Denny Hamlin fastest in first Cup practice at Martinsville, Daniel Suarez to backup car


Denny Hamlin claimed the fastest speed of the first NASCAR Cup Series practice at Martinsville Speedway Friday afternoon.

Hamlin posted a speed of 95.256 mph in the session that was delayed a half hour for track drying.

The Joe Gibbs Racing driver was followed by Kyle Busch (95.060 mph), Kyle Larson (94.970) and Ryan Newman (94.908). Jamie McMurray and Clint Bowyer tied for fifth at 94.889 mph.

Joey Logano had the top 10-lap averages at 94.749 mph.

Daniel Suarez will go to a backup car after the rookie wrecked late in the session. Suarez told Fox Sports 1 “something weird” occurred with his brakes when they locked entering Turn 3, sending his No. 19 backward into outside wall.

“It just wheel hopped,” Suarez said. “I don’t know what was going on with my brakes. It was something weird. On the first run I felt something similar. Something was weird with my brakes and I just wheel hopped and here we are.”

Suarez is making his first start at Martinsville in a Cup car. He has four Camping World Truck Series starts on the short track. The JGR driver was 32nd fastest in the session.

Click here for the full practice report.