Race Weekend Central

Ryan Newman Fastest in 1st 2011 Southern 500 Practice at Darlington

DARLINGTON, S.C. – Ryan Newman set the pace in the first practice for the Sprint Cup cars at Darlington Raceway. Newman’s fast lap was 27.812 seconds with a speed of 176.816 mph. Second quick in the session was Carl Edwards, clocking a lap of 27.894 seconds for a speed of 176.296 mph. The third-fastest driver in the session was Kurt Busch who turned in a lap of 27.996 seconds which is a speed of 175.654 mph. Unfortunately for Busch, he hit the wall in turn 1 right before rain arrived to cut the first practice session short and will be going to a backup car.

Denny Hamlin, working on repeating his victory from last spring at the Lady in Black was fourth fast in the first practice notching a 28.018-second lap at a speed of 175.516 mph. Rounding out the top five in practice was Kasey Kahne, whose last lap of the session before the caution flew for rain was 28.019 seconds for a 175.509-mph lap.

Rain shortened the session and looks like it will cancel the second practice but should be out of the area by the time qualifying is scheduled to start.

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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