LOUDON, N.H. – Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch were the two-quickest drivers in the final practice session leading up to today’s LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Hamlin’s Toyota was clocked at 131.383 mph. Busch, his teammate at Joe Gibbs Racing, was next at 131.243.
Brad Keselowski was third, followed by Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson and Brian Vickers.
The Coke Zero 400 a week ago at the Daytona International Speedway was a mere warm-up for Jimmie Johnson and Kasey Kahne. Despite driving in stifling heat and humidity during the 400-mile race, both were in a triathlon the next morning in South Carolina.
Kahne beat his fellow Hendrick Motorsports teammate by 23 seconds.
“I would have like to have gotten a little more sleep and not been as dehydrated when it started,” Kahne said. “I started cramping up on the bike and then had to do the run after that. But still, when I finished it felt really good and I was happy I did it. I had to talk to myself the last mile of the run and I was like just stop; just slow down and I had to tell myself do not slow down, just keep going.”
Kahne and Johnson had to swim 500 meters, ride a bike for six miles and finish off the event with a three-mile run. Kahne’s time was 1 hour, 11 minutes and 30 seconds. Johnson finished a few seconds later.
“I finished well,” Johnson said. “I finished 46th overall; seventh in my age group. I missed my goal by a couple of minutes. I struggled on the run which is usually one of my strongest suits. But the elevated heart rate I think, through the swim and the biking and then once I got in the run I started to cramp and unfortunately stopped a couple of times and had a pretty poor run-time, which affected my overall.
“I had butterflies like I was getting ready to start a Cup race or something.”
Tony Stewart had fun with the idea of swimming, biking and running hours after a demanding race, saying the only way he’d be involved would be as a volunteer handing out cups of water on the circuit.
LOGANO HOSTS THE PATRIOTS
Joey Logano spent time at the New England Patriots training camp, where the team tried to teach him how to kick a field goal.
Logano will return the favor today when he gives three players an idea of what he does for a living.
The three football players will be at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway before the LENOX Industrial Tools 301. Logano will entertain punter Zoltan Mesko and offensive linemen Nick McDonald and Ryan Wendell, giving them tours of the garage area and pit road before the race.
“They tried to teach me how to kick a field goal and I’m going to stick to driving race cars,” Logano said. “That was pitiful -- extra points weren't happening for me. It’s cool that they're coming up here to watch the race. Some of those guys are race fans, so that’s pretty neat to have them come up here and have them check it out.”