With cars more dialed in for race day in Saturday’s second practice for the “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race, Matt Kenseth was the session’s quickest driver with a lap of 23.129 seconds for a speed of 155.649 mph.
Kenseth was just outside the top 12 that made the second round of qualifying on Friday, and will start 14th. In the morning practice on Friday, Kenseth was 10th in the field.
AJ Allmendinger, who is trying to stay alive in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, didn’t have a great day Friday but was second fastest in Saturday’s session. The top-12 drivers advance, and while Allmendinger is 10th in the points standings entering the race, he’s just seven points ahead of the 13th position. Allmendinger was only 25th-quickest in Friday’s practice and will start 28th, but his lap of 154.805 mph might indicate his team has figured something out for Sunday.
Denny Hamlin’s another driver trying to stay in Chase contention, and right now he’s on the outside looking in as far as advancing out of the Challenger round. Hamlin’s also been historically bad at Dover. But he’s had an excellent weekend and continued that on Saturday – after running sixth-fastest in Friday’s practice and qualifying third, he was third fastest in race trim Saturday with a lap of 153.813 mph.
Clint Bowyer was fourth in the practice, followed by Kasey Kahne, Jmaie McMurray, Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brad Keselowski and Greg Biffle. Several other Chasers were among the next nine.
Joey Logano and Kurt Busch were Chase participants who appeared to struggle in the session. Logano has owned Dover in the NASCAR Nationwide Series in recent years, but it hasn’t transferred over to his Cup car, and he was 24th in the Saturday practice at 151.739 mph. Kurt Busch was three more spots back in 27th.
Happy Hour for the “AAA 400” NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race begins at 2 p.m. Saturday, and the green flag on the race drops at 2 p.m. Sunday.