Some of the Sprint Cup fraternity might be forgiven for thinking that the series must have done something wrong in a previous incarnation and Mother Nature is now taking her vengeance as Friday dawned cold and grey over the Bristol Motor Speedway.

With the weather radar showing plenty of rain heading for the half-mile Bristol oval throughout the day and night on Friday it was something of a surprise when the 46 teams were actually able to get on track for the first of three practice session scheduled for the Food City 500 weekend.

Despite being delayed slightly as officials waited for the track to completely dry out and ending a couple of minutes early when the drizzle returned the teams were simply grateful for some track time as heavier rains are forecast for Saturday.

Fastest during the truncated session was the #00 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota of David Reutimann, who is enjoying his final run in the #00 before he moves to the teams #44 entry currently piloted by the retiring Dale Jarrett. Reutimann set a best time of 15.765-seconds (121.713mph), half a second slower than Jeff Gordon 2007 pole winning time in what was the first event for the Car of Tomorrow.

Casey Mears and Martin Truex Jr were next in line with Red Bull Racing's Mike Skinner, BAM Racing's Ken Schrader and Furniture Row Racing's Joe Nemechek completing a top six that contained four drivers (Reutimann, Skinner, Schrader, Nemechek) whose teams aren't guaranteed a place on the 43-car starting grid.

Seventh fastest was the sole Bill Davis Racing Toyota of Dave Blaney with defending Food City 500 winner Kyle Busch eighth, Bill Elliott's last minute replacement in the #21 Wood Brothers Ford, Jeff Green, in ninth and Kyle Petty tenth.

Dale Jarrett was 15th fastest ahead of what will be his final points paying Cup Series start while Carl Edwards, who won last year's summer race at Bristol, was 24th one place ahead of 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006 Food City 500 winner Kurt Busch.

Of the single seater converts Juan Montoya used his previous Bristol experience to set 19th fastest time while Bristol novices Sam Hornish Jr, Patrick Carpentier and Dario Franchitti were 22nd, 44th and 46th respectively.

 

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