Aug 30, 2014, 4:14 PM EDT
HAMPTON, Ga. – When you’re hot, you’re hot.
That’s a good way of describing how Saturday’s first of two Sprint Cup practice sessions wound up at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Last week’s winner at Bristol Motor Speedway, Joey Logano, was fastest in the practice in preparation for Sunday night’s Oral-B USA 500.
Logano was the only driver to exceed 189 mph, turning a best lap of 189.351 mph.
Kevin Harvick, who earned his sixth pole position of the year in Friday’s qualifying session, was second-fastest at 188.328 mph.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. was third-fastest (187.843), followed by Denny Hamlin (187.405), Carl Edwards (187.215), Greg Biffle (186.679), Kasey Kahne (186.297), Jeff Gordon (186.153), Ryan Newman (186.034) and Jamie McMurray (185.915).
— Danica Patrick was right behind her boss with the 16th-fastest speed (185.170 mph).
— Kyle Busch‘s struggles continued, as he was more than 5 mph off of Logano’s pace, coming in 22nd-fastest at 184.321 mph.
Of course, things will be significantly different during Sunday’s race. Saturday’s practice was at the hottest part of the afternoon (before rain showers came through at the end of the session), while Sunday’s race will be held in the evening (green flag is 7:30 pm ET). There will also be one more practice session, the Happy Hour session, that begins at 6 pm ET.
Follow me @JerryBonkowski
- Ten with Townsend: Long Beach and Barber debrief 0
- NHRA: Capps storms to 2nd win of season, Funny Car points lead 1
- Relief, gratitude define the day where Newgarden finally gets first win (VIDEO) 1
- Graham Rahal can’t close deal in runner-up finish at Barber 2
- Josef Newgarden scores his first IndyCar win at Barber 12
- WATCH LIVE: Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, Live Extra 1
- What to watch for: IndyCar at Barber (3 p.m. ET, NBCSN and Live Extra) 0