Defending NASCAR Nationwide Series
champion Carl Edwards led the speed parade Tuesday at Charlotte Motor Speedway
as teams made final preparations for the May 24 CARQUEST Auto Parts 300.
Edwards, the 2006 winner of the CARQUEST Auto Parts 300, circled the
1.5-mile superspeedway in 29.555 seconds, at an average speed of 182.710
mph, in the No. 60b Roush Fenway Racing Ford. Edwards' lap was fastest of
the two-day session, topping the 182.217 mark set Monday night by Denny
Hamlin in the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
Defending CARQUEST Auto Parts 300 winner Kasey Kahne was third
fastest in the No. 9 Gillett Evernham Motorsports Dodge and veteran Jason
Keller was fourth on the official speed chart at 180.584 in the No. 11 CJM
Racing Chevrolet.
Edwards rounded out the top five with a lap at 180.457 mph in the
No. 60 Roush Fenway Racing Ford.
For veteran Mike Bliss, the two-day session was his first
opportunity to test since joining James Finch's No. 1 Chevrolet team in
early April.
"We are still learning about traveling the race cars. Some teams
have already got it perfected and some teams are still working on it," Bliss
explained. "Myself, I hadn't tested with them yet, so this is a good chance
for us to try stuff that I think would work and what they think would work.
As a team, we are still getting better, but we're not as good as teams that
have been together for a year or two."
Bliss also expressed displeasure with NASCAR's tampered carburetor
spacer that was mandated this season and is being used at Lowe's Motor
Speedway for the first time. Teams say the spacer cuts 80 horsepower from
the engine.
"We're probably running the same speed, we're just running through
the corners harder, putting more pressure on the tires," Bliss said. "There
just is not enough motor there to accelerate up off the corner."
David Reutimann also noted that the carburetor spacer has changed
how teams adjust the handling on their Nationwide Series cars.
"You have to keep the cars freed up because they don't have the
horsepower," said the driver of the No. 99 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota.
"We are just trying to free the car up to make it run faster. We're trying a
bunch of stuff on the front end and doing a bunch of stuff so we can run as
close to wide open as possible."
"The test was pretty decent for the No. 88 Navy team," said Brad
Keselowski. "Our teammates with the No. 83 Navy Chevrolet weren't as
fortunate (David Green wrecked Dale Earnhardt's No. 83 on Monday). Between
that and our rough weekend at Darlington, we really focused on getting
through the test with both of our No. 88 Chevys intact.
"The biggest thing for us was to keep our two cars in one piece and
hopefully learn something. You don't have to be the fastest car on the
charts to learn. We came here to learn, and hopefully leave with something
we could apply when we come back next weekend. We were successful with that,
so overall it was a good test for us." Keselowski concluded.
The only serious incident of the day took place at 6:40 p.m. when
Reutimann lost control of his No. 99 Toyota and slammed the outside SAFER
barrier. Reutimann, who was evaluated and released from the Carolinas
HealthCare System Infield Medical Center, said the car just "snapped
around."
The start of testing was delayed 70 minutes due to track repairs.
Cars hit the track shortly after 2 p.m. and the session ran until 9 p.m.
Charlotte Motor Speedway will return to action Friday with the North
Carolina Education Lottery 200 presented by Circle K for the NASCAR
Craftsman Truck Series and qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.
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 at
www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.
The official speeds:

Afternoon Session

1. Kasey Kahne, 9, 180.802; 2. Carl Edwards, 60b, 180.060; 3. Chase
Miller, 19, 179.832; 4. Carl Edwards, 60, 179.342; 5. Bryan Clauson, 40b,
179.259; 6. Clint Bowyer, 2, 178.974; 7. Mike Bliss, 1, 178.548; 8. Stephen
Leicht, 29b, 178.471; 9. Jason Leffler, 38, 178.353; 10. Bobby Hamilton Jr.,
25b, 178.124; 11. Mark Green, 70b, 178.047; 12. Kelly Bires, 47b, 177.901;
13. Kelly Bires, 47, 177.801; 14. David Ragan, 6, 177.772; 15. Cale Gale,
77, 177.708; 16. Bryan Clauson, 40, 177.684; 17. David Ragan, 6b, 177.614;
18. Brian Vickers, 10, 177.387; 19. Robert Richardson, 23, 177.282; 20.
Bobby Hamilton Jr., 25, 177.142; 21. Jason Keller, 11, 177.055; 22. Brad
Keselowski, 88, 177.003; 23. Mike Bliss, 1b, 176.893; 24. Marcos Ambrose,
59, 176.881; 25. Brad Coleman, 27, 176.615; 26. Cale Gale, 77b, 176.528; 27.
Kenny Wallace, 28, 176.517; 28. David Reutimann, 99b, 176.419; 29. Mike
Wallace, 7t, 176.246; 30. Brad Keselowski, 88b, 176.206; 31. Derrike Cope,
4, 175.942; 32. Sam Hornish Jr., 12, 175.936; 33. Jason Keller, 11b,
175.781; 34. Clint Bowyer, 2b, 174.571; 35. Danny Efland, 0, 170.218; 36.
Eric McClure, 24, 165.837.

Evening Session

1. Carl Edwards, 60b, 182.710; 2. Chase Miller, 19, 181.159; 3.
Kasey Kahne, 9, 180.832; 4. Jason Keller, 11, 180.584; 5. Carl Edwards, 60,
180.457; 6. David Ragan, 6, 180.439; 7. Mike Bliss, 1, 180.421; 8. Clint
Bowyer, 2, 180.313; 9. Brian Vickers, 10, 180.301; 10. Jason Leffler, 38,
180.102; 11. David Ragan, 6 b, 179.796; 12. Mark Green, 70b, 179.689; 13.
Bobby Hamilton Jr., 25, 179.641; 14. Cale Gale, 77, 179.593; 15. Marcos
Ambrose, 59, 179.474; 16. Brad Keselowski, 88b, 179.432; 17. Sam Hornish
Jr., 12, 179.301; 18. Brad Keselowski, 88, 179.158; 19. Sam Hornish Jr.,
12b, 178.772; 20. Robert Richardson, 23, 178.684; 21. Bryan Clauson, 40b,
178.589; 22. Kelly Bires, 47, 178.518; 23. Derrike Cope, 4, 178.465; 24.
Jason Keller, 11b, 178.247; 25. Mike Wallace, 7t, 178.235; 26. Kenny
Wallace, 28, 178.100; 27. David Reutimann, 99, 177.392; 28. Mike Bliss, 1b,
177.363; 29. David Reutimann, 99b, 176.898; 30. Brad Coleman, 27, 176.864;
31. Clint Bowyer, 2b, 175.993; 32. Danny Efland, 0, 174.092; 33. Eric
McClure, 24, 168.313.