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Windstorm helps Johnson rediscover pole form

"We know when they hold us like that there is a reason," said Stewart afterwards. "They knew what was coming. We just waited until they said it was good and when they said it was okay we knew it was going to be alright.”

As well as the sudden windstorm, the heat continues to be an issue with severe heatwaves stretching across large parts of the US bringing 100 degree Fahrenheit temperatures to Kentucky this weekend, even for the start of the evening Nationwide and Cup races. Track conditions were consequently very slick and lacking grip, which will likely make the race duration longer.

Kyle Busch had previously topped Practice 1 with a time of 30.371s (177.801 mph) ahead of Dale Earnhardt Jr., while Jeff Gordon topped Practice 2 with a lap of 30.840s (175.097 mph) ahead of Brad Keselowski.

There had earlier been contact between Keselowski and Juan Montoya within five minutes of the start of Practice 1, with Keselowski ending up in the wall and resorting to the backup car for the weekend. Montoya's #42 was repaired but there was then more contact between the two with some measure of retribution seemingly involved with Keselowski making repeated contact with the rear of Montoya's car which resulted in the officials bringing out the caution flags.

"We didn't even do a lap, I wasn't even up to speed," Montoya told TV reporters about the original incident. "I came out of the pits. They told me he had a big run. I put my hand out to wave at him. I started turning and running high. I think he thought he'd cleared me and he was probably going to run high and run straight into me."

Keselowski made no comment after practice 1, and pointed out he was on his way to Nationwide Series qualifying immediately after the session. "I've got to go make it race, so I don't have time to worry about that."

As for the follow-up incident, Keselowski said: "In the second practice, I felt like he pulled up in front of me to intentionally screw my lap up again.

“So I was done with that," he continued. "You have to stand your ground. If I let one person push me around, I let everybody push me around. My team works way too hard and I'm not going to stand for that."

Full qualifying and practice times available.




Related Pictures

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Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Dover White Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway on June 29, 2012, in Sparta, Ky. (Photo Credit: Geoff Burke/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Dover White Chevrolet, poses with the Coors Light Pole Award after qualifying for pole position for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway on June 29, 2012, in Sparta, Ky. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
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Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finishes in ninth place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe’s Pro Services Chevrolet SS, finishes in fourth place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser/Jimmy John’s Chevrolet SS, finishes in second place Saturday night, August 22, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, celebrates with the chequered flag after winning the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Jeff Curry/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Denny Hamlin, driver of the #20 Hisense Toyota, and Kyle Busch, driver of the #54 Monster Energy Toyota, lead the field past the green flag to start the NASCAR XFINITY Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 21, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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