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Press Snoop: Labonte heads practice times.

by Lynne Huntting


BOBBY LABONTE/#43 Dodge was the fastest NASCAR Nextel Cup driver Friday afternoon in the first practice for Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 race at 77.539/92.392 mph. His final flyer lap was lucky thirteen.

ROBBY GORDON/#7 Ford was second, followed by KURT BUSCH/#2 Dodge, TONY STEWART/#20 Chevrolet and JAMIE McMURRAY/#26 Ford.

Fifty cars were on course, of the 52 entries. Notably absent from the session were JEFF GORDON/#24 Chevrolet and JIMMIE JOHNSON/#48 Chevrolet. They are parked Friday for failing inspection. The situation is big in NASCAR and everyone is abuzz.

RON FELLOWS/#96 Chevrolet was the fastest of the 15 Go or Go Home drivers. He is one of the several so-called road-racing specialists who make appearances once or twice a year for NASCAR's road course races. The affable Canadian was sixth fastest at 77.647/92.264. Fellows is replacing TONY RAINES, the regular driver, who is twenty-seventh in the points. Hall of Fame team owner BILL SAUNDERS is also in that point position. Fellows will also run the Watkins Glen road course later this summer.

Additionally, Fellows will race #33 Chevrolet for KEVIN HARVICK in the Montreal Busch Series road course race in August. Canadian Fellows has won on that track in the Canadian Players Series.

Another GOGH driver, BUTCH LEITZINGER/#23, was twenty-sixth fastest Friday, replacing JEREMY MAYFIELD for the weekend. Mayfield has failed to qualify in ten of the fifteen races so far this season. Mayfield is forty-sixth in the points, and owner BILL DAVIS is sixty-sixth. Leitzinger, a sports car endurance racer, has NASCAR experience in Cup, Busch and Busch North. His last Cup race was in the late nineties at Watkins Glen. Leitzinger has never raced a stock car at Infineon Raceway, but he has recent experience in the American Le Mans Series prototype cars, a series in which he competes full time. He also is a 'test pilot' for Bugatti in his spare time.

TERRY LABONTE is replacing MICHAEL WALTRIP in #55 Toyota for the weekend, and ran thirty-third fastest. He is one of two drivers this weekend who could make the field based on Past Champion provisional, the other being BILL ELLIOTT/#21 Ford, who was eleventh fastest in the Wood Brothers car. Regular driver KEN SCHRADER is in Milwaukee racing someone else's NASCAR Craftsman Truck. Labonte would get the nod if needed because his Cup championship was more recent than Elliott's.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA/#42 dodge was the fastest Rookie, in thirteenth position.

The weather was warm and breezy.


Related Pictures

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Bobby Labonte   [pic credit: image.net]
02/19/06 Daytona. Dale Jarrett passes Bobby Labonte on his way to a 10th place finish in the UPS Ford Fusion. Photo Credit: Autostock
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, passes Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, to take the lead and win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, Ryan Newman, driver of the #31 Caterpillar Chevrolet, Miss Sprint Cup Kim Coon, Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford, and Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, pose for a photo prior to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop/Rock Candy Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Nationwide Series Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 15, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, and Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, burn out as Crafton celebrates winning the series championship and Wallace celebrates winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship in Victory Lane with the trophy, NASCAR President Mike Helton and sportscaster Krista Voda during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, celebrates winning the series championship in Victory Lane after the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the series championship and placing ninth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 ToyotaCare Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #51 ToyotaCare Toyota, pits during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota, and his daughter Elladee take part in pre-race ceremonies for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 14, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Matt Crafton drives the #88 Jeld-Wen/Menards Toyota during practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 13, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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