastest, Joe Nemechek (184.280) seventh, Greg Biffle (184.091) eighth, Kurt Busch (184.087) ninth and Robby Gordon (183.997- required to qualify on time) was tenth.

The teams will return to the track Saturday afternoon for their 1:10 PM (EDT) scheduled qualifying session to determine the starting lineup for Sunday’s race (which is scheduled to get underway a little after 1:00 PM – EDT).

Top-5 Happy Hour
#30-Stremme 185.428
#46-Yeley 185.095
#38-Kvapil 184.867
#48-Johnson 184.516
#88-Earnhardt, Jr. 184.417
slowest: #60-Skinner 180.950 & #13-Mears 180.288
notes: #20-Logano lost an engine during the session. #31-Burton got loose and was hit in the rear by #6-Ragan. Niether car suffered serious damage. Logano practiced #11-Hamlin's car late in the session for some additional practice time while his crew changed the engine in his car.

Ragan Fastest in First Michigan Practice

Ragan fastest during first Michigan practice (Getty)
David Ragan, with a lap speed of 186.601 mph, was the fastest in the first NSCS Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips 400 practice session at Michigan International Speedway.

A.J. Allmendinger was second fastest on the speed chart with a lap speed of 186.591 mph, and was followed by Kevin Harvick (186.519) who was third fastest, David Reutimann (186.461) fourth fastest and Kasey Kahne (186.249) was the fifth fastest.

Rounding out the top-ten fastest in practice were Kurt Busch (185.878) who was sixth fastest, Regan Smith (185.778) seventh, Matt Kenseth (185.706) eighth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. (185.701) ninth and Trevor Bayne (185.519) was tenth fastest.

Top-5 1st Friday Practice
#6-Ragan 186.601
#43-Allmendinger 186.591
#29-Harvick 186.519
#00-Reutimann 186.461
#4-Kahne 186.249
slowest: #32-Bliss 179.614 & #92-Keselowski 178.838.
This session will set the qualifying order for Saturday's qualifying, with slowest out first and fastest out last, all cars, the field is not separated by top-35 in owners points anymore.



TONY STEWART ON HIS PRACTICE SESSION: “We ran through a couple different packages so it should be interesting. We got the next hour and a half to figure out what we want to end up with. But definitely working through some stuff for sure.”

DENNY HAMLIN ON HIS PERFORMANCE OF LATE: “It feels good being more competitive here the last six, seven weeks or so. Obviously, last week we didn’t finish it off like we felt like we could have or should have, but still things are positive in the sense that we are running better and contending for victories over these last five of six weeks of so. That part of it is encouraging. Obviously, we enjoy coming here to Michigan because it’s such a raceable race track and so that part it’s always fun coming here because of that.”

CARL EDWARDS ON BEING A TWO-TIME WINNER BUT STRUGGLING IN PRACTICE: “Thanks, I really appreciate that. What an introduction folks. We are actually okay on the longer run. We didn’t get to run any blistering fast laps. We tried to do that the first practice to set ourselves up for a good starting spot if it were to rain tomorrow but we couldn’t go fast enough. The good news is our teammates are really fast in qualifying trim. We will lean on those guys a little bit. We had some tire trouble so we were working on that in practice two. We thought that was really important to figure out and make sure we don’t have that. The left front outer shoulder of the tire was getting hot and coming apart. That could be a big factor in the race if we don’t get that figured out. We focused on that and focused on trying some things we wanted to try and then at the end we worked on the balance pretty hard. I think we have a car that can race pretty well.”

DALE EARNHARDT JR ON WHO WILL BE EXCITED MORE WHEN HE FINALLY GETS WIN, THE MEDIA OR THE FANS: “I’ll get excited. I’ll be pretty excited. I remember. I have always felt like you celebrate every win like it could be your last. You never know what happens or what could happen in this sport so I always have torn down Victory Lane every time we’ve been there. I’m proud to have that kind of accomplishment when we win a race in this sport. We definitely have enjoyed it every time. If we get the opportunity again this year, we’ll do it.”

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