Keselowski, Bowyer pace Saturday practices at Martinsville Speedway

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

MARTINSVILLE, VA — Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer led the way on Saturday as the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series (MENCS) ran two practice sessions for Sunday’s STP 500 after a rainy Friday that saw little track time.

Final Practice

One of the happiest faces in the MENCS paddock led the way in Happy Hour at Martinsville Speedway.

Clint Bowyer’s 20.174-second lap in the No. 14 Ford led the way in the session, with spring 2016 winner Kyle Busch following in second with a time of 20.238 seconds.

Jamie McMurray (20.246) led the way for Chevrolet in third, with Brad Keselowski (20.247) and Ryan Newman (20.25) completing the top five. Joey Logano, Erik Jones, Ryan Blaney, Austin Dillon and Aric Almirola rounded out the top 10.

While Busch’s best lap was only good enough for second, the 2015 MENCS champion is likely to be the one to watch tomorrow given his long run speed. The Nevadan had the quickest 10 and 15-lap averages during the session, showing promise for a successful Sunday on the .526-mile oval.

Opening Practice

Brad Keselowski paced the field in opening practice on the day, posting a lap 20.058-second lap around the .526-mile oval shortly after the session’s 11 a.m. start.

Phoenix Raceway winner Ryan Newman’s 20.125-second circuit led the way for Chevrolet in second, with Martin Truex, Jr. (20.180) following in third to top the Toyota brigade.

Joey Logano and AJ Allmendinger rounded out the top five, with points leader Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Erik Jones and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. completing the top 10.

While he didn’t grace the top 10 on outright speed, series sophomore Ryan Blaney had the top 10-lap average on the day, averaging 92.533 mph during one of his many stints in the session.

Busch set the second quickest average, with Logano, Keselowski and Clint Bowyer following.

Practice Results, via NASCAR

10-Lap Averages

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