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NASCAR's Mark Martin fastest in Phoenix; Danica Patrick struggles

March 02, 2013|By Jim Peltz
  • NASCAR driver Mark Martin climbs into his No. 55 Toyota to begin a practice session Saturday at Phoenix International Raceway.
NASCAR driver Mark Martin climbs into his No. 55 Toyota to begin a practice… (Jared Wickerham / Getty…)

AVONDALE, Ariz. -- Mark Martin remained the fastest driver at Phoenix International Raceway ahead of Sunday's Sprint Cup Series race.

One day after winning the pole position, Martin, 54, posted the fastest laps in both practice sessions Saturday in his No. 55 Toyota prepared by Michael Waltrip Racing.

Martin turned a lap of 134.248 mph in the second and final practice under sunny skies on the one-mile Phoenix International Raceway track.

In fact, Martin ran only seven laps in the final practice before he and his crew decided the car was race-ready.

Kyle Busch was second fastest in the last practice, followed by reigning Cup champion Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards.

Danica Patrick, meanwhile, continued to struggle in her No. 10 Chevrolet. After qualifying 40th in the 43-car field Friday, Patrick's speeds were among the slowest in both practices. 

Her fastest lap in the final practice was 131.468 mph, nearly 3 mph slower than Martin's.

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