DOVER, Del. — Report by Managing Editor Jacob Seelman for Race Chaser Online — Nick Laham/Getty Images North America photo — At a track where Jimmie Johnson has been king over the years, the rest of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Chase Grid took the challenge to the six-time champion during second practice for the AAA 400 at Dover International Speedway — the first of two Saturday sessions for the Cup drivers.
Challenger Matt Kenseth, who is still looking for his first win of the season in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, posted a top speed of 155.649 mph on his first lap on-track Saturday to lead the Cup Series session. Kenseth is a two-time winner at Dover, but has never won the fall race at the Monster Mile.
AJ Allmendinger, currently the 10th seed on the Chase Grid looking to advance to the Contender Round Sunday afternoon, posted a banner lap for JTG-Daugherty Racing, clocking in second with a speed of 154.805 mph. Allmendinger is looking for his first career oval victory in NASCAR Sprint Cup competition after using a Watkins Glen win earlier in the season to smash into the Chase Grid.
Denny Hamlin (153.813 mph), non-Chaser Clint Bowyer (153.748 mph) and Hendrick Motorsports driver Kasey Kahne (153.708 mph) completed the top five on the speed charts.
Kevin Harvick, Sunday’s polesitter, came in seventh-fastest with a speed of 153.368 mph after topping opening practice Friday.
Defending race winner and nine-time Dover winner Jimmie Johnson was 13th overall, only able to muster a lap of 152.691 mph, while Kurt Busch was the anchor on the Chase Grid drivers, 27th on the board at 151.477 mph.
The Sprint Cup Series returns to the track later today for final practice at 2 p.m. ET, with TV coverage on FOX Sports 2.