Race Weekend Central

Jimmie Johnson Sweeps 2009 NASCAR Banking 500 Final Practice at Charlotte

CONCORD, N.C. – We’ve heard this story before, but Jimmie Johnson was the dominant car for the last time cars will be on track before the race this weekend. With the track cooling down and the grip increasing, the speeds actually went up, and Johnson’s time differential was still basically a tenth of a second. Johnson ran a 29.114-second lap for a speed of 185.478 mph. Mark Martin continued the Hendrick domination again this weekend, following Johnson in yet another session with a 29.213-second lap at 184.849. Denny Hamlin came home third fastest in the session clocking a 29.239-second lap at 184.685.

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Jimmie Johnson Tops 2nd 2009 NASCAR Banking 500 Practice at Charlotte

Robby Gordon made a huge jump from 18th to fourth fastest, clocking a 29.310-second lap for a speed of 184.237 mph. Hamlin’s teammate Kyle Busch seems to be feeling much better this weekend and came home fifth quick with a 29.352-second lap for a speed of 183.974 mph. Interestingly, Busch’s lap was on lap 29 of his run, while the first four had their quick lap on lap 1 or 2.

The second half of the top 10 consisted of Ryan Newman, Marcos Ambrose, Kasey Kahne, Paul Menard and Matt Kenseth. Menard was another surprise jumping from 29th fastest in practice two to ninth fastest in practice three. His fast time was clocked on the first lap of his run.

Next up for the teams is the NASCAR Banking 500 tomorrow evening on ABC and PRN radio.

2009 NASCAR BANKING 500 HAPPY HOUR SPEEDS

About the author

What is it that Mike Neff doesn’t do? The writer, radio contributor and racetrack announcer coordinates the site’s local short track coverage, hitting up Saturday Night Specials across the country while tracking the sport’s future racing stars. The writer for our signature Cup post-race column, Thinkin’ Out Loud (Mondays) also sits down with Cup crew chiefs to talk shop every Friday with Tech Talk. Mike announces several shows each year for the Good Guys Rod and Custom Association. He also pops up everywhere from PRN Pit Reporters and the Press Box with Alan Smothers to SIRIUS XM Radio. He has announced at tracks all over the Southeast, starting at Millbridge Speedway. He's also announced at East Lincoln Speedway, Concord Speedway, Tri-County Speedway, Caraway Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.

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