NASCAR Race Weekend Central

Happy Hour Has Clint Bowyer All Smiles in Martinsville

Off the heels of his third place finish last week in California, Clint Bowyer ran the fastest single lap in Happy Hour for this Sunday’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event at Martinsville Speedway. Kyle Busch ran the second fastest lap, with Jamie McMurray, Brad Keselowski and Ryan Newman completing the top five.

Ryan Blaney, who was fast in the morning’s practice, backed up his time with an eighth-place time on the charts. Pole-sitter Kyle Larson was 14th and notably slow were Kevin Harvick in 18th and Jimmie Johnson in 19th.

Most teams were surprised by the new tire compound Goodyear brought to the track. Less tire wear and fall off left many scratching their heads over the final practice as the track took rubber, but did not develop tire marbles in the outer portions of the speedway, leaving question as to whether there may possibly be a second groove at the notoriously one-groove flat half-mile.

Kurt Busch only timed in with a 28th position practice run, but over the course of fifty laps it became clear that his car was setup for a long run. Boasting one of the faster averages of the practice session. It was his brother Kyle who ran the best 10, 15 and 20 lap averages during the session, but Joey Logano was fastest beyond that.

The MENCS STP 500 will air on Fox Sports 1 Sunday, at 2 p.m. ET.

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