Earnhardt fastest in Saturday morning practice

MARTINSVILLE, VA - OCTOBER 31:  Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 31, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia.  (Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)

MARTINSVILLE, VA – OCTOBER 31: Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, practices for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 31, 2015 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Dale Earnhardt Jr. did yeoman work in Saturday morning’s first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice session at Martinsville Speedway, running 75 laps in the 55-minute session—more than any other driver.

The defending winner of the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 also was fastest in the session, posting a lap at 96.998 mph to edge Martin Truex Jr. (96.879 mph) for the top spot on the speed chart.

Despite complaining that the splitter on his No. 88 Chevrolet was contacting the pavement during final practice, Earnhardt was fifth fastest during Happy Hour, with teammate Jimmie Johnson leading the practice at 97.108 mph.

An eight-time Martinsville winner, Johnson also led the field in average speeds over five-, 10- and 15-lap runs in final practice.

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