Good morning from Martinsville Speedway, where Mother Nature decided to give the jet dryers an early workout today. A light rain fell here since the early morning hours, but Sirius XM Speedway meteorologist Cassie Behofist was correct in assuring us that the precipitation would depart before noon, clearing the way for Camping World Truck and Sprint Cup Series qualifying. Just after 11 a.m. ET, the track was virtually dry, and Truck Series qualifying is now underway.
Gordon Fast In Practice: Jeff Gordon topped
the speed charts in both of yesterday's Sprint Cup Series practices here at
Martinsville. In Round One, Gordon’s AARP/ Drive To End Hunger Chevrolet
recorded a fast lap at 97.048 mph to edge Kyle Busch (96.959) and Denny Hamlin
(96.835). Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Ryan Newman completed the top five. Gordon
also topped the final practice at 97.028 mph, besting Kurt Busch, Brad
Keselowski, Newman and David Stremme.
Hendrick Strong: Gordon may have been
fastest Friday, but the entire Hendrick Motorsports stable looked strong in
practice. HMS is gunning for its 200th NASCAR Sprint Cup victory
this weekend, and put three cars in the Top-10 in practice. Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
and Kasey Kahne joined Gordon in the Top-10, and garage area railbirds say HMS
will make a strong bid for their 200th checkered flag in tomorrow’s
“Goody’s Fast Relief 500.”
Harvick Is Top Trucker: Kevin Harvick was fastest
in the opening practice session for this afternoon’s “Kroger 250” NASCAR Camping
World Truck Series race, before posting the tenth fastest time in the second
session. After finally breaking into
Martinsville’s Victory Lane in last year’s Sprint Cup Series “Goody’s Fast
Relief 500,” Harvick said he hopes to add another trophy to the mantel today.
fun to finally get that win out of the way last year,” he said. “Hopefully, we
can start putting a few more of them in the victory column and go from there. It’s
been good start to the season, and hopefully we can keep it rolling.”
New Eyes For Kasey: Kasey Kahne has a new
spotter this week, with Shannon McGlamery assuming the radio duties from
Kasey’s cousin, Kole Kahne. Kasey Kahne was upset after a crash two weeks ago
at Bristol Motor Speedway, when he was erroneously cleared by his spotter
before moving up the race track, pinching Regan Smith into the wall and
triggering an early, multi-car crash. “I was a little unpleased after
California,” admitted Kahne yesterday. “We are just looking at something for a
couple of weeks. (After Texas) we are going to sit down and decide if that is
the direction I want to go, or if I feel comfortable with Kole doing it again.”