Johnson Tops Saturday

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Jimmie Johnson opted not run Saturday's second practice session for the 50th running of the Daytona 500 after locking down the best lap of the day in the opening session.

Johnson, who was involved in a multi-car crash in last night's Budweiser Shootout practice, posted a lap of 186.285 mph in his No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet to top the 53 cars Saturday morning. His Hendrick Motorsports teammates of Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. posted times in the top 10 in both sessions.

Rookie Patrick Carpentier topped the afternoon practice with a lap of 186.150 mph in his No. 10 Valvoline Dodge. His speed was good enough for second overall.

Michael Waltrip's No. 55 NAPA Toyota jumped up the speed charts to third overall in the afternoon with a lap of 186.089 mph.

After his second trip to the NASCAR hauler following last night's on-track incident with Kurt Busch, Tony Stewart went out and posted the third-best lap in both sessions in his No. 20 Home Depot Toyota.

Rumor around the garage area this morning is Stewart allegedly threw a punch at Kurt Busch in the NASCAR hauler last night.

"I'm not mad at him about what happened on the race track at all," Stewart said. "What happened, happened. We can't fix it. We can't change it. The best thing to do is to go on and move forward and not let this linger between the two of us."

Like Stewart, Busch is taking the same approach.

"Tony and I are competitors, we always have been and we're going to be just fine," Busch said. "We're going to move forward. We just know we need to help each other out in the future so that doesn't happen again."

Along with dealing with the hype around the incident, Busch is finding himself battling the flu and finding speed in his Daytona 500 car. His best lap of 184.049 mph was only good enough for 43rd in the afternoon session.

"There's so many things we need to do to make this car gain some speed - that's where our focus is," Busch said.

Although he has a past champions provisional to fall back on, Busch was 11th in the afternoon among the 17 drivers required to qualify on time. In the off-season Penske Racing moved the No. 2 owners' points to the No. 77 of Sam Hornish Jr.

Tomorrow's qualifying session will take the green flag at 1:15 p.m. (ET). Martin Truex Jr. is scheduled to roll off first.

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