Ryan Newman fastest in first Sprint Cup practice at Martinsville

4 Comments

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

Follow @JerryBonkowski