Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saturday Martinsville Notebook

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.

“It’s 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.”


  1. Anonymous11:45 AM

    I think Jenny, from Arizona would be a better choice, she would never let anything happen to Kasey....

  2. I think they meant Jan from AZ. I agree, she'd be very protective. Only problem I see with that is, if someone tangles with Kasey on-track, she's liable to deck the other guy's spotter, then climb down the stands, through the garage, and go looking for said offender. Although, I would be forced to place my fan vote for Kasey's in-car audio, just to be a fly on the wall. I bet if you listen close enough, she might even throw in a William from Mississippi mention.