Kahne fastest again in final Cup practice
May 25, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com
CONCORD, N.C. -- Kasey Kahne laid down another stellar lap to sweep NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practices Saturday, bolstering his credentials as a pre-race favorite in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Kahne, driving the No. 5 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, clocked a fast lap of 188.594 mph in final Sprint Cup practice, significantly slower than the 191.591 mph lap he posted to lead the morning session in cooler temperatures. Sunday, he'll start sixth as he attempts to claim his second straight win and fourth of his career in NASCAR's longest race.
Kurt Busch was second-fastest in final practice as Kahne and Busch reprised their 1-2 finish atop morning practice. Busch registered 188.219 mph in his No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevy.
Denny Hamlin, who won the pole position in Thursday qualifying for Sunday's 600 (6 p.m. ET, FOX), was third fastest at 188.055 mph. He was just ahead of Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Matt Kenseth (188.003), who won the series' most recent points-paying race at Darlington Raceway.
Roush Fenway Racing's Greg Biffle completed the top five in the fastest Ford. Series points leader Jimmie Johnson claimed the eighth-fastest lap.
The 65-minute practice was slowed for a pair of engine troubles, which occurred nearly simultaneously at the midway point. Jeff Burton's No. 31 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet developed an oil leak; Trevor Bayne, scheduled to drive the No. 21 Ford in Wood Brothers Racing's 1,400th start in NASCAR's top division, slowed with engine failure.
Because of the red flag for clean-up, series officials extended the practice by five minutes.
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