RIDGEWAY, Va. — Saturday’s on-track activity at Martinsville Speedway featured an enhanced weekend schedule, which is when all practices and qualifying are held on the same day for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Martinsville’s schedule is the first enhanced weekend of 2019.
Below are the headlines from Saturday’s Cup series on-track sessions.
Joey Logano claims fifth pole in last nine races at Martinsville, will start on front row for STP 500 alongside Aric Almirola
Joey Logano saved the best of his Goodyear Racing tires until the third round of knock-out qualifying to edge Ford teammate Aric Almirola. Logano had the fewest laps on his tires when the red and black flag waved, signaling the end of the session. Logano averaged a 97.830 lap around the Virginia short track.
Brad Keselowski will start third, followed by Kevin Harvick in fourth and Denny Hamlin in fifth.
Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, and Alex Bowman were among well-known drivers who failed to advance out of round 2.
Richard Childress Racing teammates Austin Dillon and Daniel Hemric were unable to post sufficient speed to advance out of round 1 of knock-out qualifying.
Clint Bowyer, Chase Elliott top the two lone Cup series practices
It has been one year since a 190-race winless streak was snapped by Clint Bowyer at the .526-mile Virginia short track in 2018. It took no time for the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford to reappear at the top of the charts after the Kansas-native averaged a one lap speed of 97.674 mph. Bowyer turned his fastest speed on the last lap of his 49-lap run.
Chase Elliott was fastest in final practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series after averaging a lap of 97.543 mph. Elliott’s Team Hendrick teammates Alex Bowman and Jimmie Johnson were second and third respectively. The Georgia-native is seeking his first victory at Martinsville Speedway. In 2017, Elliott was leading with 4 laps remaining but came up short after Denny Hamlin executed a bump-and-run, causing Elliott to finish 27th.
The 70th annual STP 500 is slated to begin at 2:00 p.m. EDT Sunday, March 24th. The event will be broadcasted live on FS1 and on the Motor Racing Network.
Matt Courson is the Managing Editor for The Racing Experts. Courson has covered NASCAR events at 19 of the 23 active racetracks. When not at the track, the 20-year-old Journalism major enjoys spending time with family and playing Ingress.