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Johnson Paces First Practice at Kansas

Johnson Paces First Practice at Kansas

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (Sept. 27, 2002)—Hendrick Motorsports placed a trio of teams in the top-10 during pre-qualifying practice at Kansas Speedway on Friday, with rookie Jimmie Johnson pacing the field in the No. 48 Lowe’s Chevrolet.

Johnson posted a time of 30.430 seconds and a speed of 177.456 mph, making Team Lowe’s quickest in the two-hour session.

Driving the No. 25 UAW-Delphi Chevy, Joe Nemechek was third-fastest after sitting at the top of the speed chart for the majority of practice. Running just 15 laps, the team ended qualifying preparation 30 minutes early after posting their top time of the day at Lap 14.

Defending NASCAR Winston Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon, who won the event at Kansas in 2001, was eighth overall in the No. 24 DuPont Monte Carlo, also putting just 15 laps on his race car.

Two-time champion Terry Labonte was 26th in the No. 5 Kellogg’s Chevrolet with a 30.924-second time and a 174.622-mph speed on his 13th of 20 practice laps.

Jack Sprague, who drives in the NASCAR Busch Series for Hendrick Motorsports, was 19th-quick in the No. 60 HAAS Automation Chevrolet fielded by Gene Haas. HAAS Automation serves as an associate sponsor on all Hendrick Motorsports Winston Cup and Busch Series entries.

Sprague will drive the No. 60 full-time in Winston Cup competition for Hass next season.

Qualifying for the Protection One 400 at Kansas Speedway is scheduled for 4:05 p.m. (ET) on Friday.

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