News & Media

Jimmie Johnson fastest in opening practice

May 31, 2013, Holly Cain,

Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch continue to battle with second- and third-fastest speeds

DOVER, Del. -- Jimmie Johnson led Sprint Cup Series opening practice at Dover International Speedway on Friday setting the tone for what could be a historic weekend for him.

Johnson’s No. 48 Lowe’s/Monster University Chevy set fast time at the Monster Mile with a quick lap of 159.603 mph. His Hendrick Motorsports teammate Kasey Kahne was second fastest in the No. 5 Farmers Insurance Chevy at 159.447 mph.

The Busch brothers, Kyle (Toyota) and Kurt (Chevy) were next fastest with Chevrolet’s Jamie McMurray rounding out the top-five.

Johnson sat atop the speed chart the entire practice, boding well for his race day efforts. A victory in Sunday’s FedEx 400 Benefitting Autism Speaks would make him the all-time winningest driver in the storied history of the track, breaking a tie at seven wins he currently shares with NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and Bobby Allison.

Last week’s winner Kevin Harvick was 19th fastest in practice. Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 16th and Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart were 32nd and 36th   quickest with Ryan Newman again leading the SHR efforts with the ninth best lap in practice.

There were no incidents in the hour and a half session that saw temperatures nearing 90 degrees -- a morning so hot that crews were putting 5-pound ice bags on the wheels to cool them down.

Qualifying is scheduled for 3:15 ET on SPEED. The race will air Sunday at 1 p.m. on FOX.



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