Larson fastest in Friday's only Cup practice at Martinsville

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Larson fastest in Friday's only Cup practice at Martinsville
Jim Utter
By: Jim Utter
Oct 28, 2016, 4:57 PM

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.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 42  Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 42 19.289     98.170
2 11  Denny Hamlin  Toyota 15 19.311 0.022 0.022 98.058
3 22  Joey Logano  Ford 31 19.312 0.023 0.001 98.053
4 24  Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 36 19.321 0.032 0.009 98.007
5 10  Danica Patrick  Chevrolet 31 19.328 0.039 0.007 97.972
6 78  Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 19 19.328 0.039 0.000 97.972
7 18  Kyle Busch  Toyota 15 19.343 0.054 0.015 97.896
8 47  A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 31 19.351 0.062 0.008 97.855
9 88  Jeff Gordon  Chevrolet 31 19.355 0.066 0.004 97.835
10 48  Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 16 19.358 0.069 0.003 97.820

CLICK HERE for complete practice results

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Martinsville II
Sub-event Friday practice
Location Martinsville Speedway
Drivers Kyle Larson
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing
Author Jim Utter
Article type Practice report