Saturday, October 29, 2011

One and only practice at Martinsville

Credit: John Harrelson/Getty Images for NASCAR
Rain put a damper on qualifying for the TUMS Fast Relief 500, but did not fully cancel on track activities Saturday. Sprint Cup cars hit the track for their first and only practice of the weekend, trying to dial in their cars prior to the green flag on Sunday.

Starting by points, the twelve Chase contenders will be up front and hope that will be an added advantage. "Qualifying, I think, is one of the most important parts of this race and it's no secret that's been a tough thing for me and Matt, as well," Edwards said. "So I think it's best-case for us that we get to start on the front row. ... No matter how much we have to work on the car or things we have to do, that first pit stall will be great."

Happy Hour was not very happy for Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle, who made contact on and off track. Initially, Biffle ran into the back of Harvick’s car and later Harvick hit the back of Biffle. Spilling over into the garage, Harvick pulled alongside of Biffle, then pulled ahead of Biffle to block his access to the his garage stall.

After Biffle emerged from his car, he headed towards Harvick’s garage stall where a crowd of gawkers gathered. The drivers spoke – but will the air be cleared when they hit the short track tomorrow? Harvick sits 5th in points and is just -26 points behind Carl Edwards, Biffle’s Roush Fenway racing teammate.

This was not the only problem for Harvick, his car also had ignition box issues earlier in practice, forcing the No. 29 to the garage for changes. 

Topping the leaderboard for practice, Michael McDowell and the No. 66 Victory Junction Toyota. McDowell will start in the 40th position on Sunday.

Happy Hour results:
  1. Michael McDowell
  2. Clint Bowyer
  3. Jimmie Johnson
  4. Jamie McMurray
  5. Scott Speed
  6. Paul Menard
  7. David Stremme
  8. Juan Pablo Montoya
  9. Jeff Gordon
  10.  Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  11. Kurt Busch
  12. David Reutimann
  13. A J Allmendinger
  14.  Denny Hamlin
  15. Kyle Busch
  16.  Joey Logano
  17. Martin Truex Jr.
  18. David Ragan
  19. Marcos Ambrose
  20. Greg Biffle
  21. Bobby Labonte
  22. Kasey Kahne
  23. Ryan Newman
  24. Matt Kenseth
  25. Kevin Harvick
  26. Jeff Burton
  27. Regan Smith
  28. Brad Keselowski
  29. Carl Edwards
  30. Mark Martin
  31. Brian Vickers
  32. Tony Stewart
  33. Casey Mears
  34. Landon Cassill
  35. Reed Sorenson
  36. J J Yeley
  37. Dave Blaney
  38. Mike Skinner
  39. Ken Schrader
  40. David Gilliland
  41. Travis Kvapil
  42. Joe Nemechek
  43. Hermie Sadler

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