SPEEDWAY, Ind. – After the initial practice session, teams made adjustments and hit the track to see how their cars took to the changes. There was also some cloud cover that moved over the track which allowed the track temp to dip slightly, which is critical at Indianapolis, one of the most temperature sensitive tracks on the circuit.
By the time the practice session was finished, 25 cars were able to go faster than Juan Pablo Montoya’s practice leading lap from the first session. Even though that many cars were able to beat the time, none of them were able to beat Montoya, who continued to show the way with a lap of 50.068 seconds with a speed of 179.756 mph.
Montoya must have shared his knowledge with McMurray during the course of practice because, near the end of the session, McMurray busted off a lap of 50.132 seconds, which equates to 179.526 mph, to take second place in the practice. Mark Martin, who has an average finish at Indy of 13.4, was the third quickest car in this session with a 50.184-second lap for a speed of 179.340 mph. That was a pickup of 12 positions from his 15th place in the first session.
Clint Bowyer apparently had some of the Wheaties Fuel that is on his car this weekend at Indianapolis during the break between practices because he came out of the second session with a best lap of 50.231 and a speed of 179.172. Rounding out the top five was three-time Brickyard winner Jimmie Johnson who backed up his second quick time from the first session with a 50.237-second lap and a speed of 179.151 mph, which was good enough to round out the top five for the practice. Top speeds for practice number two looked like this:
1) Juan Pablo Montoya – 50.068 – 179.756
2) Jamie McMurray – 50.132 – 179.526
3) Mark Martin – 50.184 – 179.340
4) Clint Bowyer – 50.231 – 179.172
5) Jimmie Johnson – 50.237 – 179.151
6) Kevin Harvick – 50.240 – 179.140
7) Ryan Newman – 50.245 – 179.122
8) Kyle Busch – 50.356 – 178.727
9) Bill Elliott – 50.438 – 178.437
10) Martin Truex Jr. – 50.457 – 178.370
Dale Earnhardt Jr. made a huge improvement from the first to the second session. Earnhardt was 40th in the first session, barely turning 171 mph. He finished 12th in the second session with a lap of 50.471 seconds and a speed of 178.320 mph. Jeff Gordon seemed to struggle during the practice sessions on a track where he has visited victory lane four times. Gordon was 17th in both practice sessions with a best time in the second session of 50.593 seconds and a speed of 177.890 mph.
About the author
What is it that Mike Neff doesn’t do? The writer, radio contributor and racetrack announcer coordinates the site’s local short track coverage, hitting up Saturday Night Specials across the country while tracking the sport’s future racing stars. The writer for our signature Cup post-race column, Thinkin’ Out Loud (Mondays) also sits down with Cup crew chiefs to talk shop every Friday with Tech Talk. Mike announces several shows each year for the Good Guys Rod and Custom Association. He also pops up everywhere from PRN Pit Reporters and the Press Box with Alan Smothers to SIRIUS XM Radio. He has announced at tracks all over the Southeast, starting at Millbridge Speedway. He's also announced at East Lincoln Speedway, Concord Speedway, Tri-County Speedway, Caraway Speedway, and Charlotte Motor Speedway.
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