By Toby Christie (Originally appeared on RubbingsRacing.com)
The first practice for the Price Chopper 400 is in the books. After being stout all session long Juan Pablo Montoya knocked down a lap of 174.984 mph late to win practice.
Ryan “The Rocketman” Newman was oh-so-close to besting Montoya, but had to settle for the second-fastest time.
Jimmie Johnson was fastest among the chase contenders in third. Paul Menard and Jamie McMurray rounded out the top-five.
Bill Elliott was the fastest car for a good portion of the session, and had everyone feeling like the clocks were turned back to 1985. Eventually though the non-go-or-go-home drivers installed their qualifying setups. Elliott would wind up 27th quick.
Mark Martin never even got a lap in during the practice, because his team discovered a fuel pump issue just as practice was getting underway. They have changed the motor.
Marcos Ambrose’s team also changed an engine.
Other notables in the first practice of the weekend were: Carl Edwards* (6th), Clint Bowyer* (7th), Denny Hamlin* (9th), Matt Kenseth* (11th), Tony Stewart* (12th), Kurt Busch* (13th), Greg Biffle* (15th), Kevin Harvick* (17th), Jeff Gordon* (18th), Dale Earnhardt Jr. (20th), Kasey Kahne (22nd), Kyle Busch* (24th), Jeff Burton* (26th), and Elliott Sadler (29th), who is running a pink paint scheme for breast cancer awareness.
* = Chase Contender