Rusty Wallace fastest in Bristol practice

It's another weekend of impounding cars for the Cup series which means teams were allowed just one two-hour practice session on Friday prior to qualifying. Although warnings of inclement weather were abound Mother Nature cooperated and practice...

It's another weekend of impounding cars for the Cup series which means teams were allowed just one two-hour practice session on Friday prior to qualifying. Although warnings of inclement weather were abound Mother Nature cooperated and practice for Cup teams went off without a hitch.

Rusty Wallace was quickest in the session with a lap of 127.191 mph in the No. 2 Penske Dodge. Wallace is a nine time winner at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Jeff Gordon was second fastest, posting a lap of 127.090 mph followed by Jeremy Mayfield who charted a lap of 126.821 mph. "A good starting position means a lot here and can make for a better result on Sunday, but it doesn't guarantee anything," said Gordon. "Just surviving 500 laps around here is tough. You are constantly weaving in and out of traffic, and the goal is to stay out of trouble and be there at the end. "When we have a car at the end of the race, this DuPont team is usually battling for the win or a top five." Dale Earnhardt, Jr., who won the fall event here in 2004, was fourth. Rookie Kyle Busch completes the top five fastest times.

"It's a love-hate relationship," said Earnhardt of Bristol. "I remember sitting there last year with about 100 laps to go (in the Sharpie 500 last August) and thinking how much I hated the place. Then we won, and it was my favorite track on the circuit. I remember coming here as a little kid just in awe of the place. Those steep banks at Bristol can be intimidating, so it's equally cool to win there. Bristol is a lot like other tracks -- it's been around for years and it's on every driver's wish list of places you want to win at. It was on my list, and I was able to check it off last year."

Qualifying is set for 5:40 pm EST Friday. The cars will then be impounded with no action for Cup teams until race time Sunday.

Reigning series champion Kurt Busch, who has garnered four wins out of the last six races at Bristol, spun during practice but managed to post the ninth quickest time.

"It's a matter of just minding your own business out on the track and having fun at certain points," said Busch. "Then knowing when to be aggressive at certain points out on the track."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Jeff Gordon , Jeremy Mayfield , Rusty Wallace , Kurt Busch , Kyle Busch