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NASCAR NEWS 

Aric Almirola tops truncated NASCAR Sprint Cup test at Charlotte

Aric Almirola, Petty Ford, Charlotte NASCAR test 2013Richard Petty Ford driver Aric Almirola was quickest in the final pre-season NASCAR Sprint Cup group test at Charlotte on Friday.

The test had been scheduled as two days of running, but persistent rain on Thursday and continued poor weather the following morning meant it was Friday lunchtime before cars actually hit the track.

Organisers extended the test into the evening under floodlights to maximise running.

Almirola set the pace with a lap of 27.832s as the top drivers beat last year's pole speeds at the track.

Roush Fenway's Carl Edwards, Germain's Casey Mears and Almirola's team-mate Marcos Ambrose made it an all-Ford top four.

Former champion Jimmie Johnson was top Chevrolet driver in fifth, with Mark Martin completing the top six in the best of the Toyotas.

Denny Hamlin skipped the test due to the imminent birth of his first child. Michael McDowell sat in for him at Joe Gibbs Racing.

Pos  Driver              Team/Car                     Time     Gap
 1.  Aric Almirola       Petty Ford                   27.832s
 2.  Carl Edwards        Roush Fenway Ford            27.882s  + 0.050s
 3.  Casey Mears         Germain Ford                 27.924s  + 0.092s
 4.  Marcos Ambrose      Petty Ford                   27.938s  + 0.106s
 5.  Jimmie Johnson      Hendrick Chevrolet           28.009s  + 0.177s
 6.  Mark Martin         Waltrip Toyota               28.032s  + 0.200s
 7.  Greg Biffle         Roush Fenway Ford            28.036s  + 0.204s
 8.  Martin Truex Jr     Waltrip Toyota               28.063s  + 0.231s
 9.  Clint Bowyer        Waltrip Toyota               28.070s  + 0.238s
10.  Ricky Stenhouse Jr  Roush Fenway Ford            28.075s  + 0.243s
11.  Juan Pablo Montoya  Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet  28.092s  + 0.260s
12.  Kasey Kahne         Hendrick Chevrolet           28.095s  + 0.263s
13.  Matt Kenseth        Joe Gibbs Toyota             28.104s  + 0.272s
14.  Kevin Harvick       Childress Chevrolet          28.108s  + 0.276s
15.  Joey Logano         Penske Ford                  28.123s  + 0.291s
16.  Tony Stewart        Stewart-Haas Chevrolet       28.134s  + 0.302s
17.  Kyle Busch          Joe Gibbs Toyota             28.158s  + 0.326s
18.  Kurt Busch          Furniture Row Chevrolet      28.172s  + 0.340s
19.  Dale Earnhardt Jr   Hendrick Chevrolet           28.194s  + 0.362s
20.  Ryan Newman         Childress Chevrolet          28.196s  + 0.364s
21.  Jamie McMurray      Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet  28.214s  + 0.382s
22.  Jeff Gordon         Hendrick Chevrolet           28.216s  + 0.384s
23.  Jeff Burton         Childress Chevrolet          28.241s  + 0.409s
24.  Trevor Bayne        Wood Brothers Ford           28.278s  + 0.446s
25.  Michael McDowell    Joe Gibbs Toyota             28.315s  + 0.483s
26.  David Stremme       Swan Toyota                  28.332s  + 0.500s
27.  Danica Patrick      Stewart-Haas Chevrolet       28.342s  + 0.510s
28.  Brad Keselowski     Penske Ford                  28.355s  + 0.523s
29.  Bobby Labonte       JTG Daugherty Toyota         28.468s  + 0.636s
30.  Paul Menard         Childress Chevrolet          28.469s  + 0.637s
31.  Dave Blaney         Baldwin Chevrolet            28.645s  + 0.813s
32.  David Ragan         Front Row Ford               28.752s  + 0.920s
33.  Scott Speed         Leavine Ford                 28.882s  + 1.050s
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