Homestead, Fla. Things were definitely looking up for Jimmie Johnson on Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where he is hoping to put the finishing touches on a record-tying third straight NASCAR Sprint Cup championship in the season finale.
After a 30th-place qualifying effort Friday, Johnson's No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet was fastest in the first of two practices on the 1.5-mile oval before slipping to fourth in the second and final session.
Series runner-up Carl Edwards was in the opposite situation. Edwards, who trails Johnson by 141 points going into today's Ford 400, qualified fourth, but had a so-so final day of practice. He was seventh in the opening session, but fell to 23rd in the last hour.