Kevin Harvick quickest in final Sprint Cup practice at Martinsville

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After qualifying 33rd for Sunday’s Eliminator Round opener at Martinsville Speedway, Kevin Harvick and his No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing team need to have a strong race pace from the drop of the green flag.

In that regard, it looks like they’ve found something.

After going fifth-fastest in this morning’s second Sprint Cup practice, Harvick topped final Cup practice this lunch hour with a lap of 19.457 seconds around the Virginia half-mile.

Harvick was among three Chasers in the Top 5 and four in the Top 10 during “Happy Hour.” Last week’s winner Brad Keselowski was third-fastest (19.485 seconds) and eight-time Martinsville victor Jeff Gordon was fifth-fastest (19.495 seconds).

Gordon, who will start 13th for the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500, also had the best 10 consecutive lap average in the 50-minute session. His second to 11th laps had an average speed of 96.550 mph, eclipsing the same averages from Johnson, Keselowski, Kasey Kahne, and Kenseth.

Overall runner-up on the time sheets was Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (19.473 seconds), while Kyle Busch slotted in fourth (19.490 seconds).

As for Positions 6-10: Practice 1 leader Jimmie Johnson was sixth, followed by Sunday’s pole sitter Jamie McMurray in seventh, Justin Allgaier in eighth, Chaser Joey Logano in ninth, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 10th. Logano easily logged the most laps in “Happy Hour” with 99 circuits.

Among the rest of the Chasers, Matt Kenseth was 14th, Ryan Newman 17th, Denny Hamlin 21st, and Carl Edwards 33rd.

With that, the Cup teams now go into fine-tuning for tomorrow’s race, which begins shortly after 1:30 p.m. ET.


Juncos Racing to field single car entry in Indy 500

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Part-time NTT IndyCar Series entrant Juncos Racing will announce their attempt to qualify for the 2019 Indianapolis 500 within the next few weeks, according to RACER.

The team, which made its Indy 500 debut in 2017, ran 12 of the 17 IndyCar Series races last season, but has only made a start in one of the four events so far in 2019, finishing 18th in the inaugural running of the IndyCar Classic at Circuit of the Americas with Kyle Kaiser behind the wheel.

Though no driver has yet to be announced for the single-car entry, Kaiser is expected to be the leading candidate for the ride. The 23-year-old Californian has raced for the team since 2014, where he won the 2017 Indy Lights championship.

One of the top teams in the Road to Indy ladder system, Juncos Racing has over 50 wins between Indy Lights and Indy Pro 2000 competition. The team’s most recent victory came in the second Indy Lights race at St. Petersburg this year with Rinus VeeKay behind the wheel.

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