Cold temperatures and cold tires led to issues for many teams during Friday’s first Sprint Cup Series practice session at Martinsville Speedway.
Danica Patrick slid up the racetrack early in practice on cold tires. She kept it off the wall and took it to the garage for changes. Just minutes later, a wheel hop entering a turn left her backwards on the track with severe left-rear quarter panel damage. The GoDaddy tean had to bring out the backup car. Patrick had run about 35 laps in practice before backing into the wall. She returned to the track with about minutes left in practice. She finished 12th at her first Martinsville start earlier this season.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. had a similar incident in the same corner as his significant other. Stenhouse wheel-hopped his pink No.17 Ford and slapped the wall with the right rear of his car. Stenhouse and the team would make repairs to the car and will not go to a back-up.
Veteran driver Martin Truex Jr. also wheel-hopped his No.56 Toyota late in first practice. . Truex was able to keep the car off the wall.
With chilly temperatures and cold tires, wheel-hopping seems to be an issue for many drivers.
Qualifying will be aired on Fox Sports 1 at 3:30EST.