Johnson fastest at Chicagoland Happy Hour

JOLIET, Ill - Jimmie Johnson knocked out the fastest lap during final practice for the Winston Cup teams with a lap of 178.625 mph. Johnson, however, and Team Lowe's will have to start from the rear of the field on Sunday, after a practice morning...

JOLIET, Ill - Jimmie Johnson knocked out the fastest lap during final practice for the Winston Cup teams with a lap of 178.625 mph. Johnson, however, and Team Lowe's will have to start from the rear of the field on Sunday, after a practice morning engine change. Johnson also encountered troubles on pit road during practice, making slight contact with the No. 10 Pontiac of Johnny Benson.

The No. 48 Chevy suffered slight left front damage to the Monte Carlo. The right rear of Benson's car also experienced injury on the right rear.

Johnson won his first Busch race at this track two years ago, and in his first Cup start here last year he finished fourth.

The Penske Dodge Intrepid of Ryan Newman was second fastest with a lap of 177.907 mph. Newman finished fifth at this event last year, in his first start.

Polesitter Tony Stewart posted the third fastest time at 177.602 mph. In two starts at the 1.5-mile oval Stewart has a third (2002) and 33rd (2001) place finishes.

Bill Elliott, who rolls off from the third spot Sunday, was fourth     .
fastest Elliott has two career top ten runs at Chicagoland             .

The No. 25 Chevy team of Joe Nemechek rounds out the top five quickest times at 177.369 mph. In two starts here, Nemechek has never finished better than 16th.

Happy hour was red-flagged for about fifteen minutes while track workers cleaned up from a wreck involving the No. 37 Chevy of Derrike Cope, who knocked hard into the turn three wall. He tore the right side and back end of the car completely off. He will have to haul out the back-up car, and start from the back of the pack.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Derrike Cope , Bill Elliott , Tony Stewart , Joe Nemechek , Ryan Newman , Johnny Benson , Jimmie Johnson