Friday, February 17, 2012

Kenseth Fastest in First Budweiser Shootout Practice

Five car wreck in the first Budweiser Shootout practice on Friday (Getty)
The main goal from today's Budweiser Shootout practices was to see how the new changes would affect the two-car tandem racing. Would it still remain that the fastest way around the track with with two-cars bumper to bumper or would pack racing come back as the quickest way.

Those answers weren't clearly discovered, but we did learn that the a few changes did help create the five-car crash towards the end of practice. Drivers weren't allowed to communicate with each other like last year and the constant movement behind a driver's bumper to cool off their smaller radiators helped cause the wreck. Perhaps NASCAR wanted it that way so the drivers understand the repercussions of staying too close and hope they'll be cautious and police it themselves.

Either way, it should make for an exciting race Saturday night.

The second Bud Shootout practice only got a few minutes in before rain with Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya freight-training themselves to the top slot.

First Bud Shootout Practice:
#17-Kenseth 201.762
#31-Burton 201.739
#34-Ragan 200.151
#1-McMurray 199.858
#39-Newman 199.592

Slowest: #48-Johnson 190.706 & #88-Earnhardt Jr. 196.416

Notes: 45 minutes into the practice, #14-Stewart pushed the #51-Busch, #51 went sideways, collecting the #14 along with #2-Keselowski, #18-Busch and #22-Allmendinger. Looks like #2, #14, #18 and #22 will go to backup cars.
#88-Earnhardt Jr. stayed off track for about 20 minutes at the start, then got on the track and teamed up with #48-Johnson.

Bud Shootout Practice Speeds


TONY STEWART, NO. 14 MOBIL 1/OFFICE DEPOT CHEVROLET, was involved in a multi-car accident during the first practice that damaged primary car, and the team is making repairs to the car:

WHAT HAPPENED? “I was pushing the ‘51’ car and he had to move a little bit, but I’m still the one pushing him so I’m responsible for it.”

NOW WHAT? WHAT’S THE CAR LOOK LIKE AND ARE YOU GOING TO GET OUT IN THE SECOND PRACTICE? “I don’t think we’re going to get out in the second session. They say they can get it fixed. I feel really confident in our fab shop and we have a lot of really good guys from the shop here at Stewart-Haas. We’ll get this Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevy back together.”

KURT BUSCH, NO. 51 TAG HEUER AVANT-GARDE CHEVROLET, was involved in a multi-car crash during the first practice session, and will go to a back-up car.

WHAT HAPPENED? “It was just a deal where Tony (Stewart) was trying to help. And we were just trying to learn the draft and a couple of slow cars were emerging in front of us and I slid up to go around them and I thought it was smooth but I got turned around. So now we’ll just bring out the back-up. These guys have worked really hard to try to prepare as many cars as we can just to prepare for circumstances like this. There is just a lot of hard work and with the limited number of cars that we have, we just don’t need to have wrecked cars. But, thanks to Tag Heuer for jumping into the (Budweiser) Shootout. We’ll have our Tag Heuer car ready for tomorrow.”

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