A year ago, Kyle Larson didn't even race at Martinsville Speedway. On Sunday, he just might be the guy to beat.
Larson missed the 2015 STP 500 at Martinsville after a fainting episode at an autograph signing the day before the race.
No such worries this time.
Saturday afternoon at the 0.526-mile Virginia short track, Larson led the final Happy Hour round of practice ahead of Sunday's STP 500 (FS1, 1 p.m. ET).
Not only did Larson post the fastest single lap of Happy Hour at 95.468 miles per hour, at one point he also set the marks for fastest 5-, 10-, 20- and 30-consecutive lap average speeds in his No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet.
Those numbers are important given that Happy Hour weather conditions are the closest to what actual conditions are expected to be in Sunday's race.
Second-fast in Happy Hour was Kyle Busch, the 2015 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion, who ran 95.338 mph in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
Then came Brian Vickers and the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet, the Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet of Ryan Newman, and Martin Truex Jr. in the Furniture Row Racing Toyota.
Eight-time Martinsville winner Jimmie Johnson was sixth ahead of five-time track victor Denny Hamlin.
Tomorrow's race is the sixth of the season. Kevin Harvick comes in leading the points, and so far there have been four different winners already this year.
For the full results, see below.