Will Martinsville Produce Sixth Different Sprint Cup Winner In Six Races?
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (March 30, 2011) – For the first time since 2005, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has had five different winners in the first five races of the season: Trevor Bayne (Daytona), Jeff Gordon (Phoenix), Carl Edwards (Las Vegas), Kyle Busch (Bristol) and Kevin Harvick (Auto Club). In the manufacturer standings, Chevrolet, Ford and Toyota are deadlocked at 31 points apiece.
All four manufacturers are represented in the top four drivers in the points standings, and all are within 11 points of the lead: 1. Carl Edwards (Ford); 2. Ryan Newman (Chevrolet); 3. Kurt Busch (Dodge); 4. Kyle Busch (Toyota).
Trailing brother Kurt by one point, Kyle’s quest for a second consecutive race weekend sweep came up just short at Auto Club Speedway. Paul Menard continues to lead the way for Richard Childress Racing in seventh place in the points standings while the Stewart-Haas Racing resurgence continues with Newman sitting second and Tony Stewart at sixth in the points.
TRUCKING: The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to action this weekend at Martinsville Speedway following three open weeks on the schedule. The Kroger 250 will mark the 25th series race held at the famed short track and the 13th running of the spring event.
In 24 previous events, 19 different drivers have visited Victory Lane, including defending race winner Kevin Harvick.
Harvick – fresh off his NASCAR Sprint Cup victory at Auto Club Speedway – will return to Martinsville to defend his victory in his Kevin Harvick Inc. No. 2 entry. Harvick led 187 laps last March beating fellow KHI teammate and short track guru Ron Hornaday Jr. for the victory.
Hornaday came back in the fall to lead 11 laps en route to his first Martinsville victory and became the first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitor to take home the famed grandfather clock trophy.
If KHI returns to victory lane this Saturday at Martinsville, it will become the first organization in series history to claim three straight victories at the 0.526-mile oval.
WHO’S THAT BABY: Be sure to keep your eye on the big screen at Martinsville Speedway during driver introductions on Sunday. You could have some fun guessing exactly who all those babies are.
TRUCK DRIVERS GALORE: There will be a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver autograph session Saturday morning at 9 across from Martinsville Speedway’s main office. And truck series fans are in for a treat, because about half the field will be there signing autographs.
Included in the group are former Martinsville winners Timothy Peters and David Starr, Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton, Brendan Gaughan, Johanna Long, Max Papis, James Buescher, Cole Whitt, Craig Guess, Jason White, Justin Marks, Miguel Paludo, Dusty Davis and Justin Johnson.
The autograph session is scheduled for an hour. You must have a wristband to get an autograph. Wrist bands will be distributed beginning at 8:30 a.m. Friday at the autograph location.
MOBILE MARTINSVILLE: Martinsville Speedway unveiled its new mobile website this week, which should make life easier for anyone trying to access the Martinsville Speedway website via handheld device.
GIVE ME CREDIT: When Martinsville Speedway unveils its new concession stands along the front stretch this weekend, there will more than a new building. For the first time at Martinsville, credit cards will be accepted for concessions, but only at the new stands and at the permanent concession stand in the display area.
GETTING READY TO RUMBLE: 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.