Martinsville, VA (October 26, 2012) – Fresh off a victory last weekend at Kansas, Matt Kenseth and his No. 17 team went short-track testing on Tuesday in preparation for this weekend’s racing action at Martinsville Speedway. The half-mile track is known for some challenging racing action on both drivers and their race cars. Despite it being a track that statistically hasn’t been one of Kenseth’s strongest, the driver of the Ford EcoBoost led the way for Ford in Friday’s qualifying, earning the sixth starting spot for Sunday’s Tums Fast Relief 500.
Sprint Cup teams had one 90-minute practice session Friday afternoon to shake down their race cars before qualifying later that afternoon. Kenseth and his team worked on race trim and qualifying set-ups and finished 10th on the speed charts at the end of the session.
Qualifying began at 3:40pm EST and Kenseth was the 36th car to make his qualifying run around the paper clip-shaped track. Kenseth posted a fast lap time of 19.467 seconds (97.272 mph) which earned him the sixth starting position.
“That’s a great lap for us,” stated Kenseth after his lap. “I feel like I missed it there a little bit, and the car had a little more in it, but I think that will get us a top 10 start and that will be a lot better than usual. Martinsville’s always been challenging, but I feel like us on the No. 17 have been pretty competitive over the last four or five races with maybe top-five or top-10 cars, and that’s really good for us here. I know I don’t have all the finishes to show for it because of things that have happened, but our cars have been getting better and I feel like after 12 years I’m finally getting a little bit better here. We seem to be gaining on it. I used to just dread coming here, but the last few times I’ve started looking forward to it because we’ve got to running a little bit better.”
The Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway will be televised on Sunday, October 28th starting at 1:00pm EST on ESPN, with radio coverage presented by the Motor Racing Network (MRN).