FOUR DODGES LEAD THE WAY IN FIRST PRACTICE -- Dodge drivers Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray, Kasey Kahne and Casey Mears led the way in the first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup practice session Saturday morning. Newman was clocked at 166.523 mph on his second lap.
FOUR DODGES LEAD THE WAY IN FIRST PRACTICE -- Dodge drivers Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray, Kasey Kahne and Casey Mears led the way in the first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup practice session Saturday morning. Newman was clocked at 166.523 mph on his second lap. McMurray hit 166.326 mph on his third lap. Kahne's third lap was at 166.073 mph and Mears came in at 166.068 mph on his second lap.
RYAN NEWMAN (No. 12 ALLTEL Dodge)
"That fastest time really doesn't mean much for the race. It just means we can bust off a fast lap. It's all about getting four tires to work equally and not wear anything out and be good on a long run. After about two laps, you've already started a long run. The tires aren't any different here than they used to be. I haven't had any trouble yet with the walls. I hope I don't. I think we're in pretty good shape. I wish I could say we're going to win tomorrow, but I can't say that until I see the checkered flag."
JAMIE McMURRAY (No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge)
"This is the same car we've been running the last four weeks. The car's really good. We made two 20-lap runs, and it was really good. I think it's better at the end of the run than it was at the beginning. Four or five guys are really fast, but this is a long race. You have to readjust on your car here, but I think we've got a real good starting point. The tires fall off, but I don't think it's any different than it's been in the past. It's typical Darlington. You just kind of expect it here. I like this place. I think we're going to be in pretty good shape."
KASEY KAHNE (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodget)
NOTE: Kahne's Dodge brushed the wall between turns one and two in practice. The crew fixed the right-side damage, and Kahne got back on the track for the final nine minutes of practice.
"The car is fine. The crew did a great job getting the car ready to go back out, and we got back out in time for a 10-lap run. They really hustled around and got things ready. I got up in one and two and there are some bumps up there. I hit the bumps and the back of the car slid around a little bit. I corrected to the right. I was running to close to the wall. It grabbed the wall and slid down it. I've had plenty of Darlington stripes in the Busch car, but that's my first one in the Cup car. It doesn't feel any different in the Cup car."
CASEY MEARS (No. 41 Target Dodge)
"We're a little bit tight, but the car is really good. Jamie is really fast, and I think his car is one of the best ones out there. We're trying to get our car to turn a little better, and I think we'll be real good. I think we've got a lot of great Dodge teams, and they showed it in practice this morning. I don't think we've got an advantage with the package over the other makes. We've just got some good teams and they're doing a good job. I really like this place. It's fun. Since I came here the first time, I've liked it. You run this track so much different than any other track. A lot of these tracks are alike. You've got Texas, Charlotte, Atlanta, and then you've got Michigan and California. You come here and you drive it totally different than you do anywhere else, and it's a lot of fun. Darlington would be a great place to get my first Cup win."