Found April 05, 2013 on Speedway Digest - Home for NASCAR News: Yardbarker Blogger Network
  So what else is new? Jimmie Johnson, who won last fall's race at Martinsville Speedway from the top starting spot, continued his mastery of the paper-clip-shaped track during Friday afternoon's time trials. In the first competitive appearance of NASCAR's Gen-6 race car at Martinsville, Johnson blistered the vaunted short track in 19.244 seconds (98.400 mph) in winning the pole for Sunday's STP Gas Booster 500, as the top six drivers in the field topped the former track record of 98.084 mph established by Tony Stewart in October 2005. In winning his third Coors Light pole award at Martinsville and the 30th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series pole of his career, Johnson edged Marcos Ambrose by .007 seconds. Brian Vickers qualified third, followed by Joey Logano, Kasey Kahne and Jeff Gordon. Kahne and Gordon, Johnson's teammates at Hendrick Motorsports, ran identical speeds (98.185 mph), with Kahne getting the fifth starting spot based on his car's higher standing in owner points. In his first practice run earlier in the day, Johnson knew his No. 48 Chevrolet SS was fast. "In the first run out, we were in (qualifying) trim and made two or three laps, and I knew right away that we had a great shot at it today," said Johnson, a seven-time winner at Martinsville. "At that point, I just needed to do my job and not mess up. "So I'm very proud of that. It's very easy to (mess up) at this race track, especially once practice ends. You sit and have lunch and relax for a couple hours and have to do it all over again. A great day across the board — team, driver, engine, car, everything that's new. We were able to step up and figure it out and get the car dialed in." Early in Friday's session, the track record fell. Logano, the third driver to make a qualifying run, toured the .526-mile short track in 19.269 seconds (98.272 mph), breaking the record set by Stewart, one of his Fontana antagonists from two weeks ago. Six cars later, Ambrose (98.384 mph) knocked Logano off the provisional pole, and Vickers followed with a lap at 98.287 mph to push Logano back to third after 14 of 44 cars had taken time trials. Johnson's pole run late in the session bumped Logano to fourth. The No. 2 Ford of defending series champion Brad Keselowski was late getting through inspection and made it to the grid with seconds left on the five-minute clock. Keselowski nevertheless qualified seventh at 98.078 mph. Notes: Danica Patrick will start 32nd for her first race at Martinsville and the first for a female driver in NASCAR's top division at the venerable short track. ... Subbing for injured Denny Hamlin, Mark Martin qualified 35th in the No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota. ... Mike Bliss failed to make the 43-car field.  
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Stewart, Logano say they have moved on from fracas

Tony Stewart and Joey Logano say their dustup is over. They just haven't said it to each other. The drivers tangled two weeks ago at the end of the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at California, where Stewart thought Logano had blocked him in the closing laps. Stewart parked his car near Logano's and approached him. There was some shoving, but crew members broke it up quickly. Stewart...

Stewart And Logano Moving Past Fontana

It seems crazy but Tony Stewart and Joey Logano both agree on something. That is both drivers are moving forward from their Fontana clash and putting it behind them. “I’ve got three race cars and we are in Martinsville, Virginia this week.  I’ve got a lot of stuff to do other than worry about something that happened two weeks ago.  I can’t change it.  I can’t do anything...

Will payback come at Martinsville?

In recent weeks there have been several incidents that have created drama and controversy in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series. Unfortunately for Joey Logano, he has been at the center of them. It started at Bristol Motor Speedway when Logano, while running strong in second place, was hit from the rear by Denny Hamlin. The bump resulted in Logano spinning out and making contact with the...

Are bygones really bygones?

  As far as the blocking issue at Fontana is concerned, both Tony Stewart and Joey Logano indicated Friday that the incident is in the rear-view mirror. Though Stewart says his stance on blocking hasn't changed, he deflected a question about his promise to teach Logano a lesson. "That's two weeks ago," Stewart said. "I'm on Martinsville this weekend. We...

NASCAR: Martinsville not a good spot for Tony Stewart to send payback to Logano

The logical place for Tony Stewart to get payback and send a message to Joey Logano that he’s not going to stand behind what he did to him last race at Fontana would be this weekend’s race at Martinsville Speedway. The track is short at just .526-miles and tempers already will be high. Most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers send their paybacks and messages at Martinsville annually...

Joey Logano STP Gas Booster 500 Race Preview

ALL ABOUT POINTS: After five races this season, Joey Logano finds himself positioned ninth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series point standings following his third-place finish at Auto Club Speedway two weeks ago. The ninth-place position is the highest Logano has ever found himself after the first five races to start a season. In his rookie year of 2009, Logano was 34th in points after...

You can block, but expect consequences

  Denny Hamlin's wreck, the result of hard racing from Joey Logano as both drivers battled for the win at Fontana, wasn't the only nastiness that occurred at the two-mile track. On the final restart, Logano blocked Tony Stewart and broke his momentum, costing Stewart a chance to win the race. After the race, an angry Stewart confronted Logano on pit road, as crew members...

Crash course in racetrack etiquette

It's been 37 years since Elton John first sang "Sorry seems to be the hardest word." It might take the same amount of time before Denny Hamlin hears an apology from Joey Logano. "I thought it was just hard racing, to be honest with you," Logano said of the closing laps with Hamlin at Auto Club Speedway two weeks ago. "I felt like I just got in too hard...

Payback is always coming in NASCAR

Denny Hamlin believes that justice will be served. While NASCAR deduced that the March 24 incident between Hamlin and Joey Logano in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Auto Club Speedway was just a racing deal, Hamlin still believes that the accident -- which left him sidelined for at least the next four races -- was indeed intentional. However, Hamlin did not take issue with NASCAR...

This Week in NASCAR

If you haven't been under a pile of snow for the last two weeks, you have heard endless media coverage regarding Denny Hamlin's injury, Joey Logano's lack of remorse, feuds, rivalries and crashes.  But what about the racing? C'mon folks, we are at Martinsville!  This is the epitome of short tracks, and no doubt there will be more rivalries, more feuds and...

NASCAR at Martinsville

To listen to the experts, we might as well not even run this race, Jimmie Johnson is so favorited.  However, this fan wants to see the race.   I want to see if the drivers will police Joey Logano themselves, as has been suggested. I want to see if a different Hendrick Motorsport driver can get the checkers first. I want to see if Mark Martin can get the car up to the front...

Jeff Gordon hasn't forgotten three-wide debacle at Martinsville

  With all the talk about controversy between Joey Logano and Tony Stewart — not to mention between Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin — the incident that lit the fuse between Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon has been shoved into the background. Bowyer's ill-fated three-wide move last spring at Martinsville Speedway, which wrecked Bowyer, Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, was the catalyst...

A Wild Start to 2013

Wild is just one word to describe the start to the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season. After five races last season, we sure didn’t have any rivalries and we were just complaining about the lack of action in the races. 2013 is a different story. The action we’ve seen so far this season has just been incredible. From heated tempers to Danica mania, the storylines just keep rolling...

NASCAR: Perfect storm for Sprint Cup as series gets back to action at Martinsville

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series gets back to action at the .526-mile paperclip of Martinsville Speedway this weekend. The series had the week off last week in observance of Easter weekend and enters the race this weekend with a ton of momentum. Fan favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. is leading the points and despite his zero victories so far in 2013 he’s been a threat for the win in all...
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.