Bristol, TN (Sports Network) - Persistent rain at Bristol Motor Speedway
forced NASCAR to cancel Friday's qualifying session for the Irwin Tools Night
A severe thunderstorm moved over the 0.533-mile racetrack moments prior to the
start of qualifying, which was scheduled to start at 5:00 p.m. (ET). NASCAR
officials made the decision to call off the session at 6:25 p.m.
Casey Mears was surprisingly the fastest in the first practice held earlier in
the day. Therefore, Mears will start on the pole per NASCAR's rule book on
determining the starting field when qualifying is canceled.
Brad Keselowski, who has won the last two Sprint Cup Series races at Bristol,
will start alongside Mears on the front row. Greg Biffle will start third,
followed by Joey Logano and Aric Almirola.
Jeff Burton, Paul Menard, Denny Hamlin, Marcos Ambrose and Kyle Busch will
roll off sixth through 10th, respectively.
Jimmie Johnson will start 37th after struggling in practice. Danica Patrick
also had difficulties in practice, as she had the slowest speed among the 47
drivers on the track. Patrick earned the last starting position since her No.
10 Tommy Baldwin Racing team is currently 33rd in owner points.
Scott Speed, Kelly Bires, Reed Sorenson and J.J. Yeley did not qualify.
Saturday's 500-lap race at Bristol is scheduled to start just after 7:30 p.m.
The Sports Network