Edwards tops Sprint Cup practice despite scrape
August 31, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com
HAMPTON, Ga. -- Carl Edwards is still fast at Atlanta Motor Speedway -- but his No. 99 car has a few scrapes to show for it.
The front-row qualifier for Sunday night's race was quick again in the first of Saturday's two Sprint Cup Series practice sessions, but scraped up the right side of his vehicle when he slapped the wall. Edwards' crew performed repairs, and the team did not go to a backup car. The only other incident in the session occurred when Joey Logano cut a tire, but he made it to pit road without any further problems.
"This place is a blast," Edwards said, "I just got ahead of myself a little bit."
Edwards topped the charts with a speed of 183.430 mph. Kasey Kahne was second, followed by Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer and Matt Kenseth. Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kevin Harvick and Greg Biffle rounded out the top 10. Ricky Stenhouse Jr., who earned his first Sprint Cup pole in qualifying Friday, matched his car number by running 17th in the session.
Other contenders for berths in the Chase for the Sprint Cup included Logano, who was 11th-fastest; Jeff Gordon, who was 15th; Kurt Busch, who was 16th; Dale Earnhardt Jr., who was 22nd; and Martin Truex Jr., driving with a cast on his right arm after breaking a bone in his wrist in a crash last week at Bristol, who was 26th.
Denny Hamlin's team changed the engine in the No. 11 car after the session, which means he will have to give up his fourth-place starting position and start at the rear in Sunday night's race.
The Sprint Cup cars have one final practice slated for 6 p.m. Saturday. The AdvoCare 500 is scheduled for Sunday at 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)