Happy Hour cut short by more rain at Dover

Happy Hour was cancelled on Saturday when Mother Nature returned to challenge the Monster Mile after just 15 minutes of final practice.

The session was delayed for five minutes as track workers at Dover International Speedway made repairs to the Turn 3 wall following the K&N Pro Series race. Once the Sprint Cup cars returned to the track, it was Kevin Harvick posting the top lap of 156.033 mph (23.072-sec.) after completing 14 circuits. 

Harvick, who is facing possible elimination from the Chase for the Sprint Cup after two miserable results in the first two races of the playoffs, will roll off 15th in the AAA 400 on Sunday

“I think it's been a really good racetrack for us, performance‑wise, over the last year and a half,” Harvick said. “We have had a couple of freak things happen with the lug nut knocking the valve stem off a couple of times at the same racetrack.  But led a bunch of laps and looking forward to the challenge this weekend.”

Carl Edwards (156.013 mph), Kasey Kahne (155.783 mph), Kurt Busch (155.588 mph) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (155.434 mph) rounded out the top-five in final practice. 

Despite the shortened session, Earnhardt was pleased with the changes the No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports team made on the car between practices. 

"I still have to be too patient or we can work on it where I don't have to be so patient with the front end," Earnhardt said. "Backing up the corner is really nice."

Kurt Busch established the Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average of 154.077 mph, followed by Kahne, Kyle Busch, Edwards and Austin Dillon. 

Chasers Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr. comprised the 10 fastest times on Saturday.  

Jeff Gordon struggled to get up to speed in the last session. The No. 25 Chevy could only muster the 27th quickest time — 23.491-seconds. 

"I was pretty happy with our car that first practice, especially when we had a green track,” said Jamie McMurray, who posted the seventh-best 10 consecutive lap average in Happy Hour. “But the track went through this weird period where rubber got laid down…but you really couldn’t see the rubber. So, I think I feel better about our car prior to running, but that’s also those unknowns of what we’re going to do to get past the way the rubber felt."

CLICK HERE for complete session results

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Event Dover II
Track Dover International Speedway
Article type Practice report