Larson tops final Cup practice at Martinsville

Larson tops final Cup practice at Martinsville
Lee Spencer
By: Lee Spencer
Oct 29, 2016, 5:17 PM

Kyle Larson would not be upstaged on Saturday at Martinsville Speedway.

After his Ganassi Racing teammate Jamie McMurray led second practice, Larson posted the top single lap speed of 96.088mph in Happy Hour forSunday’s Goody’s 500. He also earned the fastest Best 10 Consecutive Lap Average run of 95.462mph. 

Tony Stewart, who is expected to make his final run on Sunday, was second quick with a lap of 96.019mph with Paul Menard (95.845mph), David Ragan (95.781mph), Kyle Busch (95.738mph) and Brad Keselowski (95.738mph) comprising the top six on the speed chart. 

"Our car is really good,” Ragan said. “I knew yesterday our car had some speed but I knew today would present some challenges that we haven't seen here in a few years. I think our car is comfortable, it has speed in it, it's not perfect by any means. I feel like I can roll the center very nice. 

"There's a lot of good cars we'll have to race tomorrow, but I think we have a Top 15 car now. Obviously, it shows very good on the speed chart, but there are eight to 10 cars that can sustain the speed a little better than we do.

"You never know what everybody has on Friday because a lot of cars don't spend a lot of time in race trim. You just don't know who's going to be fast on Saturday. I was encouraged we were still able to go out and hold our own in the Top 10 on the speed chart."

Polesitter Martin Truex Jr. (95.651mph), Joey Logano (95.622mph), McMurray (95.622mph), Kevin Harvick (95.603mph), Ryan Newman (95.593mph) and Kurt Busch (95.501mph) rounded out the top 12. 

Denny Hamlin (16th) completed 99 laps, the most in the 50-minute session. Other notable Chasers included Matt Kenseth (15th), Jimmie Johnson (20th) and Carl Edwards (27th).

The focus for most competitors in final practice was the long run set up for the cars. Although Larson established the fastest pace in Best 10 Consecutive Lap Averages, Chaser Kyle Buschwas second with an average speed of 95.356mph, followed by Stewart (95.279mph), Logano (95.278mph), Truex (95.219mph) and Jeff Gordon (95.113mph). 

Kurt Busch was seventh in the category with an average run of 95.108mph followed by Newman (95.103mph), Chase Elliott (95.098mph) Ragan (95.010mph), McMurray (95.001mph) and Kenseth and Harvick each with a speed of 94.950mph.

Other Chasers included Edwards (17th), Hamlin (18th) and Johnson (19th).

1 42  Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 61 19.707     96.088
2 14  Tony Stewart  Chevrolet 73 19.721 0.014 0.014 96.019
3 27  Paul Menard  Chevrolet 63 19.757 0.050 0.036 95.845
4 23  David Ragan  Toyota 41 19.770 0.063 0.013 95.781
5 18  Kyle Busch  Toyota 89 19.777 0.070 0.007 95.748
6 2  Brad Keselowski  Ford 61 19.779 0.072 0.002 95.738
7 78  Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 70 19.797 0.090 0.018 95.651
8 22  Joey Logano  Ford 82 19.803 0.096 0.006 95.622
9 1  Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 80 19.803 0.096 0.000 95.622
10 4  Kevin Harvick  Chevrolet 63 19.807 0.100 0.004 95.603

CLICK HERE for complete session results

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