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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 #54 Monster Energy Toyota, leads the field to start the NASCAR Nationwide Series VFW Sport Clips Help A Hero 200 at Darlington Raceway on April 11, 2014 in Darlington, South Carolina. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet, leads Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 GameStop Toyota, at the start of the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #5 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet, leads Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, during the NASCAR Nationwide Series O`Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 4, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Doors / Menards Toyota, poses in Victory Lane with the trophy after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Doors / Menards Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Curry/Getty Images)
Darrell Wallace Jr., driver of the #54 Toyota No. 1 For Everyone Sales Event Toyota, leads the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Matt Crafton, driver of the #88 Ideal Doors / Menards Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, leads the field to the green flag for the start of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 30, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 M&M`s Toyota, signs the Coors Light Pole Award backdrop after qualifying for the pole for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, talks to Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Freight Toyota, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway on March 28, 2014 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 23, 2014 in Fontana, California. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 23, 2014 in Fontana, California.  (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 23, 2014 in Fontana, California.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Interstate Batteries Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway on March 23, 2014 in Fontana, California.  (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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