Nearly perennial Monster-tamer Jimmie Johnson appears to have things dialed in again this year at Dover International Speedway if Friday’s first practice is any indication of how the weekend will go for him.
Johnson’s No. 48 Monster University/Lowes Chevrolet was the fastest in the initial session, zipping around the Monster Mile at 159.603 mph on the first of 11 practice laps in preparation for Sunday’s “FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
Johnson heads into the weekend with a chance to become the all-time wins leader at Dover. He won this race a year ago for his seventh victory at the Monster Mile, tying Richard Petty and Bobby Allison for most on the all-time list. He has a total of 16 top-10 finishes in 22 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Dover, and has led more laps than any other driver over the last 10 races at the track with a total of 2,318.
Kasey Kahne was second-fastest at 159.447 mph, followed by Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch and Jamie McMurray in the top-five. Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon rounded out the top-10.
Carl Edwards, who enters the race second in the points standings, was 12th fastest. Third-place Matt Kenseth was 14th, while fourth-place Clint Bowyer was 13th.
Qualifying for the June 2 “FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is set for 3:15 p.m. today.