Blaney fastest in final practice

Blaney fastest in final practice

Dave Blaney piloting the No. 23 Bill Davis Racing Dodge posted the fastest time in Happy Hour today at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Cooler temperatures dimmed speeds from yesterday, but Blaney still managed to post a lap of 187.595 miles per ...

Dave Blaney piloting the No. 23 Bill Davis Racing Dodge posted the fastest time in Happy Hour today at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Cooler temperatures dimmed speeds from yesterday, but Blaney still managed to post a lap of 187.595 miles per Hour.

Dave Blaney and Ryan Newman.
Photo by Eric Gilbert.
Blaney takes the green flag from 14th position for tomorrow's running of the fourth round in the 2004 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.

Casey Mears, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch and Ward Burton complete the top five times in the final practice session.

Pole sitter Ryan Newman was only ninth fastest with a lap of 185.810 mph. Newman is looking to rebound from a couple of weeks of bad results in the No. 12 Dodge.

"We struggled with the balance at Rockingham," said Newman. "And we struggled with it last week at Vegas. We just haven't hit the setup quite right, but it's coming around. Part of it is from the tires and part of it is from other things. You've just got to learn how to stay ahead of the game."

Rookie Brian Vickers had a scare in today's morning practice. What was originally thought to be an engine problem turned out to be drive shaft issues that will not now require an engine change. Vickers will maintain his second place starting spot.

"The speed here is amazing," said Vickers. "It's definitely probably the fastest track we go to. I love it. I think that varies from driver to driver. It doesn't really bother me that much. I don't get out of breath or get white-knuckled or anything.

"Sometimes, you get just as much of that feeling at a place like Bristol. It has the sensation of being one of the fastest tracks even though it may not be. Here, it's definitely a place where you can get out of breath."

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ward Burton , Kevin Harvick , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Casey Mears , Brian Vickers , Eric Gilbert , Dave Blaney
Teams Bill Davis Racing