Credit: Wesley Hitt/Getty Images for NASCAR

This weekend’s schedule at Michigan International Speedway is a little different than what us fantasy racers have gotten used to over the 2011 NASCAR season.. One practice session was held Friday afternoon and qualifying started soon afterward. Greg Biffle won the pole for Sunday’s event, edging out teammate Matt Kenseth for the top spot by less then three one-hundredths of a second. In case you were wondering what the starting lineup looks like, you can view that by clicking here. Happy Hour was held on Saturday afternoon and this weekend’s race–The Pure Michigan 400–is set to start around 1:15 PM eastern time on Sunday. Happy Hour was when the cars were on the track in race trim; the first practice session was the one that NASCAR used to set the qualifying lineup and drivers were working on getting one fast lap. When you see the average speed chart below, you will also find each individual driver’s ranking in Happy Hour, which should give you a good idea of who will be fast in the race. Finally, you can read my Fantasy NASCAR Michigan preview that went up earlier this week at OnPitRow.com by clicking here.

Important Practice Notes: Joey Logano spun in first practice but didn’t damage his race car. Brian Vickers scraped the wall in Happy Hour but I didn’t hear anything about major damage.

The top five drivers in the first practice session were:
1. Matt Kenseth – 188.813 mph
2. Ryan Newman – 188.506 mph
3. Greg Biffle – 188.467 mph
4. Mark Martin – 188.462 mph
5. David Ragan – 188.260 mph
Complete rankings of practice one can be found by clicking here.

In Happy Hour, the five fastest drivers were:
1. Mark Martin – 187.642 mph
2. Kyle Busch – 187.417 mph
3. Jimmie Johnson – 187.407 mph
4. Greg Biffle – 187.393 mph
5. Jeff Gordon – 187.246 mph
Complete rankings of this practice can be found by clicking here.
In terms of ten-lap average, the following were fastest in Happy Hour:
1. Paul Menard – 183.837 mph
2. Kyle Busch – 183.616 mph
3. Kurt Busch – 183.610 mph
4. Clint Bowyer – 183.343 mph
5. Brad Keselowski – 183.153 mph

AVERAGE PRACTICE SPEEDS:

Average practice speeds are calculated by taking the average speed of each driver in each practice and multiplying it by the number of laps ran. When you do this for each practice and add the  totals together, and then divide by the total number of laps ran, you get an average of their practice speed, instead of just the one lap statistic you see when you look at practice sheets. The order that they are in is the overall average speeds rank of the Friday practice session combined with Happy Hour (which was held on Saturday). In parenthesis you will find each individual driver’s average speed ranking in Happy Hour, which is the practice where all of the teams worked on race trim. 

  1. Casey Mears at 182.975 mph over 17 laps (ranked 8th in Happy Hour average speed)
  2. Paul Menard at 182.500 mph over 50 laps (ranked 1st in Happy Hour average speed)
  3. Kurt Busch at 182.166 mph over 57 laps (ranked 4th in Happy Hour average speed)
  4. Clint Bowyer at 182.115 mph over 71 laps (ranked 2nd in Happy Hour average speed)
  5. Mark Martin at 182.111 mph over 63 laps (ranked 10th in Happy Hour average speed)
  6. Kyle Busch at 182.063 mph over 71 laps (ranked 5th in Happy Hour average speed)
  7. Greg Biffle at 181.895 mph over 63 laps (ranked 12th in Happy Hour average speed)
  8. Marcos Ambrose at 181.792 mph over 60 laps (ranked 13th in Happy Hour average speed)
  9. Brad Keselowski at 181.789 mph over 67 laps (ranked 7th in Happy Hour average speed)
  10. Kevin Harvick at 181.755 mph over 76 laps (ranked 6th in Happy Hour average speed)
  11. Matt Kenseth at 181.669 mph over 74 laps (ranked 3rd in Happy Hour average speed)
  12. Juan Montoya at 181.597 mph over 47 laps (ranked 14th in Happy Hour average speed)
  13. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. at 181.512 mph over 63 laps (ranked 11th in Happy Hour average speed)
  14. Jamie McMurray at 181.483 mph over 58 laps (ranked 15th in Happy Hour average speed)
  15. Ryan Newman at 181.453 mph over 69 laps (ranked 17th in Happy Hour average speed)
  16. A.J. Allmendinger at 181.399 mph over 52 laps (ranked 21st in Happy Hour average speed)
  17. Brian Vickers at 181.359 mph over 59 laps (ranked 23rd in Happy Hour average speed)
  18. Denny Hamlin at 181.309 mph over 72 laps (ranked 9th in Happy Hour average speed)
  19. Kasey Kahne at 181.245 mph over 70 laps (ranked 24th in Happy Hour average speed)
  20. Jeff Gordon at 181.193 mph over 52 laps (ranked 19th in Happy Hour average speed)
  21. Tony Stewart at 181.152 mph over 71 laps (ranked 18th in Happy Hour average speed)
  22. Jeff Burton at 181.070 mph over 55 laps (ranked 20th in Happy Hour average speed)
  23. Regan Smith at 181.051 mph over 75 laps (ranked 22nd in Happy Hour average speed)
  24. Carl Edwards at 180.974 mph over 46 laps (ranked 25th in Happy Hour average speed)
  25. David Ragan at 180.945 mph over 58 laps (ranked 29th in Happy Hour average speed)
  26. Joey Logano at 180.911 mph over 71 laps (ranked 26th in Happy Hour average speed)
  27. David Reutimann at 180.800 mph over 58 laps (ranked 27th in Happy Hour average speed)
  28. Martin Truex, Jr. at 180.641 mph over 56 laps (ranked 31st in Happy Hour average speed)
  29. Jimmie Johnson at 180.568 mph over 77 laps (ranked 28th in Happy Hour average speed)
  30. Bobby Labonte at 180.502 mph over 48 laps (ranked 32nd in Happy Hour average speed)
  31. Dave Blaney at 179.699 mph over 32 laps (ranked 36th in Happy Hour average speed)
  32. Landon Cassill at 179.587 mph over 43 laps (ranked 37th in Happy Hour average speed)
  33. David Gilliland at 178.925 mph over 44 laps (ranked 38th in Happy Hour average speed)
  34. Ken Schrader at 178.580 mph over 48 laps (ranked 40th in Happy Hour average speed)
  35. Andy Lally at 178.146 mph over 65 laps (ranked 41st in Happy Hour average speed)

Go-Or-Go-Homer’s Average Speeds:

  1. Joe Nemechek at 182.910 mph over 9 laps (ranked 30th in Happy Hour average speed)
  2. Trevor Bayne at 181.661 mph over 53 laps (ranked 16th in Happy Hour average speed)
  3. Todd Bodine at 180.487 mph over 15 laps (ranked 34th in Happy Hour average speed)
  4. David Stremme at 180.403 mph over 27 laps (ranked 39th in Happy Hour average speed)
  5. Tony Raines at 180.114 mph over 20 laps (ranked 33rd in Happy Hour average speed)
  6. Travis Kvapil at 179.927 mph over 40 laps (ranked 35th in Happy Hour average speed)
  7. J.J. Yeley at 179.159 mph over 26 laps (ranked 43rd in Happy Hour average speed)
  8. Mike Skinner at 178.835 mph over 25 laps (ranked 42nd in Happy Hour average speed)