NASCAR concerned about high speedsUPDATE #2 NASCAR was comfortable enough with the speeds in practice Friday that it will not change the restrictor plates for the Amp Energy Juice 500 on Sunday at Talladega Superspeedway. If NASCAR wanted to make a change, it likely would have done it when the garage opened Saturday morning prior to inspection for qualifying. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Director John Darby said he was OK with the speeds Friday, which did include a two-car draft of Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch that allowed the Joe Gibbs Racing teammates to turn a lap of 201 mph. No one else cracked 198 mph. Hamlin and Busch were on new tires and were catching a pack of cars, which possibly increased their speed. In the race, two cars working together will start in a pack and then pull away with the nose of the second car pushing the rear of the first car around the track. Scene Daily
10/30/10 Two drivers exceeded 201 mph in the first Sprint Cup practice Friday, causing concern by NASCAR officials. Denny Hamlin turned a lap at 201.664 mph in the #11 Toyota, and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Kyle Busch was second at 201.109 mph in the #18 Toyota. Typically, NASCAR makes a rule change and uses a smaller restrictor plate at Daytona or Talladega if speeds approach 200 mph or more. "We'll take a look at it," said Kerry Tharp, NASCAR's director of communications. "It may just have been an odd situation in the draft for that particular practice session. We hope we don't have to make a change." The top speed in the final practice session Friday was much slower, 197.814 mph by Mark Martin. This is an impound race, meaning only minor alterations are allowed on the cars after qualifying Saturday morning. There is no Saturday practice session. If NASCAR decides to change the restrictor plate, it wouldn't happen until Saturday morning. NASCAR is using the same rules package this weekend that produced a record 88 lead changes among 29 different leaders in the April race at Talladega. ESPN.com
10/29/10 Joe Gibbs Racing drivers Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch both topped the 200-mph mark Friday during the first Sprint Cup practice at Talladega Superspeedway.
Hamlin, who trails points leader Jimmie Johnson by just six points, clicked off a fast lap of 201.664 mph on the 2.66-mile superspeedway. Busch (201.109) was the only other driver to eclipse 200 mph.
Jamie McMurray (Earnhardt Ganassi Racing) was third while Chase competitors Jeff Gordon (Hendrick Motorsports) and Johnson (Hendrick) completed the top five.
Fellow Chase competitors Carl Edwards (Roush Fenway Racing) was 15th, Richard Childress Racing’s Clint Bowyer was 16th and Matt Kenseth (Roush) 17th.
Tony Stewart (Stewart-Haas Racing) and Jeff Burton (RCR) were 21st and 22nd while Greg Biffle (Roush), Kurt Busch (Penske Racing) and Kevin Harvick (RCR) were 29th, 30th and 31st, respectively.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 10th.
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