Newman fastest in Charlotte Happy Hour

Ryan Newman posted the fastest lap during final practice for Nextel Cup teams at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Newman's lap of 189.460 mph was a full mile-per-hour quicker than Tony Stewart; who was second fastest. "There's no doubt it (the track) was ...

Ryan Newman posted the fastest lap during final practice for Nextel Cup teams at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Newman's lap of 189.460 mph was a full mile-per-hour quicker than Tony Stewart; who was second fastest. "There's no doubt it (the track) was fast," said Newman. "There's not much difference (with faster speeds). The spotter just has to take under consideration that if there's a crash the car might hit one or two more times before it comes to rest because of the speeds, but as far as fast cars and slow cars, that's not going to really change. "They've just got to be on their toes because if something happens it's going to happen fast on the racetrack." Point leader Stewart clocked in with a lap of 188.871 mph.

"It's got a lot more grip and it's a lot faster for sure. The good thing is we're not seeing the problems we had in testing," commented Stewart who wrecked two cars during testing at Charlotte a few weeks ago.

Johnson topped the first Friday practice and was third quickest in Happy Hour.

"We're tight behind other cars," said Johnson who posted a lap of 188.462 mph. "I really haven't been in a big pack or anything. It's what you typically expect, and I don't expect anything out of the ordinary."

Due to an engine change, Johnson will have to start at the rear of the field on Saturday night.

Jeff Gordon and Kyle Busch complete the top five.

"We've struggled on the mile-and-a-half and two-mile tracks this year, but we ran really well during the event here in May," Gordon said. "I don't know if it was due to the 'levigating,' but we really hit on something in our setup."

Speeds were down considerably from Friday's practice session where the top cars topped the 190-mph mark; and Johnson's team ran a 193-mph before blowing an engine in their primary car.

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Tony Stewart , Ryan Newman , Kyle Busch