Roush Racing driver Carl Edwards paced the first of two NASCAR Busch Series morning practice sessions at Kentucky Speedway with a fast lap of 177.731 mph.

Edwards begins the day fourth in both the NASCAR Busch and NEXTEL Cup Series standings. He drove 32 laps in the session and boarded a helicopter bound for Michigan International Raceway where he will qualify his NEXTEL Cup Series car at noon. The 2003 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race winner at the speedway will make his third career Kentucky start tonight at 8:00 p.m. in "The Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo."

NEXTEL Cup star Rusty Wallace was second in the practice session with a fast lap of 176.922 mph. He turned 31 practice laps and joined Edwards on the journey to Michigan. Wallace will make his second NASCAR Busch Series start of the season at Kentucky Speedway tonight. He begins the day seventh in NEXTEL Cup Series standings after earning two top-five and seven top-10 finishes through 14 races this season.

"Right now, we're feeling good. I did a test and it really helped out," Wallace said. "I feel like we're in good shape and prepared right now. Now, I'm going to run back to Michigan and qualify my Cup car. I'll be back about four o'clock. It's all systems go right now. I'm proud of the guys, they did a really good job."

Defending NASCAR Busch Series champion Martin Truex, Jr., was third on speed chart in practice with a fast lap of 176.719 mph. He turned 30 practice laps in the session. He set the track series qualifying record track last season at 180.102 mph.

"It was a pretty good practice, a pretty good car," Truex, Jr., said. "I just need to make a few minor changes. It's hard to know what the weather is going to be like tonight, so, for now, we're just going to go with it."

Truex, Jr., begins the day second in the series standings and is 51 points behind leader Reed Sorenson, who was eighth quickest in practice with a fast lap of 176.211 mph.

"The car was pretty good," Sorenson said. "It was bottoming out pretty bad going into Turn 1. We got it to stop doing that and we'll be pretty good I think."

Drivers will take a 30-minute break and return to the track at 11:30 a.m., for a 90-minute practice session. Qualifying for "The Meijer 300 Presented by Oreo" begins at 5:00 p.m.

Tickets are still available for tonight's race and can be purchased at the speedway main entrance at Gates 15 and 16.

In addition to the second qualifying session, the full day of activity at the track features Travis Tritt in concert at 3:00 p.m. NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year and race grand marshal Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers will give drivers the command to start engines later tonight.

~ Kentucky Speedway ~