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News from the track: AMP 500 at Talladega Superspeedway

From The Marbles

Next up, Practice No. 1 at 2 p.m. ET

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The Sprint Cup Series moves on to Talladega Superspeedway — the track that is part freak show, part dare devil, all action. Stick with us here all day where we'll bring you the action as it happens, including what Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick have to say about their thoughts heading into the most important race of the season. Here are a few notes to get us started:

• First practice begins at 2 p.m. ET
• Qualifying isn't until Saturday at noon ET

Talladega strategy:

Clint Bowyer said the three title contenders should race in the back to try to stay out of trouble. However, he expects three-wide racing up front most of the day.

• Look for Kevin Harvick to make his move with 50 laps to go. That's what he did in winning there in the spring, said Bowyer.

Burton vs. Harvick

Jeff Burton says he and Kevin Harvick are "good," following their dust-up last weekend at Martinsville.

The two met on Tuesday to iron out their issues. Burton said they both could have handled things differently, and that they will be better teammates going forward.

"Being teammates is hard," Burton said. "You always expect more from a teammate. You're trying to be a good teammate, but you're trying to beat teammates."

Whatever issues they have are "completely over," said Burton.

How's this for an idea:

• What if NASCAR gave a point for every lap led at Talladega? That's the question that reporter Mike Mulhern is posing to drivers today.

Jeff Burton said, "It would be better. ...It would make it exciting. There are some teams that are going to ride around in the back on Sunday because there is nothing to gain" by racing in the front.

Gordon ill:

Jeff Gordon will not meet with media today. He is ill. We'll bring you updates when we get them.

Kyle Busch talks payback:

• Kyle Busch is having a great media session, talking about scorecards. He says that just because you pay someone back doesn't mean the scorecard is even - or even that payback is warranted. He pointed to his brother Kurt wrecking Jeff Gordon last weekend at Martinsville. While Kurt got payback, he still feels like he's down on the scorecard to Gordon.

Kyle says all drivers should get together at the beginning of the season, let each other know where they stand on the scorecard, and if you feel you owe someone five times, you let them know that so that they understand when you wreck them two, three, four times.

Next up, Practice No. 1 at 2 p.m. ET

• There is lots of strategizing already going on, most notably with Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin hooking up in a two-car draft, then dropping to the back of the pack together to see how well they can drive back up through the field.

• Hamlin had a near-miss while bump-drafting with Joey Logano, but all is well so far.

Greg Biffle is back in the garage with a vibration. They are making wholesale parts changes to his car now.

Matt Kenseth is having a vibration issue as well. That makes two Roush cars in the garage already.

• Definitely an issue for Roush Fenway. Edwards has it, too.

• First practice is over. Here is how the speed chart looks: Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Jamie McMurray, Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Marcos Ambrose, Kasey Kahne, Aric Almirola, Mark Martin and Dale Earnhardt Jr. make up the top 10.

Hamlin topped the 200 mph mark, clocking a lap of 201.664. He says it didn't feel much different than going 197.

Practice No. 2

• Mark Martin topped the speed chart in the second practice. He was followed by Jeff Burton, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, David Reutimann, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth, Tony Stewart, David Ragan and Robby Gordon.

Neither Jimmie Johnson nor Kevin Harvick logged a lap in the second practice, which is not unusual. Practice in Talladega isn't as important as at other tracks. Johnson and Harvick were likely trying to avoid wrecking their primary car.

Kevin Harvick was 31st.

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