NASCAR Media Site
Bristol, TN- The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series took to the half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday in two final tuneup for Sunday’s Food City 500. The series had a 50-minute session this morning and an hour long practice at Noon ET.
The quickest in the 1-hour and 50-minute combined session was Richard Childress Racing’s Ryan Newman.
It’s fitting that Newman set the quick time of the day as he has the $1-billon dollar perfect bracket sponsored Quicken Loans car this weekend at BMS. With the brackets being revealed tomorrow, Newman put that sponsored No. 31 Chevrolet on top of the board with a speed of 127.081 mph in the morning practice.
He will start ninth tomorrow as he was also 13th fastest in final practice.
Stewart/Haas Racing got half of their program figured out on Saturday as Kevin Harvick was second overall with his teammate Kurt Busch coming home third. In final practice they both were in the top 10 again as Busch was fifth and Harvick being ninth.
Their SHR teammates Danica Patrick and Tony Stewart were still struggling a bit as Danica was 26th in the first practice and 34th in the second while Stewart was 30th in the opening session and 16th in final practice.
Last year’s August winner Matt Kenseth was fourth overall while Paul Menard turned the days fifth fastest speed.
Kenseth, was second quick in final practice as he was the most consistent of anyone during Saturday’s practice. He did get into the wall a bit exiting Turn 4 midway through the morning practice, but they were able to buff out the damage on the No. 20 Toyota.
Casey Mears who like Newman has an RCR engine was fastest in the final practice session with a time of 125.906 mph in his No. 13 Geico Chevrolet.
We did see one of the scarier wrecks in quite sometime at Bristol when Landon Cassill’s left rear tire just came off of his No. 40 car entering Turn 1. The lack of a tire caused Cassill’s car to spin and nail the outside SAFER barrier very hard. Luckily, he was able to walk away and the team will have to go to a backup for tomorrow’s race.
The Food City 500 can be seen Live on FOX at 1 PM ET on Sunday.
Eric Smith is the Lead Motorsports Writer for Race Review Online. He’s covered both NASCAR and IndyCar action since 2010 and has been credentialed to many races around the country. He’s also recognized as an accredited member of the media by both NASCAR and IndyCar. Follow him on Twitter @ericsportsguru
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