Mayfield fastest in Martinsville Happy Hour

Jeremy Mayfield piloting the No. 19 Evernham Dodge paced the field in Martinsville 'happy hour' with a lap of 95.961. Mayfield will take the green flag from the third starting spot on Sunday. "I feel good about it," said Mayfield of the upcoming...

Jeremy Mayfield piloting the No. 19 Evernham Dodge paced the field in Martinsville 'happy hour' with a lap of 95.961. Mayfield will take the green flag from the third starting spot on Sunday.

"I feel good about it," said Mayfield of the upcoming race. "We've got a good car this week. We had a good car last week. It just didn't show because we had a little bit of battery trouble. It got us a few laps down, but we ran good, so we should be in good shape this weekend."

Mayfield's teammate Kasey Kahne was second fastest. Kahne's lap of 95.903 mph It is a marked improvement for Kahne who qualified a disappointing 35th for Sunday's event.

"We slid the nose and the back got loose because you've got so much wheel in the front. It was ill-handling, completely different than the way it was in practice," said Kahne of his qualifying run. "Everybody is slowing down, but we were battling the same things in practice, so I don't think that hurt us. We need Happy Hour tomorrow. We'll get as much practice in as we can."

Last week's race winner Kevin Harvick was third with a lap of 95.888 mph. Harvick swept both the Busch and Cup events at Bristol and looks for the same results this week; he will also make his season debut in the Truck series this weekend at Martinsville.

"You have to make the car roll through the tight corners," said Harvick of running at Martinsville. "Keeping the brakes on the car the entire race is important at Martinsville. So important in fact, when I got back from Bristol yesterday afternoon, I went straight to Caraway Speedway to shake down my Martinsville car.

"We wanted to make sure we put the brakes through a heat cycle and everything worked properly. Avoiding wrecks is another key to a successful day at Martinsville. It's a short track and things happen in a hurry. If you can do all of those things, you'll be OK."

Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin complete the top five times.

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Jeremy Mayfield , Kevin Harvick , Kasey Kahne , Mark Martin