Logano leads opening Martinsville practice

Image by LAT

Logano leads opening Martinsville practice


Logano leads opening Martinsville practice


Defending Martinsville Speedway winner and playoffs contender Joey Logano was quickest in opening Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice Saturday morning.

Logano paced the field at 96.657 mph (19.591 seconds). Behind Logano was the driver he beat last year, Martin Truex Jr. (P). Truex was second fastest at 96.176 mph.

Truex was docked the final 15 minutes of practice because his car failed inspection twice in Kansas.

Denny Hamlin (P) was third fastest at 95.966 mph with Clint Bowyer fourth quick at 95.854 mph. Both are former Martinsville winners. Completing the top five was Kyle Busch (P) at 95.709 mph.

The rest of the top 10 was Chris Buescher at 95.583 mph, Ryan Blaney (P) at 95.381 mph, Aric Almirola at 95.376 mph, Daniel Suarez at 95.247 mph, and Jimmie Johnson at 95.232 mph.

Kevin Harvick (P) was 12th fastest at 95.151 mph. Harvick was also docked the final 30 minutes of practice to serve a penalty after his car failed inspection three times last weekend.

Kyle Larson was 13th fastest at 95.118 mph with Chase Elliott 14th fastest at 95.094 mph.

Four minutes into practice, Elliott’s No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet suffered a mechanical issue resulting in heavy flame and smoke coming from underneath the car. Elliott had only completed five laps before the incident and had been sixth fastest. Due to the team, having to change the engine, Elliott will drop to the rear of the field for the start Sunday afternoon regardless of where he qualifies.

Matt Crafton was 31st fastest in the No. 36 Front Row Ford as he replaced Matt Tifft, who had been transported to a local hospital.

In the best 10 consecutive lap average it was Bowyer fastest over Hamlin, Almirola, Kyle Busch, and Blaney.

UP NEXT: Final practice at 12 p.m. ET.