NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Practice 2: New Hampshire
Associated Press

Team Penske driver, Brad Keselowski, topped the second of three practice sessions for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers at New Hampshire Motor Speedway with a 28.478 second lap time which was slower than Jimmie Johnson's 28.148 second time that won him first practice.

The top four was completed by Jamie McMurray (28.619), Jeff Gordon (28.630), Denny Hamlin (28.659), and rookie Kyle Larson (28.666). All three of McMurray, Gordon and Larson were in the top five in first practice yesterday as well.

This second practice session was 50 minutes long, compared to the 1 hour and 30 minute session yesterday lunch time. With 5 minutes elapsed McMurray was top of the board with his 28.619 lap time and Gordon was 2nd (28.639), whilst Martin Truex Jr was 3rd (28.667).

All of 29 cars had been on track after 8 minutes when Hamlin went into 3rd with a 28.659 and two minutes later Keselowski put in his time that would win him the session a 28.478.

Hamlin reported over his radio that: "Car struggles early on in the run and late in the run it gets tight," to his crew chief of the #11 car. Also Ryan Newman in the #31 car reported: "Remember when we were struggling with the bumps in turn 3, whatever you've done has helped that."

With 20 minutes elapsed of the 50, there was no change to the top three which remained Keselowski, McMurray and Gordon, but Larson had made his way into 5th with a 28.666.

Michael Waltrip Racing drivers, Brian Vickers and Clint Bowyer, had been to New Hampshire to test earlier in the season and with half of the time gone they were 13th and 22nd respectively on the chart.

Pole sitter for tomorrow's race, Kyle Busch, reported to his team over the radio: "Just not able to pivot and rotate like yesterday."

Another driver who was having trouble was Team Penskes Joey Logano, who had an accident in yesterday's practice session which mant the team had to get the back-up car out and Logano had his left hand taped up which could affect his race tomorrow.

The red flag was displayed with 19 minutes remaining as Richard Petty Motorsports driver and last week's Daytona winner Aric Almirola got a flat left rear tire, which caused him to spin and slam into the outside wall with contact on the drivers side of the car but luckily he walked away, but will start at the back of the field for going to a replacement vehicle.

Almirola told the press: "It felt like something just broke under the car." Goodyear the company who supply the tires for the teams recommend that they have the PSI air pressure set to 11 but teams have them at 10 and even 9 sometimes, which causes blown and flat tires.

With only 6 minutes left the green flag was back out and a big rush from drivers to make their final runs on track. But no one could make any improvements on the top five drivers which finished: Keselowski (28.478), McMurray (28.619), Gordon (28.630), Hamlin (28.659) and Larson (28.666).

Only 40 of the 43 drivers in the field this week made a run out on track in this practice, with 72 year old Morgan Shephard in 40th place with a time of 29.894.