Paul Menard, who won the lottery for the Budweiser Shootout pole on Thursday night, saw his luck turn sour in Friday's final practice for the event when he damaged his car in a turn two incident.
Menard spun the #98 Ford with 17 minutes left in the session, and was collected by rookie Scott Speed's #82 Toyota, exacerbating the damage already sustained. Instead of switching to the back-up car, with the ensuing penalty that would have sent him to the back of the field at the weekend, Menard's crew spent the remainder of practice repairing the damaged car.
“I'm not sure if we ran over something or the tyre just let loose but, going into turn one, the tyre went down and it shot in the corner and went sideways," Menard reported, "I was still going straight and it started moving around a little bit, so I started backing out of it. I didn't want to jump out of it, but I thought I had it saved and then it just did one last slap and got in the fence.
"We'll look at it and find out what happened. It doesn't look that bad really, but you never know once you get all the tyres off and put it up on jack stands. We'll see.”
Speed's car sustained heavy damage to the right front corner, but was also being repaired for the Sprint Cup newcomer to start from his allotted fourth spot on Saturday.
Jeff Burton was also in the wars after he blew the engine in his #31 Chevrolet during the same practice session. The veteran will drop from his 23rd-place start to the rear of the field.
Kasey Kahne scraped the wall but did minimal damage to the #9 Dodge and will retain his place in the line-up.
Kyle Busch paced Friday's opening practice session, turning a lap at 191.453mph, with three-time defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson second at 191.156mph.