Kurt Busch set the best time of anyone in Saturday's two 55-minute practice sessions at the 0.533-mile Bristol Motor Speedway ahead of this weekend's Food City 500 race on Sunday afternoon.
Busch set a time of 15.043s (127.554mph) in the second of the two sessions to edge out Hendrick Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne by a comfortable 0.121s margin.
Kahne had previously topped both Friday's sole pre-qualifying practice and also the earlier session on Saturday where his time of 15.129s (126.829mph) had been five hundredths of a second faster than Busch's SHR team mate Kevin Harvick.
CLICK: Full Saturday practice times from Bristol Motor Speedway
The first of the sessions saw trouble for a number of cars including those of Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. all of whom sustained some degree of damage in various spins and incidents.
Stewart slid into the outside retaining wall just ten minutes into the session, and seven minutes later there was contact between former Roush Fenway Racing team mates Edwards and Stenhouse collided. Stenhouse's #17 sustained significant nose damage from the incident which was taped up by the Roush team, while Edwards' #19 was able to continue with rear-end damage that was repaired by the Joe Gibbs Racing crew after the session.
Later in the session, Jimmie Johnson's miserable weekend continued when he scraped the outside barrier in the Hendrick Motorsports #48. The six-time champion was disappointed in Friday qualifying which saw him fail to progress from the first round and left with a Sunday starting position of 28th; he finished the firs Saturday practice looking somewhat better in 10th place despite his contact with the wall, and improved lightly to ninth in the second session.
This week's pole winner Matt Kenseth was 19th in both of Saturday's practice sessions. He'll be joined on the front row of the grid tomorrow by Brad Keselowski, who scraped the wall in the later practice on Saturday while running in second place in the timings; after his scare he dropped back to fifth place but did not lose much time to repairs or need to unload the backup car as result of the incident.
Elsewhere on pit road, Richard Childress Racing reinstated Luke Lambert as crew chief on Ryan Newman's #31 car for this weekend's race.
The team had previously announced that Lambert would not be present at Bristol this weekend and would be serving the first of a six-race suspension from competition that is part of a heavy penalty levied on the team by NASCAR for tyre tampering.
RCR lost an appeal against the penalty on Wednesday. Although it did manage to get some relief on the fines and points deductions originally imposed by the sanctioning body, the suspensions on Lambert and two other key personnel - tyre technician James Bender and team engineer Philip Surgen - remained.
Veteran former crew chief Todd Parrott was brought in to replace Lambert this weekend, but RCR has now decided to formally lodge a further appeal to National Motorsports Final Appeals Officer Bryan Moss. That means the commencement of the suspensions can be further delayed by the team until such time as the final hearing takes place and the appeals process is exhausted.
NASCAR officials confirmed late on Friday afternoon that RCR had filed the necessary paperwork to initiate the final appeal, which will be held at a date to be confirmed.
With Lambert back at the helm, Ryan Newman was 20th in the first of Saturday's practices and then rose to 14th in the later session.
See full Saturday practice times from Bristol Motor Speedway