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Press Snoop: Robby tops Saturday practice.

ROBBY GORDON/#7 Menards/Energizer Chevrolet was the fastest driver Saturday morning for the first of two practice sessions at Infineon Raceway. Gordon turned a 77.472/92.472 mph lap. Early fastest was TONY STEWART/#20 Home Depot Chevrolet, but Gordon led most of the 45-minute session. The weather was in the mid seventies with a nice breeze - no where near the scorcher predicted earlier.

Stewart moved back up to second overall by the end of the session. JIMMY JOHNSON/#48 Lowe's Chevrolet, CLINT BOWYER/#07 Jack Daniel's Chevrolet, and JEFF GORDON/#24 Dupont Chevrolet rounded out the top five - all Chevys.

The session was incident-free.

KURT BUSCH/#2 Miller Lite Dodge was sixth fastest, the top Dodge. Previously I had said Busch was one of the top ten on GQ's Most Hated Athletes list. Actually he was third, behind BARRY BONDS and TERRELL OWENS. Kurt didn't think he belonged in the same category with the two stick-and-ball athletes, and blamed his former association with Roush Racing. "I think my old team did some good talking to get me that (third most-hated) position. It's been great to try to rebuild my image with a new team and try to change some people's perceptions."

The 'Ringers' were led by BORIS SAID/#60 Sobe-No Fear Ford in ninth. RON FELLOWS/#32 Tide Chevrolet was thirteenth and P.J. JONES/#4 AERO Chevrolet was twenty-first.

DAVE GILLILAND/#72 Dutch Quality Stone Dodge was last of the 41 cars. His father, BUTCH GILLILAND/Ford holds the West Series Qualifying Track record of 39.957/90.760 mph, set on 7 October 1995 on the old 2.52-mile NASCAR course configuration.

All but two of the 43-car field were on track. TOM HUBERT/#27 Ford sat out the session as he was in the upcoming NASCAR Grand National Division Auto Zone West Series race, starting eleventh in a field of 35 cars. Hubert's Cup car earlier had been erroneously identified as a Chevrolet.

The #40 Coors Light Dodge driven by SCOTT PRUETT was in the garage. Pruett and Team Owner CHIP GANASSI flew back to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Friday night for Saturday afternoon's Rolex Series EMCO Gears Classic Race with Grand American Road Racing Association. Pruett must have taken some of the fine Northern California wine country weather with him. The terrible Thursday storms have subsided and it should be dry for the race. Pruett and co-driver LUIS DIAZ will start at the back of the Daytona Prototype field in #1 CompUSA Lexus Riley after failing post-qualifying Scrutineering. There are 27 DP's and the three fastest will be at the back for the same DSQ. There are separate starts for the DP and the GT class, of which there are 18 to make up a 45-car field.

NASCAR Nextel Cup driver, BRIAN VICKERS is on pole for the West Series race in #17 GMAC Chevrolet, with a qualifying lap of 78.836/90.872 mph. ERIC HOLMES/#35 Bollegraaf Ford, who is third in the standings, qualified second. Rookie BRIAN ICKLER/#20 NAPA Chevrolet was third. Fourth and fifth were STAN SILVA/#65 A&S Metals Chevrolet and Rookie JAMES BRUNCATI/#22 Sunrise Ford.

Other Cup drivers in the field are TOM HUBERT/#10 Sunsweet Growers Dodge in tenth, BORIS SAID/#57 Pacific States Ford in thirteenth; and KEN SCHRADER/#99 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet is sixteenth. Schrader runs West whenever it is a companion race or on a free day, and currently is twenty-third in the standings, with two starts. He started third and won the season's first race at Phoenix in January, a stand alone race.

There are two drivers in the race who come from vintage racing in the Historic Stock Car Series - 54-year old GARLAND SELF/#81 Selco Ford, running his third professional race; and 53-year old KEN EPSMAN/#25 Racer's Blend Coffee Critic Ford, running his first-ever professional race. He's never even done a racing pit stop.

The Blue Lizard Australian Suncream 200 race will be telecast live on HDNet and on SPEED (enhanced replay - a SPEED euphemism) on 6 July 2006 at 2:30 pm PT.


Related Pictures

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#7 Jim Beam Chevrolet Monte Carlo-Robby Gordon  practices for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach,Fl- Feb. 2005. ©Dorsey Patrick
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, leads Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet, and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series MyAFibStory.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14, 2014 in Joliet, Illinois.  (Photo Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images)
(Back Row L-R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase for the Sprint Cup during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
(Back Row L - R) Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, Carl Edwards, driver of the #99 Kelloggs/Frosted Flakes Ford, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Catepillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Madison Martin, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Insurance Chevrolet, Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 Gwaltney Ford, (Front Row L- R) Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Greg Biffle, driver of the #16 3M Call Before You Dig Ford, AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #47 Bush`s Beans Chevrolet, Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmers Insurance Chevrolet, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose with the Sprint Cup Trophy after qualifying for the Chase  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, races Casey Mears, driver of the #13 GEICO Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, finished in second place Saturday, September 6, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Gordon leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. Eight Chevy drivers are in the Chase for the Sprint Cup, which begins next week at Chicagoland Speedway. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, qualified for second position Friday, September 5, 2014 for Saturday night`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. Gordon, who will be on the front row Saturday, leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy John`s Chevrolet, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Panasonic Chevrolet, lead a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Oral-B USA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 31, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Farmer`s Insurance Chevrolet SS, is congratulated by his Hendrik Motor Sports teammates Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Panasonic Toughbook Chevrolet SS (left), Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s/Kobalt Tools Chevrolet SS (center) and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 National Guard Chevrolet SS (right) after his victory Sunday, August 31, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, Georgia. With this win, Kahne joins Gordon, Johnson, and Earnhardt Jr. in the Chase. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet SS, qualified for second position Friday, August 22, 2014 for Saturday evening`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. Gordon leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 17, 2014 in the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet SS finished second. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with a burnout after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Garry Eller/HHP for Chevy Racing)
With General Motors CEO Mary Barra, Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, holds the Michigan Heritage Trophy after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. In 2013, MIS began awarding the Michigan Heritage Trophy as a recognition and celebration of the automobile and it`s importance to the race track and the manufacturers competing in NASCAR. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet SS, celebrates with his crew after winning the Pure Michigan 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup race Sunday, August 17, 2014 at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan. This was Gordon`s third win of the season. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Axalta Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pure Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway on August 17, 2014 in Brooklyn, Michigan.  (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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