Friday, March 21, 2014

Johnson fastest in first Fontana practice session

Jimmie Johnson will be looking for his sixth Fontana win
Defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson laid down the fastest lap in Friday afternoon's first practice session at Auto Club Speedway. The fast lap at 188.664 mph came on the first of his seven laps run on the day while in qualifying trim.

Johnson is a five-time winner at Fontana's wide 2-mile layout, including his first ever Cup win in 2002 as a rookie. The El Cajon, Ca. native was listed as the 5-to-1 favorite to win Sunday's Auto Club 400, and based on the practice session, he's also the favorite to win Friday's pole.

Johnson’s fellow Hendrick Motorsports teammate, three-time California winner Jeff Gordon, was second quickest with a lap speed of 188.511 mph. followed by Clint Bowyer (187.774 mph), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (187.740) and Brad Keselowski (187.003).

Rounding out the top-ten fastest drivers in the session were Kevin Harvick (186.645 mph), three-time winner Matt Kenseth (186.446), Kurt Busch (185.926), Brian Vickers (185.744) and two-time winner Tony Stewart (185.219).

No driver ran 10 consecutive laps in the session while Bakersfield, Ca. native Harvick ran the most laps with 22.

The teams will return later today at 7:40 p.m. (ET) for qualifying to determine the starting lineup for Sunday’s race. Those two sessions will be the most important to the wagering equation.

On Saturday, the teams will have two more practices sessions beginning with a 12:30 p.m. – 1:25 p.m. (ET) session, and then their “Happy Hour” (final) session from 3:30 p.m. – 4:20 p.m. (ET).

Cal Practice 1 Speeds

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