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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
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 as Texas Motor Speedway President Eddie Gossage (L) and John Godwin of Duck Commander (R) look on at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images for Texas Motor Speedway)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #78 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 7, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 8, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Carl Edwards, driver of the #19 Stanley Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Duck Commander 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 8, 2016 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, crosses the finish line to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s 75th Anniversary Toyota, leads Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, and Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 3, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet, leads Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Express Toyota, during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on April 2, 2016 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Good Sam 500 at Phoenix International Raceway on March 13, 2016 in Avondale, Arizona.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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