David Reutimann was seeking to find his comfort zone in the No. 51 Phoenix Racing Chevrolet at Pocono Raceway on Thursday.
Reutimann is driving in this weekend's Sprint Cup race as a substitute for Kurt Busch, who has been suspended from NASCAR competition until June 13 after an inappropriate exchange with a media member last Saturday at Dover International Speedway.
Reutimann got acclimated with the Phoenix Racing crew, which he referred to as "a cool group of guys." The overall experience, he said, was "OK."
"We're still trying to get the seat situated and make some laps," Reutimann said. "This is the motor we're going to race this weekend, so I'm trying to take care of it. There's a window we're trying to stay in."
Reutimann's top morning lap (173.581 mph) was the 31st best among 42 cars during the practice, but he was grateful for the changes on the newly repaved track.
"Pocono was so rough before it couldn't have been any slower with the lack of grip," Reutimann said. "It reminds me of Phoenix because the groove is so narrow."