The No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota
continued to dominate the NASCAR Nationwide Series Monday at Lowe's Motor
Speedway as Denny Hamlin set the pace during testing for the May 24 CARQUEST
Auto Parts 300.
The No. 20 car has won four consecutive races with three different
drivers and Hamlin topped the speed chart in both sessions on the first of
two days of testing. His evening lap of 29.635 seconds, 182.217 mph, was
clearly superior among the more than 40 cars that took to the 1.5-mile
superspeedway.
Defending NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Carl Edwards was second
fastest on the electronic timers at 182.014 mph in the No. 60 Roush Fenway
Ford.
Kasey Kahne, winner of last year's CARQUEST Auto Parts 300, was
third fastest in the No. 9 Gillett Evernham Dodge at 181.947 mph while Greg
Biffle was fourth at 181.708 in the No. 16 Roush Fenway Ford. Rookie Chase
Miller rounded out the top five at 181.549 mph in the No. 19 Gillett
Evernham Dodge.
David Stremme, driver of Rusty Wallace's No. 64 Dodge, said the
horsepower difference between the Nationwide cars and the Sprint Cup cars
has a tremendous impact on how a driver approaches the 1.5-mile
superspeedway.
"We got to run the Penske car here last week both days and,
obviously, it was a little warmer, but a Cup car is not as fast through the
corners as what a Nationwide car is," Stremme explained. "So, at this time
on the first day last week, we were already in the second or third lane,
running against the wall and a lot of that is because the Cup cars have so
much more horsepower.
"You're going into the corner faster, so you have to slow down a
little bit more in the center and then you can power off. In the Nationwide
car, you're almost wide open for a lap or two and then the tires fall off a
little bit. You carry so much more speed through the corners you have to run
the bottom of the race track. If I was a betting man, I'd almost bet that
the Cup cars are going to race around the top, and whoever's car can run the
middle to the bottom is going to be out front.
"The Nationwide race is going to be on the bottom and whoever's car
is turning the best will win," Stremme continued. "There's no power in these
cars. They don't run down the straightaway, so you've got to get all your
speed through the corners."
Charlotte Motor Speedway was repaved in April 2006 and Stremme said the
surface is aging gracefully.
"The race track has seasoned well. I was fortunate enough to run on
the old race track before it got ground, and then when it got ground and
then with the new asphalt," he said. "I'm really happy at how it's still
Charlotte. You've got to be careful in Turns 3 and 4 during the hot weather.
Then you can look around on the race track and still run up by the wall or
on the bottom. It makes for a lot of fun."
Veteran Jeff Burton, driver of the No. 29 Richard Childress Racing
Chevrolet, praised Goodyear for the tire engineers selected for the May
races at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
"I had a scheduling conflict so we kind of got a late start, but
everything is going well, Burton said during the dinner break. "I really
like these tires on this surface. I think it's the best Goodyear has done so
far at this race track, and the few laps I've run have been good."
The most serious incident of the day took place during the afternoon
session when veteran David Green slammed the outside SAFER barrier in Dale
Earnhardt Jr.'s No. 83 Chevrolet. Green said he was making just his third
lap when the right-front tire went down and the car shot to the outside.
Green was evaluated and released from the Carolinas HealthCare System
Infield Medical Center.
Robert Richardson Jr. spun during the afternoon session, but did not
make wall contact.
NASCAR Nationwide Series testing for the May 24 CARQUEST Auto Parts
300 continues from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday and the frontstretch grandstand
will be open free of charge.
Tickets for all May events at Charlotte Motor Speedway, including
Saturday's NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race and the May 25 Coca-Cola 600, can be
purchased by calling the track ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS or online .The official speeds:

Afternoon Session
1. Denny Hamlin, 20, 178.903; 2. Kasey Kahne, 9, 178.424; 3. David
Stremme, 64, 178.365; 4. Carl Edwards, 60b, 178.288; 5. Brad Keselowski, 88,
178.271; 6. Brian Vickers, 10, 178.265; 7. Mike Bliss, 1, 178.012; 8. Kelly
Bires, 47, 177.871; 9. David Stremme, 64b, 177.860; 10. Sam Hornish Jr., 12,
177.363; 11. David Reutimann, 99b, 177.270; 12. Johnny Benson, 18, 177.247;
13. David Ragan, 6b, 177.183; 14. Greg Biffle, 16, 177.061; 15. Mike
Wallace, 7, 176.980; 16. Marcos Ambrose, 59, 176.974; 17. David Ragan, 6,
176.945; 18. Stephen Leicht, 2, 176.881; 19. Stephen Leicht, 2b, 176.829;
20. Bryan Clauson, 40b, 176.725; 21. Kyle Busch, 32, 176.574; 22. Jeff
Burton, 29b, 176.569; 23. Kevin Harvick, 33b, 176.563; 24. Jason Keller, 11,
176.505; 25. Jason Keller, 11b, 176.407; 26. Jason Leffler, 38b, 176.355;
27. Steve Wallace, 66a, 176.344; 28. Kevin Harvick, 33, 176.229; 29. David
Reutimann, 99, 176.200; 30. Chase Miller, 19, 176.074; 31. Greg Biffle, 16b,
175.867; 32. Kelly Bires, 47b, 175.695; 33. Mike Wallace, 7t, 175.564; 34.
Brad Keselowski, 88b, 175.376; 35. Cale Gale, 77b, 175.205; 36. Jeff Burton,
29, 175.080; 37. Jason Leffler, 38, 174.972; 38. Steve Wallace, 66b,
174.961; 39. Mark Green, 70, 174.893; 40. Brad Coleman, 27, 174.729; 41.
Mike Bliss, 1b, 174.036; 42. Bryan Clauson, 40, 173.930; 43. Bobby Hamilton
Jr., 25b, 173.210; 44. Carl Edwards, 60, 172.933; 45. David Green, 83,
172.035; 46. Robert Richardson Jr., 23, 171.821.

Evening Session
1. Denny Hamlin, 20, 182.217; 2. Carl Edwards, 60b, 182.014; 3.
Kasey Kahne, 9, 181.947; 4. Greg Biffle, 16, 181.708; 5. Chase Miller, 19,
181.549; 6. Davie Stremme/Steve Wallace, 64, 181.068; 7. Marcos Ambrose, 59,
180.995; 8. Johnny Benson, 18, 180.765; 9. Jeff Burton, 29b, 180.668; 10.
Brad Keselowski, 88b, 180.644; 11. Steve Wallace/David Stremme, 66b,
180.554; 12. Brian Vickers, 10, 180.505; 13. David Reutimann, 99b, 180.463;
14. Mike Bliss, 1, 180.246; 15. David Ragan, 6, 180.228; 16. Kyle Busch, 32,
180.222; 17. Stephen Leicht, 2b, 180.114; 18. Sam Hornish Jr., 12, 180.048;
19. Kelly Bires, 47, 179.994; 20. Kevin Harvick, 33b, 179.988; 21. Stephen
Leicht, 2, 179.946; 22. Jason Keller, 11, 179.659; 23. Bryan Clauson, 40b,
179.659; 24. Brad Keselowski, 88, 179.480; 25. David Ragan, 6b, 179.474; 26.
Greg Biffle/Colin Braun, 16b, 179.325; 27. Bobby Hamilton Jr., 25, 179.188;
28. Jason Leffler, 38, 179.158; 29. Mike Wallace, 7t, 179.146; 30. Cale
Gale, 77, 178.489; 31. Mike Wallace, 7, 178.230; 32. Derrike Cope, 4,
178.141; 33. Kenny Wallace, 28, 178.071; 34. Mike Bliss, 1b, 177.901; 35.
Cale Gale, 77b, 177.223; 36. Jeff Fuller/Robert Richardson Jr., 23, 176.811;
37. Mark Green, 70, 176.650; 38. Jeff Burton, 29, 176.586; 39. Jason Keller,
11b, 176.263; 40. Brad Coleman, 27, 176.183; 41. Mark Green, 70b, 175.953;
42. Kelly Bires, 47b, 164.810.