Harvick leads Earnhardt in abbreviated Cup practice

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Harvick leads Earnhardt in abbreviated Cup practice
Jim Utter
By: Jim Utter
May 13, 2016, 4:08 PM

Kevin Harvick, who dominated last fall’s Sprint Cup race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway, led the way in Friday’s abbreviated practice session.

Kevin Harvick, Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet
Martin Truex Jr., Furniture Row Racing Toyota, Chase Elliott, Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet
Crash

With rain likely Friday afternoon, there is a good chance that Harvick’s best single lap average of 165.145 mph could end up putting him on the pole for Sunday’s AAA 400 should the qualifying session be rained out.

Harvick led 355 of the 400 laps on his way to victory last fall. In this race one year ago, Harvick finished second after leading 91 of the 405 laps run.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. posted the second-fastest single lap speed (164.707 mph) and Kyle Busch was third. Rounding out the top-five were Carl Edwards and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Story of the session

Almost a half-hour of the session was lost after a bizarre three-car accident that took place before the practice was four minutes old.

Danica Patrick came off Turn 4 and the back end of her No. 10 Chevrolet burst into flame and began dropping rear-end grease on the track. Both Tony Stewart and Jamie McMurray got caught in the oil and slammed into the wall before coming at a rest on the backstretch.

The accident required an extensive cleanup effort by track workers.

Patrick, Stewart and McMurray all had to move to backup cars for Sunday’s race. All three drivers were treated and released from the care center.

Each made it back onto the track before the session ended in their backup cars. McMurray ended up 24th fastest, Patrick was 31st and Stewart 34th.

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