After two hour and twenty minute practice sessions this morning at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia, the ThorSport Racing teams emerged in the top three at the end of the day.
The No. 88 Menards/Tarkett Chevy, driven by Matt Crafton, was conservative in practice session one, running only 24 laps and posting fifth-fastest times. The team changed a fuel pump and made additional changes. In session two, however, Crafton and team dialed in on a mock qualifying run to post the second-fastest speed of 94.51mph for the day.
At the end of the day, Crafton was pleased. "We all say you've got to run at the top at Martinsville consistently - from practice to qualifying to race - in order to place. Track position is just that important. So we're one step closer to figuring this place out. Now we've got to make sure we bring the A game tomorrow for qualfiying. It's going to be a colder track at 10am."
The No. 13 Safe Auto/Curb Records Chevy, driven by Johnny Sauter, had major adjustments in the first practice to get the controls just right, then came out charging in the first lap of second practice. Sauter posted the top time on the boards on lap one, and continued to dominate the speed charts throughout the second practice. Without running a qualifying run, he still posted the third-fastest speed of the day at 94.50mph.
"This is the best track we've ever had here," said Sauter. "It was a little too tight on exit all day, but then again, that can be your best friend on a long run at Martinsville. I'm ready for qualifying tomorrow - I really feel like my team is ready to do this, and this truck is definitely ready to do this."
TOP PRACTICE SPEEDS - KROGER 250 - MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY
1) Austin Dillon No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevy 94.78MPH
2) Matt Crafton No. 88 Menards/Tarkett Chevy 94.51MPH
3) Johnny Sauter No. 13 Safe Auto/Curb Records Chevy 94.50MPH