Martin Truex Jr. fastest in Saturday's first Cup practice at Martinsville

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Martin Truex Jr. fastest in Saturday's first Cup practice at Martinsville
Jim Utter
By: Jim Utter
Mar 24, 2018, 3:06 PM

Martin Truex Jr., who has never won at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, was fastest in Saturday morning’s practice session.

The reigning Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series champion earned his career-best finish at the track last fall when he finished as runner-up to winner Kyle Busch.

Truex posted an average lap speed of 95.752 mph early in the 55-minute session as teams spent the majority of their practice time in race set-up because of the likelihood Saturday’s second practice would be rained out.

Brad Keselowski ended up second-fastest (95.646 mph) followed by Kyle Busch (95.213 mph). Ryan Newman and Kurt Busch completed the top-five.

Rounding out the Top 10 were Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano and Ryan Blaney.

Elliott said he has been buoyed but some recent strong runs at Martinsville.

“This has been one of my worst places and one of the places that I personally feel like I’ve struggled at a lot,” Elliott said. “So, to have a couple of good runs here the past two races has been nice, encouraging, had a car good enough to compete for a win here last time. 

“We were close this race last year, but definitely better in the fall. So, we learned some things.”

Logano has won a pole at Martinsville in each of the last four seasons.

Truex also had the fastest average lap speed (95.054 mph) of those drivers who ran at least 10 consecutive laps. He was followed by Kyle Busch, Larson, Hamlin and Elliott.

Cla#DriverManufacturerLapsTimeGapIntervalMph
1 78 united_states Martin Truex Jr.  Toyota 44 19.776     95.752
2 2 united_states Brad Keselowski  Ford 44 19.798 0.022 0.022 95.646
3 18 united_states Kyle Busch  Toyota 41 19.888 0.112 0.090 95.213
4 31 united_states Ryan Newman  Chevrolet 41 19.891 0.115 0.003 95.199
5 41 united_states Kurt Busch  Ford 63 19.913 0.137 0.022 95.094
6 9 united_states Chase Elliott  Chevrolet 63 19.915 0.139 0.002 95.084
7 42 united_states Kyle Larson  Chevrolet 62 19.919 0.143 0.004 95.065
8 11 united_states Denny Hamlin  Toyota 69 19.932 0.156 0.013 95.003
9 22 united_states Joey Logano  Ford 42 19.937 0.161 0.005 94.979
10 12 united_states Ryan Blaney  Ford 48 19.944 0.168 0.007 94.946
11 14 united_states Clint Bowyer  Ford 45 19.971 0.195 0.027 94.817
12 13 united_states Ty Dillon  Chevrolet 62 19.973 0.197 0.002 94.808
13 47 united_states A.J. Allmendinger  Chevrolet 62 19.990 0.214 0.017 94.727
14 19 mexico Daniel Suarez  Toyota 46 20.002 0.226 0.012 94.671
15 4 united_states Kevin Harvick  Ford 38 20.020 0.244 0.018 94.585
16 1 united_states Jamie McMurray  Chevrolet 53 20.020 0.244 0.000 94.585
17 20 united_states Erik Jones  Toyota 50 20.035 0.259 0.015 94.515
18 24 united_states William Byron  Chevrolet 58 20.043 0.267 0.008 94.477
19 10 united_states Aric Almirola  Ford 61 20.046 0.270 0.003 94.463
20 48 united_states Jimmie Johnson  Chevrolet 60 20.067 0.291 0.021 94.364
21 3 united_states Austin Dillon  Chevrolet 59 20.072 0.296 0.005 94.340
22 37 united_states Chris Buescher  Chevrolet 46 20.102 0.326 0.030 94.200
23 21 united_states Paul Menard  Ford 53 20.107 0.331 0.005 94.176
24 88 united_states Alex Bowman  Chevrolet 56 20.110 0.334 0.003 94.162
25 17 united_states Ricky Stenhouse Jr.  Ford 51 20.111 0.335 0.001 94.157
26 6 united_states Trevor Bayne  Ford 38 20.113 0.337 0.002 94.148
27 38 united_states David Ragan  Ford 45 20.114 0.338 0.001 94.143
28 43 united_states Darrell Wallace Jr.  Chevrolet 54 20.117 0.341 0.003 94.129
29 95 united_states Kasey Kahne  Chevrolet 40 20.142 0.366 0.025 94.013
30 34 united_states Michael McDowell  Ford 20 20.171 0.395 0.029 93.877
31 23 united_states Gray Gaulding  Toyota 25 20.223 0.447 0.052 93.636
32 72 united_states Cole Whitt  Chevrolet 27 20.230 0.454 0.007 93.604
33 32 united_states Matt DiBenedetto  Ford 35 20.265 0.489 0.035 93.442
34 15 united_states Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 25 20.330 0.554 0.065 93.143
35 55 united_states J.J. Yeley  Chevrolet 34 20.383 0.607 0.053 92.901
36 00 united_states Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 16 20.670 0.894 0.287 91.611
37 96 canada D.J. Kennington  Toyota 26 20.699 0.923 0.029 91.483
38 51 united_states Harrison Rhodes  Chevrolet 23 20.711 0.935 0.012 91.430

 

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About this article

Series NASCAR Cup
Event Martinsville
Location Martinsville Speedway
Drivers Martin Truex Jr.
Teams Furniture Row Racing
Author Jim Utter
Article type Practice report