Unheralded rookie Tommy Joe Martins fastest in second Nationwide practice at ‘Dega; Jeffrey Earnhardt second-fast

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Nationwide Series rookie Tommy Joe Martins will have one heck of a story to tell his children and grandchildren one day.

The Como, Miss., native, who drives for his family’s Martins Motorsports, will be able to regale his heirs with the tale of how for at least one practice session, he was the fastest NNS driver at one of the most challenging tracks there is, Talladega SuperSpeedway.

Martins covered the 2.66-mile track, NASCAR’s largest oval, at a field-best 185.891 mph, the fastest speed in the second of Thursday’s two Nationwide Series practice sessions for Saturday’s Aaron’s 312.

Another surprise at second-fastest was Jeffrey Earnhardt, grandson of the late Dale Earnhardt, who was just .014 behind Martins at 185.877 mph.

Third-fastest was Kyle Larson (185.823 mph), followed by Trevor Bayne (185.226), who was fastest in Thursday’s first practice session (and at more than 5 mph faster at 190.378 mph).

Fifth-fastest was Brendan Gaughan (185.136), while sixth- through 10th-fastest were Ryan Sieg (185.122), Brian Scott (185.097), John Wes Townley (184.455), Dakoda Armstrong (184.242) and Josh Wise (183.561).

One of the other big surprises – actually, more of a shock, given he’s already won two NNS races this season – was series points leader Chase Elliott, who was just 26th-fastest at just 175.748 mph. In the earlier afternoon practice session, Elliott was 19th-fastest at 184.573 mph.

Only 29 drivers took to the track for the latter afternoon practice (compared to 36 drivers who practiced in the earlier afternoon session).

Thus far this season, Martins has qualified and raced in five of the first eight NNS races, with his best finish being 30th three weeks ago at Darlington. It was also the only race he’s finished this season, albeit six laps behind the leaders.

Martins, who is ranked 30th in the NNS standings coming into Saturday’s race, has recorded DNFs in the four other races he’s competed in this season.

He did not enter the season-opening event at Daytona and withdrew from both Phoenix and Bristol.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Qualification report for Anaheim II Supercross

SupercrossLIVE.com
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Marvin Musquin posted the fastest lap in Qualification 2 for the third round of the 2019 Supercross season at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. His fastest lap was 57.660 seconds.

Eli Tomac was second-fast at 58:026 with Ken Roczen rounding out the top three at 58.381.

The 250s were almost as fast in the Qualification 2 with Adam Cianciarulo posting a lap of 58.892. In fact, in the first qualification round while the track was still drying out from weekday rains, the 250s were considerably quicker with Dylan Ferrandis’ lap of 58.637 topping the 450 field. Tomac was fastest in that session with a lap of 59.003 seconds.

Click here for complete Qualifying 2, Group A results
Click here for complete Qualifying 1, Group A results

In the 250 class:

Group A, Qualifying 2: Adam Cianciarulo and the field lost some time from Qualification 1, posting a fastest lap of 58.892 seconds. Dylan Ferrandis was second fast at 59.027 with RJ Hampshire third at 59.541 seconds. Thomas Do was quickest in Group B with a time of 1:02.704.
Group A, Qualifying 1: Ferrandis (58:637) was fastest over Cianciarulo (58.725) and Colt Nichols (59.173). Scott Champion was fastest from Group B with a 1:03.544, which was 19th best.

Click here for complete Qualifying 2, Group A results
Click here for complete Qualifying 1, Group A results

Qualification each week can be seen live with NBC’s Sport Gold Supercross / Motocross season pass, which can be purchased at https://www.nbcsports.com/gold.

MORE: Anaheim II Preview: Ken Roczen eyes first win 

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