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Harvick tops both Saturday Pocono practices

June 07, 2014, Staff report, NASCAR.com

Harvick tops both Saturday Pocono practices
Oil leak forces Harvick's team to change transmissions

MORE: Pocono 400 lineup | Friday's practice results
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SPRINT CUP SERIES FINAL PRACTICE | RESULTS


After topping Saturday's opening practice, Kevin Harvick led the final practice for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono 400 at Pocono Raceway (1 p.m. ET, TNT). Harvick posted a fast lap of 175.606 to lead the way once again.

Stewart-Haas Racing looked strong in final practice as in addition to Harvick, Kurt Busch (second, 175.545 mph), Tony Stewart (fourth, 175.370 mph) and Danica Patrick (11th, 174.206 mph) were all in the top 11 on the speed chart.

There was a bit of a concern for Harvick's No. 4 team early in final practice. A transmission oil leak forced his team to change transmissions, according to FOX Sports 1. Changing transmissions will not force him to go to the back of the field. He is set to start on Row 2 from the fourth position.

Jimmie Johnson (175.452 mph) was third on the speed chart, while Ryan Newman (175.145 mph) was fifth.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. reported that he was still having a vibration issue despite changing tranmissions. However, he was sixth in the final practice.

After a lackluster showing in Saturday's opening practice and failing to make it out of the first round of qualifying on Friday, Matt Kenseth finished eighth. Polesitter Denny Hamlin was 10th in final practice.

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A caution came out about five minutes into final practice for a spin in Turn 3 involving Alex Kennedy.

Another caution came out when Aric Almirola got stalled on the track with about 15 minutes left in the 50-minute session. His No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports team will also need to change transmissions after it was initially feared he lost an engine.

David Ragan was in the No. 34 car for all of the final practice after Mike Bliss took some laps for him in the day's opening practice. Bliss is on standby for Ragan at Pocono as Ragan's wife is pregnant and he may need to miss the race.


SPRINT CUP SERIES PRACTICE 2  | RESULTS


Kevin Harvick topped Saturday's 60-minute, opening practice for the Pocono 400.

Harvick turned in a fast lap of 177.291 mph to top the speed charts. Harvick was third in Friday's lone practice session. Topping the speed chart is something Harvick's team, led by crew chief (and birthday boy) Rodney Childers, have done quite often in practice this season.

Brad Keselowski, who will also start in Row 2 with Harvick, was second in practice with a fast lap of 177.211 mph. Keselowski was also second in Friday's practice. Brian Vickers was third with a fast lap of 177.085 mph. Vickers topped the Friday practice session.

Carl Edwards (176.661 mph) and Tony Stewart (176.571 mph) rounded out the top five.

Kurt Busch made it three Stewart-Haas Racing cars in the top 10 for the practice session. Busch, who will start on the front row Sunday, was ninth in the session.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. was reporting a vibration issue during the session and his Hendrick Motorsports team was planning on changing the transmission in between practice sessions. He was 13th in the session.

Polesitter Denny Hamlin was 22nd in practice as the Joe Gibbs Racing stable as a whole did not show a ton of speed in the session. Teammates Kyle Busch was 23rd and Matt Kenseth was 27th.
 

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