The Frontstretch: Kahne Paces Happy Hour; Johnson 11th by Thomas Bowles -- Saturday May 27, 2006

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Kahne Paces Happy Hour; Johnson 11th

Thomas Bowles · Saturday May 27, 2006


With teammates Scott Riggs and Jeremy Mayfield on the front row for Sunday’s race, Kasey Kahne was getting the least attention out of all three Evernham drivers.

Put him back on the radar screen.

Kahne paced Happy Hour practice in his #9 Evernham Dodge with a speed of 178.459 mph. Mark Martin, second in both practice sessions Saturday, found himself just .002 seconds behind. Still, Martin was pensive about Sunday’s event, with no long green flags runs in the All-Star Race to showcase how the tires would fare in a 600-mile race.

“We’re just going to do the best we can,” said Martin. “We’ll have to wait and see what happens.”

Mayfield, Carl Edwards, and Greg Biffle rounded out the Top 5. Meanwhile, pre-race favorite Jimmie Johnson only posted the 11th fastest time, but was only 29th in the earlier practice. While he remains the man to beat, other drivers don’t necessarily like to see it that way.

“I think Jimmie and his guys, they’ve got a bulls-eye on their back because they’ve been so good here,” said polesitter Scott Riggs, 6th fastest in Happy Hour. ”(But) Ten other guys have bulls-eyes on their backs as far as we’re concerned. The dominant forces will be the bigger, stronger teams that have been strong everywhere, not just here.”

J.J. Yeley, who qualified his backup car in fourth place after wrecking in Friday practice, was the top rookie in Happy Hour with the 10th fastest time. Among the notables struggling included Jeff Gordon, 40th on the Happy Hour charts, and Michael Waltrip, 37th after “buying” his way into the field by purchasing a ride from McGlynn Motorsports’ #74 car.

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Today on the Frontstretch:
NASCAR Easter Eggs: A Few Off-Week Nuggets to Chew On
Five Points To Ponder: NASCAR’s Take-A-Breath Moment
Truckin’ Thursdays: Top Five All-Time Truck Series Drivers
Going By the Numbers: A Week Without Racing Can Bring Relief But Kill Momentum


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05/28/2006 08:07 AM

Welllll. Nobody ever accused Michael Waltrip of being a race car driver. Funny that “Genius jarrett” chose Michael as a car owner over Robert Yates. Odds are Dale won’t win a race in his last two years; at least not it he has to depend on Waltrip’s non-existent managerial and leadership skills…


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