Johnson tops shortened final Cup practice
July 26, 2014, Staff report, NASCAR.com
Looking for his record fifth Brickyard 400 victory, Jimmie Johnson appears to have the right car under him to win Sunday's Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard after topping a rain-shortened final Sprint Cup Series practice Saturday morning at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The session, which was originally set to run from 9-10:50 a.m. ET, got underway after the track was dried by a team of 20 Air Titans shortly before 10:30 a.m. and ran until 11 a.m.
Johnson paced the field with a best speed of 189.298 mph, achieved on his first of five total laps. A trio of Hendrick Motorsports drivers landed in the top five, with fellow four-time Brickyard winner Jeff Gordon (187.856) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (187.758) placing fourth and fifth, respectively. The series' most recent winner Brad Keselowski (188.494), in second, and Kevin Harvick (188.363), in third, completed the top five.
Last year's Brickyard winner Ryan Newman placed 19th with a best speed of 186.154 mph. Richard Childress Racing teammate and former Indy winner Paul Menard (185.701) ran 22 laps, while Brian Vickers (184.873) ran a session-high 23.
Coors Light Pole Qualifying gets underway at 2:10 p.m. ET with coverage on ESPN. Watch the Crown Royal Presents the John Wayne Walding 400 at the Brickyard Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN.