We’ve heard this story before, but Jimmie Johnson was the dominant car for the last time the cars will be on the 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.
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 off 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.