Inclement weather in the Dover area delayed the start of NEXTEL Cup practice, but a brief clearing allowed NASCAR to get it in just in the nick of time. Rain showers all morning soaked the "Monster Mile", but track drying efforts got underway...
Inclement weather in the Dover area delayed the start of NEXTEL Cup practice, but a brief clearing allowed NASCAR to get it in just in the nick of time. Rain showers all morning soaked the "Monster Mile", but track drying efforts got underway around 10:30 and the surface dried enough for Cup practice to begin at 11:30 am.
Cup practice was slowed once when the No. 94 of Stanton Barrett lost an engine and laid fluid down on the racetrack. After a short delay, Cup cars once again got back to business, with Kurt Busch and the No. 97 Roush Ford team posting the day's top time.
Busch's lap of 155.474 mph just eclipsed pole sitter Jeremy Mayfield's lap of 155.186 mph.
"The Sharpie team has done a great job transitioning from our test to today's activities. It was overcast when we were testing here, so it's helping our effort out," commented Busch.
Busch qualified the Sharpie Ford 11th for Sunday's event.
"We've always been pretty good at Dover," said Mayfield, who charted the second quickest effort. "We finished second there last fall. We tested two cars there a few weeks ago and both of them were great. I think our Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge is going to have a good race."
Casey Mears was third fastest with a lap of 155.179 mph in the No. 41 Ganassi Dodge.
"I'm looking forward to this weekend," said Mears. "Although we haven't had good finishes at Dover in the Target Dodge in the past, I think we will do well. I made a rookie mistake last year, but we felt we still had a good car and a good set-up. Dover's tough, but it's also a fun track."
Tony Stewart and Jeff Burton complete the top five.