Saturday, Jul 02

Johnson fastest in first Cup practice at Loudon

Friday, Jul 11 2636

Defending Sprint Cup Series champ Jimmie Johnson was fastest in the first Cup Series practice. Johnson had a speed of 135.313 mph (28.148 seconds) on his 20th of 22 laps during the session.

The six-time champ hasn't won at the Magic Mile since July 2010.  He was 0.021 seconds faster than the second-fastest driver in practice, rookie Kyle Larson.

Larson posted a time of 28.169 seconds (135.212 mph) in his No. 42 Chevrolet.  The rookie driver ran last year's Nationwide Series (NNS) race at the track last season and has a win at Loudon on the K&N East circuit in 2012.

Johnson's teammate, Jeff Gordon, was third, with Jamie McMurray and Kevin Harvick rounding out the top five. Hendrick motors took the top five spots in the first Cup practice.

Clint Bowyer was the fastest Toyota in sixth while Brad Keselowski was the fastest Ford driver in seventh.

Last year's July Cup Loudon winner Brian Vickers, Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch rounded out the Top 10 in speeds.

Some more news and notes: Eddie MacDonald is piloting the No. 32 Ford for Go Fas Racing and will make his Sprint Cup Series debut Sunday. MacDonald has now turned a lap in every NASCAR division at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.

72-year-old Morgan Shepherd will break his own record by once again becoming the oldest driver to start a Cup race.  Shepherd will drive the No. 33 Chevrolet for Circle Sport Racing as a fan-based sponsorship put him in the car for Sunday.

Timmy Hill will practice and qualify the No. 87 Toyota for Identity Ventures Racing while Joe Nemechek is out at Iowa Speedway watching his son, John Hunter, in the Camping World Truck Series race Friday night.  It is unsure whether Nemechek or Hill will race the car on Sunday. With the No. 87 being back on track, Jeff Burton returns to the No. 66 for Michael Waltrip Racing.  This will be Burton's first start in the Cup Series since Las Vegas in March,

The No. 44 Xxxtreme Motorsports team of J.J. Yeley withdrew as the No. 93 BK Racing team of Mike Bliss was added at last minute for a full field of 43 cars.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series qualifying is up next at 4:30 p.m.

Kyle Magda

Currently, I’m a journalism student in college who enjoys the sport of racing. I've been following NASCAR in-depth since 2001.

Along with my love of racing, I’m also into baseball, football (college & pro), and college basketball.

I also have my own website, The Life of Kyle, where I write about various topics.

And to get my feet wet into radio, I have my own show called Overdrive.  I started it with my friend.  Since we can’t record together most of the time, we have our own versions.  I cover NASCAR and ARCA, and he takes Formula One and IndyCar.

Not forgetting to mention, I have my own YouTube channel as well.

As for race tracks, I’ve gone to races at Pocono, Watkins Glen, Daytona, Dover, Loudon and a few local short tracks as well.  I hope to cross the Indianapolis 500 off my list in the future. I hope to become a man of many hats.

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