Skinner Sets the Pace in Winston Cup Testing
Driving the No. 4 Kodak Pontiac, Skinner, who has had two top-10 qualifying efforts in the last three Coca-Cola 600s, circled the 1.5-mile superspeedway in 29.862 seconds, 180.832 mph, to lead the speed parade.
Defending Coca-Cola 600 winner Mark Martin was second fastest at 180.216 mph in Jack Roush¿s Viagra Ford. Roush prepared cars have won four consecutive Coca-Cola 600s and Martin will be looking to make it five straight.
Jeff Green was third fastest at 180.215 mph in the AOL Chevrolet with Dale Jarrett fourth on the unofficial watches at 180.156 mph in the UPS Ford. Jimmie Johnson completed the top five in the Lowe¿s Chevrolet at 180.138.
Speeds were well off the record lap of 186.464 mph posted by Johnson during last year¿s CTC Pole Night qualifying as teams focused primarily on race set-ups and long runs.
The five-hour practice session was run without incident. The only caution flag was waved when safety personnel responded to a small fire in the garage area.
NASCAR Winston Cup testing for the Coca-Cola 600 continues Wednesday. Drivers will be on the track from noon to 10 p.m. and the main grandstand will be open to the public with free admission.
Tickets for the Coca-Cola 600 are still available and can be obtained by calling 1-800-455-FANS or online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.
The unofficial speeds:
1. Mike Skinner, 180.832 mph; 2. Mark Martin, 180.252; 3. Jeff Green, 180.216; 4. Dale Jarrett, 180.156; 5. Jimmie Johnson, 180.138; 6. Dale Earnhardt Jr., 179.330; 7. Todd Bodine, 178.306; 8. Jerry Nadeau, 177.971; 9. Jerry Mayfield, 177.608; 10. John Andretti, 177.410; 11. Brett Bodine, 175.046; 12. Tony Raines, 174.177.