Larson fastest in Friday's only Cup practice at Martinsville
Kyle Larson, who finished third in the spring race, led the way in Friday’s only Sprint Cup Series practice session at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
Larson posted his top average speed of 98.170 mph late in the near hour-and-a-half session, edging out Chase contender Denny Hamlin, who has five career victories at the short track.
Larson also had the fastest average speed among the drivers who ran at least 10 consecutive laps (95.242 mph). He was followed by Chase Elliott and Jeff Gordon.
Joey Logano was fourth-fastest in the overall session, followed by Elliott, Danica Patrick, Martin Truex Jr., Kyle Busch, A.J. Allmendinger, Gordon and Jimmie Johnson.
Gordon is filling in for Dale Earnhardt Jr. in his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet for the final time this season. Earnhardt continues to recover from a concussion he suffered in the August race at Michigan.
Four of the eight remaining drivers in the Chase ended the session outside the Top-10.
Kurt Busch was 11th fastest, Matt Kenseth was 15th, Carl Edwards was 18th and Kevin Harvick was 119th.
Midway through the practice session, Brian Scott picked up significant damage to his No. 44 when he slammed the wall with the right-rear of his car.
“I was a little over ambitious going into Turn 3. I was trying to get too much with too cold of brakes,” he said. “This was all on me, the driver.”
Scott said he believes his Richard Petty Motorsports team would be able to repair the damage and not need to use the backup car, although he was unsure they would get back out on the track for additional practice.
Scott, who finished second last weekend at Talladega, ended up 39th fastest.
Greg Biffle, who was among the drivers who participated in the tire test at Martinsville earlier this month, said changing weather conditions had a negative effect for his No. 16 Roush Fenway Racing team.
“It’s a little bit warmer than when we were testing,” Biffle said. “The track seems it has a little bit less grip. I thought we were good when we fired off here but we’re now back around 22nd. We aren’t quite where we want to be.”
Biffle ended up 23rd fastest.
|6||78||Martin Truex Jr.||Toyota||19||19.328||0.039||0.000||97.972|
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