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Kyle Busch and Jimmie Johnson are hot in Shootout practice, Jeff Burton blows an engine, Paul Menard and Scott Speed crash

   By Mike Mulhern

   Richard Childress' three Cup teams in Saturday night's Bud Shootout ran into some unexpected engine problems in Friday's chilly evening practice, with Jeff Burton blowing an engine.
   Burton insisted "I don't care if we blew up. My guys are going full-tilt. My only problem is we lost some practice time."
   However Childress will now also be inspecting the engines in team cars of Kevin Harvick and Casey Mears.
   "I commend our engine shop for giving us more speed," Harvick said. "Last year we couldn't even get out of our own way."
  "Our guys were real aggressive with our engine package here for the Shootout, which is what they are supposed to be doing," Burton said. "I am proud of them for throwing caution to the wind. The engine we are going to put in is a good engine, but it's not like that one. That was the special stuff."
   The 75-lap Shootout (187 miles) has a 28-car field, with the green flag set for 8:10 p.m. EST.
   The field includes a number of wild cards, like rookies Joey Logano and Scott Speed, both in Toyotas. This will be their first Cup races at Daytona.
   "It was intense, for sure," Speed said of his first practice runs. "Cars move around a lot over the bumps…which is awesome, actually."
   Then Speed got caught up in a crash when Paul Menard, the pole starter, spun into the wall.
   "It caught me by surprise," Menard said, after talking with Goodyear engineers. "I think we had a tire going down.
   "I'm not sure if we ran over something, or the tire just let loose."
  Crew chief Larry Carter decided Menard's car was fixable. If they had had to go to a backup car, then Menard would have had to start from the rear of the field.
   "It was good we got practice in...and now I've got my first crash under my belt," Speed said. "I couldn't see much about it, actually."



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