Brad Keselowski topped the final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice session of the day at Martinsville Speedway. Keselowski is the most recent winner at the 0.526-mile with a dominating victory in the spring race. He posted a fast lap of 96.283 mph to lead the way.
Keselowski’s Team Penske teammate Ryan Blaney was second in the session and the highest playoff driver on the speed chart with a fast lap of 95.762 mph. Non-playoff drivers Kurt Busch, Daniel Hemric and Ryan Preece completed the top five. Chase Elliott was the only other playoff driver besides Blaney to finish practice in the top 10.
Among the playoff field: Kyle Busch placed 15th, Denny Hamlin finished 16th, Kevin Harvick was 17th, Joey Logano was 18th, Martin Truex Jr. was 20th and Kyle Larson was 21st.
Busch Pole Qualifying will take place later this afternoon at 4:35 p.m. ET with coverage on NBCSN/NBC Sports App
PRACTICE 1 RECAP
Joey Logano topped the opening 50-minute Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice session at Martinsville Speedway by jumping ahead of Martin Truex Jr. late in the session. Logano posted a fast lap of 96.657 mph in his No. 22 Team Penske Ford. The reigning champion won this race last year with a bump of Truex on the final lap.
Truex (96.176 mph) took second followed by Denny Hamlin (95.966 mph), Clint Bowyer (95.854 mph) and Kyle Busch (95.709 mph) completing the top five. That gives Joe Gibbs Racing three of the five fastest laps in the practice. Bowyer is the lone non-playoff driver among the top five.
Among the playoff field: Ryan Blaney placed seventh, Kevin Harvick was 12th, Kyle Larson was 13th and Chase Elliott was 14th.
Trouble came early in practice for Elliott though, who suffered a blown engine minutes into the session. The No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports team will change engines in the car and as a result, Elliott will start at the rear of the field for Sunday’s race.
Two playoff drivers had practice holds for the first practice. The No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota of Truex had a 15-minute hold for failing inspection twice at Kansas, while the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford of Harvick had a 30-minute hold for failing inspection three times at Kansas.
Matt Tifft was transported to a local hospital before Saturday’s opening Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice at Martinsville Speedway, according to a NASCAR spokesman. Matt Crafton filled in for the Front Row Motorsports No. 36 team for practice and was expected to be in the seat for the rest of the day.