MARTIN, NEWMAN FASTEST IN PRACTICE

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Mark Martin and Ryan Newman were fastest in NASCAR Winston Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series practice at Chicagoland Speedway on Thursday. Martin, driving the Pfizer / Viagra Ford Taurus, hit 183.867 mph, while Newman, whose driving a limited Winston Cup and Busch Series schedule this year for Roger Penske, posted a fast lap of 182.605 in his Busch Series machine. Jerry Nadeau, Jimmy Spencer, fan favorite Bill Elliott and Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidate Kurt Busch rounded out the top-five fastest Winston Cup Series regulars in preparation for Sunday?s Tropicana 400 at the brand new, 1.5-mile trioval. Elliott, driving the No. 9 Dodge Dealers UAW Dodge Intrepid R/T, was the fastest Dodge of the day, posting impressive times throughout the day. He held the top speed following the morning?s first-round practice at 182.593 mph. ?It doesn?t pay anything to win practice,? Elliott said. ?We ran 30.50s to 31.50 when we tested here. We never went in qualifying trim when we tested. We just worked on our qualifying setup in that first practice session.? Speeds were a little faster during afternoon practice than they were during early practice sessions. Jeff Gordon, driving the No. 24 DuPont Chevrolet, was also fast, posting a 182.263 mph for his fastest lap of the day. Robbie Loomis, Gordon?s crew chief, said his team will try to compare Chicagoland to other tracks when determining the best setup. ?Since we tested here, we have some ideas,? Loomis said. ?But the track?s going to change a lot. ? We?re concentrating on one-, two-lap runs today and saving our race stuff for Saturday because the track will be a lot different then.? Spencer, driving double-duty this weekend as he competes in the Hills Bros 300 presented by Sam?s Club on Saturday and the Tropicana 400 on Sunday, logged several laps in both his cars. His top speed in the Winston Cup car was 181.245 during afternoon practice. His Busch Series car was 181.245 mph. Iowa native Shawna Robinson posted a fast time of 179.456 mph. There?s plenty of activities for race fans at Chicagoland Speedway of Friday. Friday?s track action at Chicagoland Speedway begins with NASCAR Busch Series practice at 9 a.m. The NASCAR Winston Cup Series drivers practice at 11 a.m. The schedule for Friday is:

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