Saturday, June 25, 2011

Keselowski Fastest in Final Sonoma Practice, But McMurray Shines The Brightest on Day

McMurray's got a little more grip than the others at Sonoma
Brad Keselowski topped the charts with the fastest lap in Saturday's final Sonoma practice session with a lap speed of 91.725 mph. Keselowski's fastest lap came with about 25 minutes remaning in the 75 minute session.

The star of the day, though, continued to be Jamie McMurray who finished with the second fastest lap of 91.623 mph. McMurray was fastest in the first session of the day and through the first 15 laps didn't have decreasing lap times as much as the other drivers did. After qualifying second on Friday, McMurray attributed his fast time to having lots of grip, something that most of the other drivers complained they had a lack of.

Kurt Busch continued his strong weekend with the third fastest time (91.591), followed by Juan Pablo Montoya (91.560) and Clint Bowyer (91.361). Montoya, using last years winning chassis from Watkins Glen, was running 17th best until the last 20 minutes of the of the session.

Rounding out the top-ten fastest during “Happy Hour” were Martin Truex Jr (91.339), Ryan Newman (91.331), Kevin Harvick (91.296), Jeff Burton (91.262) and Jeff Gordon (91.207).

The Las Vegas 4-to-1 favorite to win Sunday, Marcos Ambrose, was 15th best and last years Sonoma winner Jimmie Johnson finished 22nd quickest.

Kurt Busch had the fastest average speeds, followed by Bowyer, Truex Jr and McMurray. Bowyer and Truex Jr. each ran considerably less laps than Busch and McMurray which enhances their average speeds. However, average speeds aren't as solid a tool for handicapping road courses during practices as they are for the ovals.

Keselowski ran the most laps in the final session with 31 followed by Burton's 30 and Johnon's 29. McMurray ran 28 laps.

Final Practice Speeds

McMurray Fastest in Saturday's early Practice Session

Jamie McMurray, with a lap speed of 92.295 mph, was the fastest during Saturday's early practice session at Infineon Raceway.

Second fastest with a lap speed of 92.073 mph, was Kurt Busch, followed by Clint Bowyer (91.785), Kyle Busch (91.781) and AJ Allmendinger (91.695).

Rounding out the top-ten fastest in practice were Paul Menard (91.658) who was sixth fastest, Matt Kenseth (91.631), Ryan Newman (91.501), Denny Hamlin (91.436) and Jeff Burton (91.424).

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