Saturday, April 6, 2013

Martinsville Practice Notes and Final Driver Ratings

Bowyer blazing fast in practices
By Micah Roberts

Clint Bowyer was fastest during the final two practice sessions Saturday at Martinsville Speedway in preparation for Sunday's STP Gas Booster 500. Although Bowyer has never finished better than fifth place at Martinsville, he has the look of a winner based on having the fastest 10-consecutive lap average in all three of the weekend's practice sessions. Bowyer will start from the 15th position, but within 50 laps, he should find himself within the top five chasing down the leader.

That leader figures to be seven-time Martinsville winner Jimmie Johnson, who was just a notch below Bowyer on all the speed charts. We still list Johnson higher in the overall ratings just because of his past excellence on the flat half-mile short track. Over Johnson's last 20 starts, he's averaged a 4.4 finish, and he's finished outside of the top-10 only twice in that span, with the worst finish being 12th.

After those two, it's kind of a free-for-all, especially with four-time winner Denny Hamlin not participating because of a back injury. Jeff Gordon has won seven times and showed during practice that he'll be right up there with the leaders contending for a win. During the early practice session Saturday, Gordon had the third fastest single lap and second-best 10-consecutive lap average.

Read More Here....Final Driver Ratings

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