NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Ragan Leads Final Practice At M’Ville

After an uneventful, solid performance in the first practice Joe Gibbs Racing was less fortunate in the final one. Joey Logano was the big loser this afternoon, going from second place to his second car when his No. 20 Home Depot Toyota spun in turn 4. The crash caused heavy damage to the rear end and he had no choice but to turn towards a backup for the remainder of practice; he finished the session 32nd fastest. Denny Hamlin wasn’t much better, finishing 20th and was unhappy with his car through most of the 90-minute session. Kyle Busch rounded out the disappointing Happy Hour trio; he finished atop the leaderboard in the first practice but dropped to 23rd in the final one.

On top of the leaderboard, Roush Fenway Racing had one driver rebound from the earlier practice with David Ragan bumping Jeff Gordon from the top spot with less than 15 minutes remaining in the session. The No. 6 car remained the only Roush Fenway car to time inside the top 20. Another surprise was Brad Keselowski, who backed up his fourth-place finish in the first practice by finishing third in the last one.

A quick review of your Top 10 in final practice:

1) David Ragan – 96.268 MPH
2) Jeff Gordon – 96.220
3) Brad Keselowski – 96.166
4) David Reutimann – 95.864
5) Kasey Kahne – 95.811
6) Ryan Newman – 95.748
7) Bobby Labonte – 95.603
8) Marcos Ambrose – 95.598
9) Brian Vickers – 95.424
10) A.J. Allmendinger – 95.381

One more wreck proved devastating in this session. With Brian Keselowski sidelined after surgery, Dennis Setzer was behind the wheel at Martinsville this weekend and seemed in position to make the race; however, Setzer encountered brake failure between turn 3 and 4, causing severe damage to the rear of his car as he spun and slammed into the wall. The No. 92 team did not have a backup this weekend and will withdraw from qualifying for Sunday.

Among those who were outside the top 25 in both practices were Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, and Robby Gordon. Next up for the 43 remaining entries is qualifying, scheduled for 12:10 EST (televised live on SPEED Channel).

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