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Press Snoop: JPM fastest, Hendrick duo back out.

by Lynne Huntting


Rookie JUAN PABLO MONTOYA/#42 Dodge was fastest in Saturday morning NASCAR Nextel Cup practice at warm and sunny Infineon Raceway in Sonoma CA. His time was 77.951/92.330 mph

Second was KEVIN HARVICK/#29 Chevrolet.

Third fastest was JEFF GORDON/#24 Chevrolet, who was on course for the first time this weekend. It took him seven laps to be fastest, before his time was eclipsed by Harvick and then Montoya. Gordon's time was 77.803/92.079 mph.

NASCAR issued Tech Stickers to both Gordon and his Hendrick Motorsport team-mate, JIMMIE JOHNSON/#48 Chevrolet Saturday morning and said they were eligible to participate in Saturday's track activities. They were banned Friday from any on-track activities after failing tech for illegal front fenders on their new Car of Tomorrow Chevrolets. Further penalties are expected Monday or Tuesday. They will start from the back of the pack for Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 race. Johnson was sixteenth fastest in the 50-minute session.

Fourth and fifth fastest were TONY STEWART/#20 Chevrolet and RON FELLOWS/#96 Chevrolet, one of several road racing specialists in the race.

There were several red flags during the early morning session, for spins or stalls including the wild spin and great save of MARC GOOSSENS/#91 Toyota, and JEFF GREEN/#66 Chevrolet who stopped at pit entrance and BORIS SAID/#60 Ford stalled in Turn Eleven.

All 43 drivers for Sunday's race were on track.

Four Cup drivers are also competing in the Blue Lizard Sun Cream 200 NASCAR Grand National Division West Series race Saturday afternoon - Said, DAVID GILLILAND, P.J. JONES, and REGAN SMITH, West Qualifying immediately followed the Saturday Cup practice. Said was fastest in the first Friday practice, out of 40 entries, and skipped the second practice to concentrate on Cup Qualifying. He starts fourth Sunday in the Cup race.

The list of drivers flying back to Milwaukee after Cup Happy Hour early Saturday afternoon just got shorter. DAVE BLANEY/#22 Toyota is skipping the Busch Series race to concentrate on his Cup race. He starts nineteenth Sunday. His Busch ride will be handled by TODD BODINE, who is already in Milwaukee after finishing third Friday night in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race.

Rookie DAVID RAGAN/#6 Ford is one of the several drivers flying back with JACK ROUSH in his jet - literally. Roush is piloting the plane to Milwaukee. Ragan thought another pilot might fly it back after the long day. Among the five or six passengers are CARL EDWARDS/#99 Ford, another Roush driver, who is currently leading the Busch Series standings. When not NASCAR racing or hanging out at the Roush-Fenway Racing shop, Ragan has his own shop where he works on his own Legends car. If it weren't for the conflicting Busch race this weekend, Ragan would have run the Legends race which is the support race for this Infineon NASCAR weekend.


Related Pictures

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Juan Pablo Montoya - Texaco Havoline Ganassi Dodge   [pic credit: image.net]
Jeff Gordon - DuPont Chevrolet   [pic credit: image.net]
Jimmie Johnson - Kobalt/Lowe`s Chevrolet  [pic credit: image.net]
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet, speaks at a press conference following practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 19, 2014 in Loudon, New Hampshire. (Photo Credit: Sarah Glenn/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Marcos Ambrose in the Richard Petty Motorsport garage at Sonoma Raceway on June 20, 2014 (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via 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)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, poses with his team in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, takes the chequered flag to win 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)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, pits during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/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)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Cessna Chevrolet, races Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, and Joe Nemechek, driver of the #66 Friedman Law Firm Toyota, 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/NASCAR via Getty Images)
A general view of cars racing the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jared Wickerham/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)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Cessna Chevrolet SS, was just short of making the Chase finishing in fourth place, Saturday, September 6, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Richmond International Raceway in Richmond, Virginia. 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, 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)

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