It was a clean sweep in Saturday practice sessions at Martinsville Speedway for Martin Truex Jr.
Truex paced final practice with a lap of 95.415mph. The defending series champion goes into Sunday’s race seeking his first Martinsville win in his 25th start. His career-best was a second-place effort in last year’s playoff race.
Brad Keselowski was second fastest at 95.280mph and Daniel Suarez was third on the speed chart at 95.242mph. Kyle Busch was fourth fastest at 95.122mph and Ryan Newman completed the top five at 94.756mph.
Rounding out the top 10 were AJ Allmendinger (94.746mph), Aric Almirola (94.708mph), Jamie McMurray (94.642mph), Ryan Blaney (94.623mph), and Clint Bowyer (94.595mph).
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. will go to a backup car and the rear of the field for Sunday’s race following a crash in Turn 3. Just 17 minutes into the session, Stenhouse slammed the wall with the right rear.
“We planned on doing like 40 laps and a long run and then come in, making a chance and doing another one, but going into Turn 3 I got on the brakes and got wheel-hopped, which we haven’t had in two or three races here,” said Stenhouse. “When I first started coming to Martinsville in my career I had a lot of wheel-hop, and I actually did that a lot here, so it kind of caught me off guard that we had it [again]…
“We’ll get our Fastenal Ford backup car and get it ready to race for tomorrow. We’ve had really good cars on the lone run here. We’ve got good notes, so we’ll put the setup in there we had last year and go from there.”
NEXT UP: Qualifying at 5:10 p.m. ET.