There Are Many Great Story Lines To Watch At Martinsville This Weekend

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (March 29, 2011) – The story lines headed into this Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway is much like the race: there’s so much action you just don’t know where to look.

Where to start?

Can Martinsville’s most dominant driver over the past two years, Denny Hamlin rebound this week? He’s won three races in a row at Martinsville, but is struggling in 2011.

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Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing operation has been plagued by engine problems and wound up a dismal 39th at California last week. He is 21st in the points coming into the Goody’s Fast Relief 500, but Martinsville in the spring has been his jumping off point the past few years for a strong climb through the standings.

Can Kevin Harvick make it two wins in a week on his home track? He won in California last week where he was born, but Martinsville is his new home track, just a half-hour from his home.

Harvick has Martinsville wins in two divisions, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Trucks from his race team, Kevin Harvick Inc., have dominated the truck races here the past few seasons. But he does not have a Cup win at Martinsville.

“We’ve come close, but that doesn’t mean anything. It’s time we stepped up and won one at Martinsville,” Harvick, who is coming off a win last weekend in California.

Can Paul Menard keep his surprising, storybook season going? He’s seventh in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points this season, and has the best start of any of the Richard Childress Racing teams. His best Martinsville finish is a 15th, but last week said he felt like he had improved on the tight half-mile track.

And what about Trevor Bayne and the Wood Brothers? Twenty-year-old Bayne won the Daytona 500 for the famed Wood Brothers in February, but the team has hit a rough patch since Daytona. Martinsville is the Wood Brothers home track, and this will be their first race here in several years since they trimmed their schedule.

They announced just a few hours after Bayne’s Daytona win that they would be coming home for the Goody’s Fast Relief 500. Bayne, who has never raced at Martinsville, will have to qualifying his way into the race, because he is out of the top 25 in points.

Action begins to pick up at Martinsville on Thursday when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series teams unload their trucks and equipment in the infield. The NASCAR Sprint Cup haulers enter the infield at 5 p.m. on Thursday.

Friday is a full day of practice for both divisions, with truck series getting 80 minutes of track time beginning at 11 a.m., followed by 90 minutes of cup practice. The trucks are back on the track at 2:10 followed by happy hour for the cup cars.

Saturday is another full day on-track with qualifying for the Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at 10:40 and qualifying for the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at 12:10 p.m. The Kroger 250 will take the green flag at 2 p.m.

The Goody’s Fast Relief 500 starts at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Good seats remain for Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 and the speedway ticket office has plenty of options to allow easy ticket purchase right up until the start of the race.

Fans may call 877.RACE.TIX to purchase from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Tickets may also be purchased online by visiting www.martinsvillespeedway.com. Fans may also opt for a print-at-home option when buying tickets.

The Martinsville Speedway ticket office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day this week for ticket purchases.

The Martinsville Speedway ticket office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day this week for ticket purchases.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com.

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