Friday, March 28, 2014

All question marks about Hamlin answered at first Martinsville practice

Denny Hamlin looks go to go for Sunday
LAS VEGAS -- If there were any doubts about Denny Hamlin’s vision coming into Sunday’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway, those concerns should have been erased during Friday’s first practice session. Hamlin, who missed last week's race in Fontana with a sinus infection that affected his vision, flew to the top of the charts as the only driver to top 100 mph.

What was also interesting about the 90-minute practice session is that several drivers used the extra time to run their race set-ups despite having two practice sessions coming up on Saturday. A normal practice on Friday usually has teams running minimal laps exclusively in mock-qualifying trim, but on this Friday six drivers ran 50 laps or more and 17 drivers ran at least 10-consecutive laps.

Brad Keselowski ran the most laps, and on his 67th and final lap, he found his fastest time of the day -- but it was just the 23rd fastest (98.023 mph) among drivers. But Keselowski also had the fastest 10-consecutive lap average. Key drivers Keselowski bested in that category include 2-to-1 favorite and eight-time Martinsville winner Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr, Tony Stewart and Matt Kenseth.

Jeff Gordon and Hamlin, who are just behind Johnson on the oddsboard for Sunday’s race, didn’t run 10-consecutive laps. Gordon, another eight-time Martinsville winner, ran only 32 laps and had the 12th fastest lap (98.615).

The driver Hamlin beat for the top time was Joey Logano (99.313), who ran a total of 42 laps. Kenseth (99.173) was third fastest, followed by Clint Bowyer (99.147) and Stewart (99.126) to round out the top five.

Read More Here.......The Linemakers on Sporting News

No comments: