Jeff Gordon posts quickest lap in final Sprint Cup practice at N.H.


For the first time all weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, someone else besides Brad Keselowski got to the top of the leaderboard.

With roughly five minutes to go in final Sprint Cup practice for tomorrow’s Sylvania 300, Jeff Gordon popped a lap of 135.357 mph that knocked Keselowski (135.256) off of P1.

Gordon has some work to do to advance from 13th on the grid, but it looks like he’ll have a car capable of getting the job done. Yesterday, he said he felt like he and his No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports team were capable of stopping Keselowski from claiming his third consecutive win.

Kevin Harvick’s lap of 135.236 mph was good enough for third in the session. Joey Logano was fourth (135.102) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. followed him in fifth (135.054).

The Top 7 speeds belonged to Chase competitors, including Jimmie Johnson in sixth and Matt Kenseth in seventh. Non-Chase competitors Danica Patrick, Paul Menard and Jamie McMurray (who will start alongside Keselowski on the front row tomorrow) completed the Top 10.

Five more Chasers – Ryan Newman, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Kurt Busch, and A.J. Allmendinger – comprised Positions 11-15. Among the other Chasers, Denny Hamlin was 19th, Aric Almirola was 21st, Greg Biffle was 24th, and Carl Edwards was 26th.

Biffle had a rough session in particular as he lost control of his No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing Ford Fusion off of Turn 2. However, while he slid through the backstretch grass, he avoided the inside wall.

Two other incidents took place in the final practice. Early on, Corey Lajoie sustained damage to his No. 77 Randy Humphrey Racing Ford when he made contact with the wall in Turn 4.

Then, during the final minute of the session, Tony Stewart spun his No. 14 Stewart Haas Racing Chevrolet SS while going through Turn 4. But like Biffle, he was able to avoid a run-in with the wall.

Tomorrow’s main event is scheduled to begin shortly after 2 p.m. ET.