Race Weekend Central

Denny Hamlin Leads Opening Cup Practice from Martinsville

Denny Hamlin led the way in opening practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway.

The five-time track winner rounded the half-mile in 19.846 seconds (95.415 mph) in preparation for Sunday’s First Data 500. The time was only 0.024 ahead of second-place Kyle Larson. Ryan Newman, Ryan Blaney and Kyle Busch completed the top five.

Matt Kenseth finished sixth with non-playoff drivers Jamie McMurray, AJ Allmendinger and Ty Dillon rounding out the top 10.

Of the eight remaining playoff drivers to start the Round of 8 Sunday, Kevin Harvick was the lowest, ending the session 23rd on the charts. Jimmie Johnson and Martin Truex Jr. joined the No. 4 Ford outside the top 20.

Click here for full results from the first practice.

About the author

Growing up in Easton, Pa., Zach Catanzareti has grown his auto racing interest from fandom to professional. Joining Frontstretch in 2015, Zach enjoys nothing more than being at the track, having covered his first half-season of 18 races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2017. With experience behind the wheel, behind the camera and in the media center, he thrives on being an all-around reporter.

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