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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]
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet SS, captures the flag with his victory Sunday, August 3, 2014 after winning Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet SS, races to win Sunday, August 3, 2014 in Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 3, 2014 after winning Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 3, 2014 after winning Sunday`s Nascar Sprint Cup race at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane with a broom after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Michael Baker International Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GoBowling.com 400 at Pocono Raceway on August 3, 2014 in Long Pond, Pennsylvania.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates with a burn out after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 Presented by New Holland at Iowa Speedway on August 2, 2014 in Newton, Iowa.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Trevor Bayne, driver of the #6 AdvoCare Ford, leads the field during the start of the Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on August 2, 2014 in Newton, Iowa (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on August 2, 2014 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, wins the Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on August 2, 2014 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 at Iowa Speedway on August 2, 2014 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series U.S. Cellular 250 Presented by New Holland at Iowa Speedway on August 2, 2014 in Newton, Iowa. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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