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Harvick paces Sprint Cup practice at Kansas

October 04, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com

Kyle Busch, Johnson finish second and third during practice session

RELATED: Full Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage | Results | Qualifying order

Editor's Note: Practice 1 results are the test results 

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Kevin Harvick led Friday's practice session at Kansas Speedway, posting a fastest lap of 185.223 mph in his No. 29 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.

Harvick, who is fourth in the points standings, led for nearly the entire 90-minute session.

Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson felt like a winner, too, although he came in third on the grid, one spot behind Kyle Busch (185.179 mph).

Johnson, who posted the fastest time during Thursday's testing session for the new Goodyear multi-zone tread tire, took a solo spin less than 10 minutes into practice. He got loose in Turn 4 and shot up plumes of smoke as he spun out, but Johnson avoided hitting the wall and kept his primary car unscathed. He later posted a best lap of 185.134 mph.

At the end of practice, Johnson's machine lost power on the track and was smoking as Johnson wheeled it off into the garage. The engine didn't blow up, though.

"It's been an eventful morning," Johnson told FOX Sports 1. "Just spun out trying real hard early on, got things back under control. … Then as I was coming in, I saw some smoke in the mirror and I could smell it. It's a radiator, oil issue … nothing wrong with the engine, but certainly a scare."

Two drivers not in the Chase playoff completed the top five, with Mark Martin fourth (185.103 mph) in the No. 14 Chevrolet, and Brad Keselowski fifth in his No. 2 Penske Racing Ford with a speed of 184.710 mph.

Rounding out the top 10 were Kurt Busch (184.697 mph), Jeff Gordon (184.666 mph), Carl Edwards (184.470 mph), Ryan Newman (184.420 mph) and Martin Truex Jr. (184.382).

Series points leader Matt Kenseth was among the Chase drivers who struggled to find speed. He finished 13th in his No. 20 Toyota after a late mock qualifying run, but was out of the top 15 for most of the afternoon. Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 12th in the practice session.

Postseason drivers posting speeds outside of the top 20 included Joey Logano (21st), Greg Biffle (25th), Kasey Kahne (26th) and Clint Bowyer (30th).

Friday's session was the lone practice before qualifying at the 1.5-mile track, which is scheduled to begin at 5:10 p.m. ET (ESPN2) later in the day.

Two practices are scheduled for Saturday -- one at 11 a.m. ET (FOX Sports 2) and one at 1:50 p.m. ET (FOX Sports 2) -- with the Hollywood Casino 400 taking place Sunday at 2 p.m. ET (ESPN).


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