Ryan Newman fastest in first Sprint Cup practice at Martinsville

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Ryan Newman waited until the last minute to become the fastest driver Friday in an abbreviated first Sprint Cup practice session of the weekend at Martinsville Speedway.

Newman covered the .526-mile bull ring in southern Virginia with a top speed of 97.835 mph.

AJ Allmendinger was second-fastest (97.679 mph). Eight-time Martinsville winners Jeff Gordon (97.664) and Jimmie Johnson (97.618) were third- and fourth-fastest, respectively, while Martin Truex Jr. was fifth-fastest (97.558).

Chase Elliott, who is attempting to make his first career Sprint Cup race, was 29th-fastest at 96.337 mph.

“It definitely different, this is a different world here,” Elliott told Fox Sports 1. “It’s definitely exciting and we’re happy to be here. Hopefully, we’ll get qualifying in, lay down a good lap and get in the show.”

Late in the session, Austin Dillon’s No. 3 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet went up in smoke. It’s unclear what the cause was.

Weather cancelled the morning’s Camping World Truck Series practice and pushed back the Sprint Cup practice by two hours, as well as shortened it from 85 minutes to 50 minutes.

The Camping World Trucks are on track from 3 to 5:30 pm ET for a combined final practice session.

In addition, Sprint Cup qualifying has been pushed back to 6:10 pm ET from its original 4 pm scheduled time.

Weather is still dicey at Martinsville. If Cup qualifying is unable to be held, the starting field will be set based upon Friday afternoon’s lone practice session.

Driver speeds in first Sprint Cup practice at Martinsville:

1 Ryan Newman … 97.835 mph … 17 laps
2 AJ Allmendinger … 97.679 … 16 laps
3 Jeff Gordon … 97.664 … 13 laps
4 Jimmie Johnson … 97.618 … 17 laps
5 Martin Truex Jr. … 97.558 … 10 laps
6 Joey Logano … 97.412 … 14 laps
7 Jamie McMurray … 97.412 … 13 laps
8 Brad Keselowski … 97.397 … 11 laps
9 Denny Hamlin … 97.212 … 16 laps
10 Kyle Larson … 97.192 … 12 laps
11 Paul Menard … 97.187 … 15 laps
12 Carl Edwards … 97.108 … 17 laps
13 Casey Mears … 97.093 … 17 laps
14 Kurt Busch … 97.083 … 18 laps
15 Austin Dillon … 96.959 … 18 laps
16 Kevin Harvick … 96.919 … 14 laps
17 David Gilliland … 96.879 … 24 laps
18 Tony Stewart … 96.864 … 26 laps
19 Greg Biffle … 96.726 … 13 laps
20 Aric Almirola … 97.701 … 20 laps
21 Clint Bowyer … 96.667 … 20 laps
22 Danica Patrick … 96.558 … 17 laps
23 Justin Allgaier … 96.509 … 25 laps
24 Josh Wise … 95.504 … 22 laps
25 Dale Earnhardt Jr. … 96.460 … 11 laps
26 Matt Kenseth … 96.455 … 17 laps
27 Michael Annett … 96.406 … 26 laps
28 Kasey Kahne … 96.406 … 7 laps
29 Chase Elliott … 96.337 … 25 laps
30 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. … 96.141 … 8 laps
31 Landon Cassill … 96.078 … 14 laps
32 Matt DiBenedetto … 96.078 … 15 laps
33 David Ragan … 96.039 … 14 laps
34 Jeb Burton … 96.029 … 24 laps
35 Sam Hornish Jr. … 96.005 … 17 laps
36 Brett Moffitt … 95.995 … 10 laps
37 Trevor Bayne … 95.550 … 21 laps
38 Cole Whitt … 95.439 … 17 laps
39 Chris Buescher … 95.151 … 35 laps
40 JJ Yeley … 95.079 … 18 laps
41 Mike Bliss … 95.060 … 19 laps
42 Brendan Gaughan … 94.251 … 20 laps
43 Ron Hornaday Jr. … 94.237 … 13 laps
44 Alex Bowman … 94.129 … 19 laps
45 Alex Kennedy … 92.416 … 37 laps

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Daniel Suarez fastest in final Coca-Cola 600 practice

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CONCORD, N.C. — Daniel Suarez completed a sweep of Saturday’s two Cup practice sessions by posting the top speed in final practice for the Coca-Cola 600.

Suarez recorded a speed of 180.704 mph around Charlotte Motor Speedway. He made 51 laps in the session.

“I will say one of the best (cars of his Cup career) for sure,” Suarez said. “I feel like this year I’ve had some good race cars with an opportunity to finish in the top five and top 10, but I feel like this car has been pretty solid.  It’s fast and it’s not comfortable to drive 100 percent, but I don’t feel like anyone out there is comfortable right now, so it’s been sunny and hot and slick and that makes things a little bit more difficult, but overall my team has been doing a very good job with Stewart-Haas Racing and Ford Performance.  We have a good piece and hopefully we can take advantage of it tomorrow.”

The top five was completed by Daniel Hemric (180.686 mph), Denny Hamlin (180.553), Ryan Preece (180.469) and Kyle Busch (180.276).

“I felt pretty good with our practice there,” said Hamlin, who will start 20th Sunday. “It was one of our better practices of the year. We’re going to have to start from deep in the field, which is going to be a challenge with traffic, but we’ve got a long race to get it done. Pretty happy with where we’re at.”

Busch has the best 10-lap average at 179.485 mph

Chase Elliott recorded the most laps in the session with 62. He was 18th on the speed chart.

Click here for the speed chart.

Christopher Bell wins pole for Xfinity Charlotte race

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CONCORD, N.C. —  Christopher Bell will start first in today’s Xfinity Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Bell won his third pole of the season with a speed of 184.313 mph. His previous poles were at Texas Motor Speedway and ISM Raceway.

The top five is completed by Cole Custer (183.187 mph), Tyler Reddick (182.192), Austin Dillon (181.659) and Brandon Jones (181.610).

Justin Haley will start 35th after an axle broke on his No. 11 Chevrolet in the middle of his qualifying run.

Ross Chastain did not finish his qualifying run after experiencing an electrical problem in the ignition on his No. 4 Chevrolet. He will start 37th out of 38 cars.

The Alsco 300 is scheduled to start at 1:16 p.m. ET on FS1.

Click here for the starting lineup.

Check back for more.

Today’s Xfinity race at Charlotte: Start time, lineup and more

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After a two-week break, the Xfinity Series returns to action today for the Alsco 300 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

Here’s all the info you need for today’s race.

(All times are Eastern)

START: North Carolina Basketball Legend Phil Ford will give the command to start engines at 1:07 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 1:16 p.m.

PRERACE: Driver/crew chief meeting is at 10:45 a.m. Driver introductions begin at 12:30 p.m. The invocation will be given at 1 p.m. by Billy Mauldin, CEO and President of Motor Racing Outreach. U. S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Marc Wilka will perform the National Anthem at 1:01 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 200 laps (300 miles) around the 1.5-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 45. Stage 2 ends on Lap 90.

TV/RADIO: FS1 will televise the race. Coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. The Performance Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 12:30 p.m. and also can be heard at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry PRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for a high of 90 degrees and a 20% percent chance of rain for the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Brad Keselowski won this race over Cole Custer and Christopher Bell.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the starting lineup.

Daniel Suarez fastest in second Coca-Cola 600 practice

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CONCORD, N.C. — Daniel Suarez topped the speed chart in Saturday’s first Cup Series practice for the Coca-Cola 600.

Suarez posted a top speed of 182.143 mph around the 1.5-mile track.

The top five was filled out by defending 600 winner Kyle Busch (182.051 mph), Austin Dillon (181.488), Ryan Blaney (181.397) and Kevin Harvick (181.366).

Denny Hamlin, who was sixth on the chart, recorded the most laps with 52.

Dillon had the best 10-lap average at 180.639 mph.

Ryan Newman got into the Turn 3 wall as the session ended and suffered significant damage to the right side of his No. 6 Ford. The team is repairing the car.

Final practice is set for 11:05 a.m. ET

Click here for the speed chart.