Stewart Tops Practices

Tony Stewart was the fastest in both practice sessions for the UAW-Ford 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, while his teammate Denny Hamlin was parked at the end of the first session for excessive bump drafting.

Stewart completed a combined 56 laps in both sessions, with his fastest lap coming in the first at 194.959 mph.

Along with sitting out the end of the first practice, NASCAR also told Hamlin he would have to sit out the first 15 minutes of the final session, but it didn’t matter anyways as he was done for the day.

"We asked us what was the difference in us and everybody else with the front and back bumpers beat off," Hamlin said. "They said we were on TV while we were doing it, so I guess. Doggone TV cameras.”

Jeff Gordon debuted a new Pepsi paint scheme that a fan designed on Friday and put it second on the speed charts in the first session with a lap of 194.737 mph.

Gordon, who also opted to not run the final practice session, touched on the bump drafting issue and the penalty with Hamlin.

"Oh, there was some excessive bump-drafting going on out there," Gordon said. "I didn't see what happened. He got into the back of me. Maybe it was a little harder than it should have been but that's these cars. That's the situation that we're in right now. So I don't know. I didn't see what happened."

Ken Schrader (194.508 mph), Robby Gordon (194.184 mph), Kyle Petty (193.984 mph) completed the top five in the morning session.

Paul Menard trailed Stewart in final practice with a lap of 193.878 mph. Kyle Busch (193.854 mph), Kurt Busch (193.701 mph) and Jamie McMurray (193.678 mph) rounded out the top five.

Jacques Villeneuve, who will attempt to qualify for his first NEXTEL Cup race, was 24th quick in the final practice with a lap of 188.478 mph.

Qualifying for the UAW-Ford 500 will take the green flag on Saturday at 12:15 p.m. (ET).

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