Skip to content

Dale Jr. leads “Happy Hour” at New Hampshire

Sep 21, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT

Sylvania 300 - Practice Getty Images

Dale Earnhardt Jr. will roll off 17th in tomorrow’s Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, but appears to have the speed to make some moves on Race Day after topping Sprint Cup final practice this morning at the Magic Mile.

Earnhardt, whose engine failure late last weekend at Chicagoland has him dead last among the 13 Chase for the Sprint Cup contenders, was fastest on the time sheets with a lap of 133.059 mph in his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. He finished 14th at NHMS earlier this summer.

Also looking strong is Matt Kenseth, who leads the Chase after scoring his sixth win of the year last weekend in the Windy City. Kenseth, who rolls off ninth tomorrow, was second-quickest in his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota with a lap of 132.938 mph.

One of Earnhardt’s HMS teammates, front-row starter Kasey Kahne, was third-fastest (132.868 mph), with JGR’s Denny Hamlin behind him in fourth (132.799 mph). Michael Waltrip Racing’s Clint Bowyer rounded out the Top 5, placing fifth this morning (132.591 mph).

Pole sitter Ryan Newman, however, didn’t have a great “Happy Hour,” posting only the 25th-quickest time (131.040 mph).

Kenseth had the fastest 10-lap average speed in the session (Laps 35-44, 132.128 mph), followed by Jimmie Johnson (sixth-quickest overall), Brad Keselowski (seventh-quickest overall), Bowyer and Hamlin.

Latest Posts
  1. Maldonado unconcerned by changes to Parabolica at Monza

    Aug 30, 2014, 7:30 AM EDT

    Parabolica Getty Images

    Lotus driver doesn’t think the removal of the gravel track at the corner will change a great deal.

  2. Aleshin conscious following heavy accident in MAVTV 500 final practice

    Aug 29, 2014, 10:52 PM EDT

    AleshinSunIMS Getty Images

    Severe looking three-car accident affects Mikhail Aleshin and two others.

  3. Kevin Harvick wins Atlanta Sprint Cup pole; Stewart qualifies 12th

    Aug 29, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT

    Oral-B USA 500 - Practice Getty Images

    Harvick earns his sixth Sprint Cup pole of 2014 with the help of some advice from returning boss and teammate Tony Stewart.

  4. Castroneves secures crucial MAVTV 500 pole; Power starts P21 for IndyCar finale (VIDEO)

    Aug 29, 2014, 8:00 PM EDT

    MAVTV 500 Ð Day 1 Getty Images

    Helio Castroneves on pole; Will Power struggles to P21 for Verizon IndyCar Series qualifying.

  5. NASCAR: Chris Buescher, Matt Kenseth lead Nationwide practices at Atlanta

    Aug 29, 2014, 7:29 PM EDT

    Great Clips 300 - Practice Getty Images

    The Nationwide Series rookie and Sprint Cup regular top today’s two practice sessions ahead of tomorrow night’s Great Clips 300 benefiting Feed The Children.

  6. Jeff Gordon: Last 3 races weren’t the same without Tony Stewart

    Aug 29, 2014, 7:06 PM EDT

    (Photo: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images for NASCAR Getty Images

    HAMPTON, Ga. — According to Jeff Gordon, the last three Sprint Cup races just weren’t quite the same without Tony Stewart. Gordon is glad Stewart is back.

  7. NASCAR AMERICA: Drivers discuss Stewart’s return (VIDEO)

    Aug 29, 2014, 7:00 PM EDT

    Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick AP

    Danica Patrick, Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon, Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman, and Brian Vickers share their thoughts on Tony Stewart getting back behind the wheel in Atlanta.

  8. IndyCar has 500 miles to glory, through speed, dirt, tire fall off and unpredictability

    Aug 29, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT

    MAVTV 500 Getty Images

    The 500-mile shootout may be late Saturday night in Fontana, but still promises a bevy of story lines for the Verizon IndyCar Series season finale.

  9. NASCAR AMERICA: Mike Helton explains decision to make Stewart eligible for Chase (VIDEO)

    Aug 29, 2014, 6:25 PM EDT

    Pocono 400 - Practice Getty Images

    NBCSN contributor Nate Ryan also reports on the atmosphere around Tony Stewart’s return at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

  10. NASCAR AMERICA: Tony Stewart’s “healing process” (VIDEO)

    Aug 29, 2014, 6:02 PM EDT

    Tony Stewart AP

    “…[Stewart] being in the race car right now is about him getting through what has been a very emotional two weeks, and what his next step is in coping with this.” – Stewart Haas Racing’s Brett Frood

  11. Vickers: Last 2 races will be “a battle” for drivers not locked in Chase

    Aug 29, 2014, 5:41 PM EDT

    Oral-B USA 500 - Practice Getty Images

    Brian Vickers and other winless drivers are facing big-time pressure to get a victory in the final races of the regular season.

  12. PWC: New Porsche GT-Cup class introduced for 2015

    Aug 29, 2014, 5:30 PM EDT

    Photo: Pirelli World Challenge Photo: Pirelli World Challenge

    Porsche GT-Cup class class to enter into Pirelli World Challenge in 2015.

  13. WATCH LIVE: NASCAR AMERICA at 5 p.m. ET

    Aug 29, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT

    NASCAR America

    Coming up today: More on the return of Tony Stewart at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

  14. Houston axed from 2015 IndyCar calendar; CTMP likely per report

    Aug 29, 2014, 4:45 PM EDT

    Shell Pennzoil Grand Prix of Houston Getty Images

    Houston gone and momentum grows for Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, if a date can be found, for IndyCar.

  15. NASCAR: Tony Stewart 10th in first Cup practice at Atlanta; Edwards fastest

    Aug 29, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    Oral-B USA 500 - Practice Getty Images

    Following an emotional press conference this morning, the three-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion got back to work.

  16. How NASCAR determined Tony Stewart was ready to race again

    Aug 29, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT

    (AP Photo/John Bazemore) AP

    HAMPTON, Ga. — Tony Stewart didn’t just wake up Friday morning and decide he was going to return to NASCAR racing. Rather, NASCAR officials required that Stewart followed procedures and protocols that included him being evaluated by outside professionals.

  17. Helton: Tony Stewart still eligible for Chase, but must win to get in

    Aug 29, 2014, 3:05 PM EDT

    helton atlanta 2014 -- 2 Getty Images

    HAMPTON, Ga. – Tony Stewart is still eligible to make this year’s Chase for the Sprint Cup, NASCAR president Mike Helton announced Friday afternoon at Atlanta Motor Speedway. But for that to happen, Stewart must win one of the next two races to get in.

  18. Full transcript of Mike Helton press conference at Atlanta

    Aug 29, 2014, 2:47 PM EDT

    (Photo: Jonathan Moore/Getty Images) Getty Images

    HAMPTON, Ga. — NASCAR president Mike Helton spoke with the media an hour after Tony Stewart read his self-prepared statement Friday afternoon at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

  19. Sheriff: Stewart crash investigation to continue “for at least another 2 weeks”

    Aug 29, 2014, 2:44 PM EDT

    Tony Stewart Getty Images

    Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff Philip Povero makes his first statement on the Tony Stewart/Kevin Ward Jr. crash investigation since Aug. 12.

  20. Kurt Busch, Danica Patrick glad to see boss, teammate and friend Tony Stewart back in race car

    Aug 29, 2014, 2:30 PM EDT

    (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) AP

    HAMPTON, Ga. – Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch are fully in support of their boss, Tony Stewart, being back in a race car this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Video from NASCAR America

Inside Tony Stewart's return to racing
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. Gordon (2193)
  2. K. Harvick (1793)
  3. K. Busch (1776)
  4. J. Logano (1491)
  5. T. Stewart (1295)