Kurt Busch fastest in Dover Happy Hour

Reigning NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion Kurt Busch turned the fastest lap during the final two practice sessions at Dover International Speedway. Busch paced the field with a lap of 154.939 mph in the No. 97 Roush Ford. Busch dropped to 10th...

Reigning NASCAR Nextel Cup Series champion Kurt Busch turned the fastest lap during the final two practice sessions at Dover International Speedway. Busch paced the field with a lap of 154.939 mph in the No. 97 Roush Ford.

Busch dropped to 10th in the Chase for the Championship after a wreck with the No. 10 of Scott Riggs on the third lap last week in Loudon leading to a 35th-place finish.

Busch is now 142 points behind Tony Stewart with nine races remaining. Busch's first start in the Cup series came at Dover International Speedway in 2000, where he qualified 10th and finished 18th. Busch won the inaugural Craftsman Truck Series race at Dover earlier that same weekend.

"When I first started out in the Cup series, Dover was one of my favorite tracks," said Busch. "I made my first Cup start there in 2000 and we qualified well at 10th place, and went on to finish 18th, so it was a solid way to kick off our Cup series efforts. I had won earlier that weekend in the inaugural truck race at Dover, but since then we haven't had the same success there.

"It's a track similar to Bristol, almost like a bigger brother to that track being a mile in length at Dover versus a half-mile in Bristol, but our success at Bristol hasn't translated as well to Dover."

Jimmie Johnson had the second quickest time with a lap of 154.905 mph. Johnson starts fifth in Sunday's event.

"I can't thank my crew guys enough," Johnson commented. "They work so hard to get some speed in the car and make the car comfortable for me. And that's a hard thing to do, so I've got to thank Chad Knaus and all the crew guys on the Lowe's team for a great race car."

Mark Martin, pole sitter Ryan Newman and Kyle Busch complete the top five fastest times.

"I think everybody knows I love this track," said Martin. "We're always excited about coming to race here. It's always been a race track that I love to race on. I haven't always had the best result, but since we've learned how to keep the air in the tires, we've had good results almost every time."

Bobby Hamilton, Jr. lost his No. 32 Chevy on the front straight, crashing into the inside wall and slowing final practice.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Bobby Hamilton , Tony Stewart , Kurt Busch , Ryan Newman , Jimmie Johnson , Scott Riggs , Chad Knaus , Kyle Busch , Mark Martin