Martin sets pace in opening Richmond practice
April 26, 2013, Zack Albert, NASCAR.com
RICHMOND, Va. -- Mark Martin led the way in opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice Friday afternoon at Richmond International Raceway, putting his No. 55 car atop the speed charts in the two-hour session.
Martin, a five-time pole winner at the .75-mile track, turned a lap at 126.755 mph in his Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. The veteran, running a part-time schedule this season, last won at Richmond in February 1990.
Defending series champion Brad Keselowski was second fastest at 126.535 mph, turning the most laps (93) of any driver in the opening practice in his Penske Racing Ford. Kyle Busch, who has won the spring race at Richmond four years running, was third fastest at 126.458 mph in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
Matt Kenseth, heavily penalized Wednesday for engine infractions at Kansas Speedway, was fourth fastest. Brian Vickers, substituting for the injured Denny Hamlin, was fifth fastest as Gibbs Toyotas swept the 3-4-5 spots in the top five.
Points leader Jimmie Johnson was 34th-fastest in his No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet in preparation for Saturday night's Toyota Owners 400.
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