Jimmie Johnson Quickest at First Practice in California

Mike JonesCorrespondent IFebruary 20, 2009

In the opening Sprint Cup Series practice at Auto Club Speedway, Jimmie Johnson put a shaky Daytona speedweeks aside by turning in the fastest lap of the session. Johnson timed in at 39.584 second, or 181.892 mph.

Just behind Johnson was Hendrick teammate and half-car owner, Jeff Gordon, turning in a lap at 180.873 mph. Greg Biffle was third quickest in his No. 16 Roush-Fenway Ford, clocking in at 180.696 mph.

David Reutimann showed his success at the end of the 2008 season was no fluke, as he wheeled his No. 00 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota to fourth quickest. Stewart-Haas' Ryan Newman rounded out the top five, making it the third Hendrick-powered car in the top five.

Also among the top 10 was Earnhardt Ganassi Racing's Juan Pablo Montoya in sixth, and Richard Petty Motorsports' Reed Sorenson in ninth position.

Qualifying is slated for later Friday afternoon.