The Best Seat at the Track, The Best View on the Net!
March 30th, 2012
Volume VI, Edition LI
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by Jeff Wolfe
Kahne to Run Truck Series at Rockingham
Thursday night on NASCAR Race Hub, broadcast on SPEED, Kasey Kahne announced he will run the Good Sam Club 200 at Rockingham Speedway April 15th. The one-race deal puts Kahne behind the wheel of the Turner Motorsports-fielded No. 4 Rockwell Tools Chevrolet.
"I'm excited to have Rockwell Tools be part of the Truck race at Rockingham. We're going to run that, which is the Sunday after Texas," Kahne told host Steve Byrnes "Turner Motorsports, they have great truck and have a alot of good people there. I'm excited to be on their team and be a part of it. Rockingham is a great track for me; I've run really well there in the past in both series that I've raced in, especially in the final Cup race there."
Kahne has just four Truck Series races to his name, including three victories and a runner-up finish, and while he's driven for Turner Motorsports in the Nationwide Series, Rockingham will mark his first series start with the organization.
BUSH's Beans Returns to JTG Daugherty for Two Races
BUSH's Beans will once again partner with JTG Daugherty Racing to sponsor Bobby Labonte's No. 47 Toyota for two events--Martinsville and Texas. BUSH's is now the fifth primary sponsor for Labonte in six races, though they served as an associate sponsor to Kingsford at Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this season.
"We have some of the best sponsors in the business and the look of our car changes weekly. The reason we have multiple sponsors is because Tad Geschickter (JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner) can make things happen and he creates great business to business opportunities," Labonte said. "Sponsors want to be around him and he treats people the way he wants to be treated. I think people realize what he does and what he stands for in this business. Tad, Jodi (Geschickter), Brad (Daugherty) and everyone at JTG Daugherty Racing does a great job with helping promote the brands."
The other sponsors for Labonte this year have been Kroger at Daytona, Kingsford Charcoal at Phoenix and Las Vegas, Clorox at Bristol and Charter at California.
Labonte sits 20th in the points standings, 47 points out of 10th, and has a season-best finish of 14th in the Daytona 500. Labonte, who has one career victory at Martinsville, will make his 39th start at the historic track.
Reutimann, Tommy Baldwin Racing Pick Up Three-Race Sponsor
David Reutimann and Tommy Baldwin Racing have picked up a three-race commitment from Accell Construction beginning with Sunday's Goody's Fast Relief 500 Sunday. Having already adorned Reutimann's No. 10 Chevrolet at Phoenix and Las Vegas earlier this season, Accell will also serve as primary sponsor for Texas and Kansas. The Oklahoma-based company TBR's No. 36 in several races last season in both primary and associate capacities.
"Accell Construction has been a great partner for the past year and a half," Team Owner Tommy Baldwin said. "Steve (Todhunter, owner) and his company have been good to work with, and we are thrilled that he continues to see a return on the relationship. With them coming on board for three races, we have a little bit of breathing room as we continue to seek sponsorship for the remainder of the season."
Reutimann, whose car sits 34th in owners' points, is guaranteed a starting spot in Sunday's event. In four races behind the wheel for TBR, he scored a best finish of 21st at Bristol.
Vickers, MWR Snag First-Time Sponsor
Brian Vickers made a good first impression in his first Sprint Cup race of the 2012 season at Bristol nearly two weeks ago. Vickers' fifth-place finish and 125 laps led in the No. 55 car for Michael Waltrip Racing may have helped attract a newcomer to the NASCAR world. RK Motors Charlotte will serve as primary sponsor for Vickers this weekend at Martinsville.
"This is the first time in history RK Motors Charlotte will be the primary sponsor of a NASCAR competitor. NASCAR is enjoyed by millions of passionate fans who love cars as much as we do," President and CEO Joseph Carroll said. "We want to connect with those fellow enthusiasts and share the NASCAR excitement with them this weekend through our sponsorship of Michael Waltrip Racing's No. 55 Toyota."
The No. 55 car is eighth in owners points with Michael Waltrip, Mark Martin and Vickers sharing time behind the wheel.
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In Case You Missed It
by Nick Schwartz
SRT Motorsports to Unveil New Engine at Martinsville
Brad Keselowski and A.J. Allmendinger will be running an updated engine this weekend at Martinsville, in what is typically one of the toughest races on equipment all year. SRT Motorsports will be unveiling its new R6P8 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series engine at the short track, which is touted to have increased durability.
"We are excited to launch our new "closed deck" engine block with Penske Racing Engines for the Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville this weekend," Dave Bailey of SRT Motorsports Engineering said in a statement. "We are very pleased with the performance and durability of our previous "open deck" block, but are introducing design changes to help improve head gasket life and future capability for power increases. We worked closely with NASCAR to ensure the changes are compliant and have competitive parity."
Barney Hall returns to MRN this weekend
The iconic voice of MRN radio will be back in the booth at Martinsville after an illness forced him to miss the start of the Sprint Cup season. Barney Hall, veteran radio announcer, missed the Daytona 500 for just the third time in the race's history, but will be in Virginia to call both the Camping World Trucks Series Kroger 250 Saturday afternoon at 1:30 PM EDT and the Sprint Cup Series Goody's Fast Relief 500 on Sunday at 12:00 PM EDT.
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Keepin' It Short: Dropping the Rag at Waterford Speedbowl
by Mike Neff
Racing in the Northeast has a long and storied history that dates back 1800s when the Agricultural Park that is now the location of Stafford Speedway hosted horse races. Three of the race tracks that are very integral in that history, and are probably the most well known tracks in the area, are all in the state of Connecticut. Stafford Speedway has been around, in some form, since the 1870s. Thompson International Speedway was the first asphalt race track in America and has been in existence since 1938. The youngest of the three tracks--Waterford Speedbowl, built in 1951--opens its 62nd season this weekend.
The Budweiser Blastoff Weekend will encompass three days of racing on the historic 3/8ths-mile oval in 14 different divisions. The weekend's main event is a 100 lap feature for the Valenti Modified Racing Series. Modifieds are at the core of racing in the New England area and they have been running at Waterford since the gates opened in 1951.
Along with the Modifieds, the NEMA Midgets will be featured because they are celebrating their 60th anniversary in 2012. NEMA Midgets have been a staple in the Northeast and have been a part of the history of Waterford for most of their 60 years of existence. In fact, Waterford has been referred to by quite a few fans as the perfect midget track.
The SK Modifieds will run a 62-lap feature to open their season as the primary Whelen All-American Series division in honor of the 62nd anniversary of the track. The SK Light Modifieds, Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Models, Street Stocks and Mini Stocks will also be kicking off their NASCAR seasons as part of the Blast Off Weekend.
In addition to the NASCAR divisions and the Valenti Modifieds, the NEMA Lites, New England Truck Series, New England Four Cylinder Pro Stocks, Legends, Bandoleros, Super X Cars and X Cars will all be racing on the Budweiser Blast Off docket. The Blast Off starts on Friday with practice at noon. Pit admission is $25.00 while the grandstands will be closed.
Saturday will see all 14 divisions on the track for practice beginning at 9:00 AM. Qualifying will start at 3:00 PM including heat races for the Valenti Modified Racing Series. 5:00 PM will see the rag drop on feature races for the NEMA Lites, SK Light Modifieds, New England Trucks, New England Four Cylinder Pro Stocks, Legends, Bandoleros, Super X Cars and X Cars.
Sunday will be the culmination of the three day extravaganza, kicking off with a Pit Party at 9:30 AM. The feature races will start at 12:00 PM as the NEMA Midgets hit the track for a 25 lap A-Main. After the Midgets will be the 62 lap SK Modified Feature, 50 laps for the Bob Valenti Auto Mall Late Models, and 30 lap features for the Street Stocks and the Mini Stocks. The Blast Off will come to a conclusion as the Valenti Modifieds hold their 100 lap feature with all of the laps being green flag laps.
2010 Whelen All-American National Champion Keith Rocco began his racing career at Waterford and is the defending SK Modified Champion. Dennis Grada won the track championship seven different times, the most in track history. Don Collins and Phil Rondeau are the two most successful drivers in the 62 year history of the track. Collins was one of the first stars of the track, winning five track titles, that last of which was secured in 1969. Rondeau's success came later in the history of the track with six titles in eight years from 1985 through 1992. Collins and Rondeau are the only two drivers in the tracks storied past to eclipse the 100 victory mark.
For racing fans in the Northeast, this weekend is undoubtedly the best way to shake off the Winter doldrums and get back to the excitement of short track racing. No matter what kind of racing you like, there will be some kind of vehicle to tickle your fancy competing at Waterford this weekend. For $35 adults can get into the stands for both days that the grandstands are open while kids between six and 14 can get in for $10. Kids five and under are admitted for free.
This Weekend's Racing Schedule
Fri : Mar 30th – NEA Speedway ; Harrisburg : AR – USCS 600 Sprint Cars
Fri : Mar 30th – Merced Speedway ; Merced : CA – World of Outlaw Sprint Cars
Fri : Mar 30th – Ocean Speedway ; Watsonville : CA – Taco Bravo Ocean Sprints
Fri : Mar 30th – Waterford Speedbowl ; Waterford : CT – New England Trucks
Fri : Mar 30th – Five Flags Speedway ; Pensacola : FL – Pro Late Models
Fri : Mar 30th – Farmer City Raceway ; Farmer City : Ill – World of Outlaws Late Models
Fri : Mar 30th – Humboldt Speedway ; Humboldt : KS – USMTS King of America Modified National Qualifying
Fri : Mar 30th – Malden Speedway ; Malden : MO – Late Models
Fri : Mar 30th – Malden Speedway ; Malden : MO – Modifieds
Fri : Mar 30th – Malden Speedway ; Malden : MO – Street Stocks
Fri : Mar 30th – Jackson Motor Speedway ; Byram : MS – Lucas Oil Dirt Late Models
Fri : Mar 30th – Ace Speedway ; Altamahaw : NC – USAC Eastern Focus Midgets
Fri : Mar 30th – Ace Speedway ; Altamahaw : NC – USAC Midwest Focus Midgets
Fri : Mar 30th – Ace Speedway ; Altamahaw : NC – USAC MOPAR National Midgets
Fri : Mar 30th – Carolina Speedway ; Gastonia : NC – NDRA Late Models
Fri : Mar 30th – Carolina Speedway ; Gastonia : NC – Late Models
Fri : Mar 30th – Carolina Speedway ; Gastonia : NC – Open Wheel Modifieds
Fri : Mar 30th – Carolina Speedway ; Gastonia : NC – Street Stocks
Fri : Mar 30th – Boyd Raceway ; Boyd : TX – Sprint Series of Texas
Fri : Mar 30th – Mountain Creek Speedway ; Grand Prairie : TX – IMCA Modifieds
Fri : Mar 30th – Mountain Creek Speedway ; Grand Prairie : TX – IMCA Sport Modifieds
Fri : Mar 30th – Mountain Creek Speedway ; Grand Prairie : TX – IMCA Stock
Fri : Mar 30th – Mountain Creek Speedway ; Grand Prairie : TX – Street Stock
Fri : Mar 30th – Mountain Creek Speedway ; Grand Prairie : TX – Winged Modifieds
Sat : Mar 31st – Montgomery Motor Speedway ; Montgomery : AL – Show Me The Money Pro Late Models
Sat : Mar 31st – Sayre Speedway ; Sayre : AL – Southern Superstars Early Bird 100 Super Late Models
Sat : Mar 31st – NEA Speedway ; Harrisburg : AR – USCS 600 Sprint Cars
Sat : Mar 31st – NEA Speedway ; Harrisburg : AR – USCS Outlaw Thunder Sprint Cars
Sat : Mar 31st – Calistoga Speedway ; Calistoga : CA – World of Outlaw Sprint Cars
Sat : Mar 31st – Madera Speedway ; Madera : CA – Gerhardt Classic USAC Sprint Cars
Sat : Mar 31st – Madera Speedway ; Madera : CA – 410/360 Super Modifieds
Sat : Mar 31st – Madera Speedway ; Madera : CA – USAC Focus Midgets
Sat : Mar 31st – Madera Speedway ; Madera : CA – BCRA/USAC Midgets
Sat : Mar 31st – Madera Speedway ; Madera : CA – NCMA Sprints
Sat : Mar 31st – Perris Auto Speedway ; Perris : CA – USAC/CRA Sprint Cars
Sat : Mar 31st – Perris Auto Speedway ; Perris : CA – California Lightning Sprints
Sat : Mar 31st – Placerville Speedway ; Placerville : CA – California Civil War Series Sprint Cars
Sat : Mar 31st – Stockton 99 Speedway ; Stockton : CA – SRL Southwest Tour Late Models
Sat : Mar 31st – Waterford Speedbowl ; Waterford : CT – MRS Modifieds
Sat : Mar 31st – Waterford Speedbowl ; Waterford : CT – NEMA Midgets
Sat : Mar 31st – Waterford Speedbowl ; Waterford : CT – New England Truck Series
Sat : Mar 31st – Bubba Raceway Park ; Ocala : FL – Florida Mini-Sprint Association
Sat : Mar 31st – Desoto Speedway ; Bradenton : FL – Sportsman
Sat : Mar 31st – New Smyrna Speedway ; New Smyrna Beach : FL – Super Late Models
Sat : Mar 31st – New Smyrna Speedway ; New Smyrna Beach : FL – Modifieds
Sat : Mar 31st – New Smyrna Speedway ; New Smyrna Beach : FL – Sportsman
Sat : Mar 31st – Punta Gorda Speedway ; Punta Gorda : FL – Super Late Models
Sat : Mar 31st – Lanier National Speedway ; Braselton : GA – Shriner Bowl Super Late Models
Sat : Mar 31st – New Senoia Raceway ; Senoia : GA – Spring Fling 40 Late Models
Sat : Mar 31st – Farmer City Raceway ; Farmer City : IL – World of Outlaws Late Models
Sat : Mar 31st – Farley Speedway ; Farley : IA – Deery Brothers Summer Series IMCA Late Models
Sat : Mar 31st – Waycross Motor Speedway ; Waycross : GA – Late Models
Sat : Mar 31st – Humboldt Speedway ; Humboldt : KS – USMTS King of America Modified Nationals
Sat : Mar 31st – Boothill Speedway ; Shreveport : LA – Ark-La-Tex Winged Modifieds
Sat : Mar 31st – Hagerstown Speedway ; Hagerstown : MD – Late Model Sportsman
Sat : Mar 31st – Hagerstown Speedway ; Hagerstown : MD – Pure Stocks
Sat : Mar 31st – Columbus Speedway ; Columbus : MS – Super Late Models
Sat : Mar 31st – Columbus Speedway ; Columbus : MS – NeSmith Late Models
Sat : Mar 31st – Columbus Speedway ; Columbus : MS – Street Stocks
Sat : Mar 31st – Ace Speedway ; Altamahaw : NC – USAC Eastern Focus Midgets
Sat : Mar 31st – Ace Speedway ; Altamahaw : NC – USAC Midwest Focus Midgets
Sat : Mar 31st – Ace Speedway ; Altamahaw : NC – USAC MOPAR National Midgets
Sat : Mar 31st – Caraway Speedway ; Asheboro : NC – Late Models x2
Sat : Mar 31st – Caraway Speedway ; Asheboro : NC – Street Stock
Sat : Mar 31st – Concord Motorsports Park ; Concord : NC – Late Models
Sat : Mar 31st – Hickory Motor Speedway ; Newton : NC – Late Models
Sat : Mar 31st – Hickory Motor Speedway ; Newton : NC – Limited Late Models
Sat : Mar 31st – Hickory Motor Speedway ; Newton : NC – Street Stock
Sat : Mar 31st – Grandview Speedway ; Bechtelsville : PA – North East Enduro Tour
Sat : Mar 31st – Lincoln Speedway ; Abbottstown : PA – 410 Sprints
Sat : Mar 31st – Lincoln Speedway ; Abbottstown : PA – 358 Sprints
Sat : Mar 31st – Trail-Ways Speedway ; Hanover : PA – Sidewinder Sprints
Sat : Mar 31st – Florence Motor Speedway ; Timmonsville : SC – Allison Legacy Series
Sat : Mar 31st – Greenville-Pickens Speedway ; Greenville : SC – NASCAR K&N Pro East Series
Sat : Mar 31st – C C Speedway ; Corpus Christi : TX – Dwarf Car Series of Texas
Sat : Mar 31st – Lone Star Speedway ; Kilgore : TX – Lucas Oil Dirt Late Models
Sat : Mar 31st – Seymour Speedway ; Seymour : WI – Spring Thaw Wisconsin Dirt Late Model Association
Sat : Mar 31st – Seymour Speedway ; Seymour : WI – Spring Thaw IMCA Modifieds
Sat : Mar 31st – Seymour Speedway ; Seymour : WI – Spring Thaw IMCA Sport Modifieds
Sat : Mar 31st – Seymour Speedway ; Seymour : WI – Spring Thaw IMCA Stock Cars
Sat : Mar 31st – Seymour Speedway ; Seymour : WI – Spring Thaw Street Stocks
Sun : Apr 1st – Waterford Speedbowl ; Waterford : CT – MRS Modifieds
Sun : Apr 1st – Waterford Speedbowl ; Waterford : CT – NEMA Midgets
Sun : Apr 1st – Speedrome ; Indianapolis : IN – Spring Fling Roadrunners
Sun : Apr 1st – Speedrome ; Indianapolis : IN – Spring Fling Hornets
Sun : Apr 1st – Speedrome ; Indianapolis : IN – Spring Fling Legends
Sun : Apr 1st – Magnolia Motor Speedway ; Columbus : MS – Super Late Models
Sun : Apr 1st – Magnolia Motor Speedway ; Columbus : MS – NeSmith Late Models
Sun : Apr 1st – Magnolia Motor Speedway ; Columbus : MS – Street Stocks
Sun : Apr 1st – Big Diamond Speedway ; Minersville : PA – Season Opener 358 Modifieds
Sun : Apr 1st – Big Diamond Speedway ; Minersville : PA – Season Opener Sportsman
Wed : Apr 4th – Millbridge Speedway ; Salisbury : NC – Autism Awareness Night Mini Outlaws
Mike Neff is a Senior Writer for Frontstretch.com. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fantasy Friday: Goody's Fast Relief 500
by Jeff Wolfe
Editor's Note: Welcome to the newest feature in the Frontstretch Newsletter where Jeff Wolfe takes a look at your best bets when it comes to picking your fantasy racing teams. Each week, Jeff will have your top 5 best bets along with a bonus pick just in time to finalize your lineup and settle in for a weekend full of action.
Part of being successful in NASCAR takes a little bit of brain surgery (the psychological type), a bit of lawyer-like persuasion and then simply having the guts to make the right call at the right time. All of those things came into play when Tony Stewart's crew chief, Steve Addington, made the call to keep his leading car out as the rain drops began to fall Sunday afternoon in California.
There were a couple of scenarios that could have played out. If the sun had come out and dried the track in time to go back green, Stewart would have lost the lead and that precious clean air these cars seem to need. But Addington pointed out in a post-race interview, that about six or seven other cars also didn't pit, so Stewart would have likely come out in sixth or seventh place anyway, keeping the eventual winner in contention for the lead. Also, Addington had a full view of the weather radar and liked the odds of the rain continuing. Those were easy selling points to Stewart.
Meanwhile, Stewart's champion crew chief last year, Darian Grubb, made the call for the then second-place Denny Hamlin to come into the pits. He came back out in 11th, so the move cost him nine points. Not the end of the world, but you never know when those nine points will come in handy. Grubb's a proven champion, so we know he can rebound from a mistake. He just may have to do a little more brain surgery and lawyer-like persuading the next time a key race call comes up.
As for now, Addington gets an upper hand with two wins in five races for Stewart. If the team continues to do well, that will allow them to do some experimenting later in the season before the Chase, which could put Stewart in position to make another title run.
Here are this week's picks for the 1 PM Sunday race at Martinsville on FOX.
Top 5 Picks
Tony Stewart - He's got three wins at Martinsville and nine top-5 finishes. Plus he's won seven of the last 15 races--including last fall's visit to the track--so it makes perfect sense he should run well this weekend.
Denny Hamlin - He's got four wins and nine top 5s with an average finish of 6.5, second only to Jimmie Johnson's 5.4. We may see these two battling for the lead again this week.
Jimmie Johnson - Six wins and 14 top 5s in 20 starts; the No. 48 might not need its share of good luck this week.
Kevin Harvick - He won here last spring and it wouldn't be a surprise to see him contend again.
Brian Vickers - Yes, a bit of long shot here, but he was great on the short-track concrete of Bristol, leading 125 laps and finishing fifth. He's back in the No. 55 car which has been a solid ride this season, no matter who is driving.
Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda - Dale Earnhardt Jr. Yes, I've just got a gut feeling that this could be Junior's week. The fact that he hasn't won in 134 races (for those of you snoring at home) kept me from pulling the trigger on the No. 88 this time.
Here's a review of last week's picks at California and how they finished.
Kyle Busch - 2nd. He led 80 laps and most likely would have contended for the win if the race had not been rain-shortened.
Matt Kenseth - 16th. A respectable showing and he's sitting there sixth in the points standings here in the early going.
Kevin Harvick - 4th. He was strong all day, even doing some pushing at times. Also a likely contender to win it if not for the rain.
Tony Stewart - 1st. There we go. Five races and finally a winner for me. He had a strong car that was improving throughout. He also had the best strategy in the end.
Jimmie Johnson - 10th. There's no official Rain Dance Award listed after race results, but the No. 48 team was probably doing just that once they realized they had an oil leak and the rain drops started falling. Johnson kept the car running until the red flag. It was a points-saving rain for five-time, who probably would not have been able to continue.
8 top 5s
7 top 10s
Grade for this week: A-. I had three of the top four and four of the top 10. Also, I mentioned that Jeff Gordon was a possible pick that I didn't make because while his cars have been strong, he's been a bit snakebit. He was running in the top 10 Sunday when he dragged his gasman and a fuel can from his pits under a green flag stop. It cost him a drive-through penalty and about 20 places in the final results.
Jeff Wolfe is a Contributor for Frontstretch.com. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.
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Frontstretch Folio: Goody's Fast Relief 500
by Nick Schwartz
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to tiny Martinsville, Virginia for the second short-track race on the schedule, the Goody's Fast Relief 500. The race will be broadcast on FOX at 12:30 PM EDT and on MRN Radio starting at 12:00 PM EDT. The sixth race of the 2012 season is scheduled for 500 laps on the 0.526-mile oval. Following a rain-shortened Auto Club 400, the forecast for this Sunday in Martinsville is favorable, with sunny skies projected and a high of 77 degrees.
Records and Facts
Tony Stewart holds the track qualifying record with a lap of 19.306 seconds, crossing the line at 98.084 miles per hour. Stewart set the record in October of 2005 and went on to finish second, and he'll be among the favorites Sunday to take the checkered flag—he's won at the half-mile short track three times in his career, and has an average finish of 13.4. In recent years however, it's been feast or famine for Stewart at Martinsville. His last six finishing positions, going back to 2009: 3rd, 9th, 26th, 24th, 34th, 1st.
Kevin Harvick is the defending winner of this race after leading just six laps. Having started inside the top 10, he bumped Dale Earnhardt, Jr. out of the lead with just four laps remaining to score his second consecutive victory of the 2011 season.
Jeff Gordon holds the record for the fastest race at Martinsville. Gordon won the Fall 1996 Hanes 500 with an average speed of 82.223 mph. The King, Richard Petty, holds most of the other miscellaneous track records. Petty leads all drivers with 15 wins at Martinsville, 30 top 5s and 37 top 10s in 67 starts at the track. Darrell Waltrip holds the records for poles at Martinsville with eight.
Track/Race Length: 0.526 mile Paper Clip shaped oval, 500 laps (263 miles)
Pit Road Speed: 30mph
Degree of Banking: 12 degrees
Frontstretch: 800 ft., 0 degrees of banking
Backstretch: 800 ft., 0 degrees of banking
Grandstand Seating: 61,000
Practice: Friday, March 30th, 12:30 – 2:00 PM EST and 3:30 – 5:00 PM EST on SPEED
Qualifying: Saturday, March 31st, 11:30 PM ET on SPEED
Grand Marshal / Command: Actor Gary Sinise
Honorary Starter: Marine Cpl. Josh "J.B." Kerns
National Anthem: Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Regimental Marching Band
Race Day Forecast
High: 77 degrees
Low: 54 degrees
They Said It
"Coming off the last short-track run that we had in Bristol in which we won, I'm excited to get to Martinsville this weekend. I think that our short-track program has been one of our strengths. This will be a true test for us. I feel that Martinsville owes us one after we ran so well there last fall only to get pushed up the track late in the race. We've tested at Little Rock in preparation for this weekend and I think that we're bringing a pretty good package. The key for me is to be patient at Martinsville. You can't use your stuff up too early in the race. You have to let the race come to you and stay away from contact. Anything can happen short-track racing. You have to make sure that you have all the fenders on it at the end." –Brad Keselowski
"I look forward going to Martinsville. I always have a lot of fun there. I think everybody really enjoys running there. It's a pretty fun track. We've had some good success there. I'm hoping to have a good race like we did last year and maybe have an opportunity to try to be in the battle for the win." -Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
"Martinsville is very much a finesse race track – from a braking standpoint, but also the acceleration part of it, too. You can really chew your tires up on the concrete before you get to the asphalt getting back to the gas, and you have to get back to the gas, but how you do it can make a really big difference in how good your car is for a whole fuel run. A fuel run here is roughly 110 to 120 laps, and you only get three or four times to do that. Tires are important but, if the race goes green for a long time, you can go a lap down by not managing your racecar. For me, I'm thinking about who's around me, what to expect at the start of the race, how good the car is, what we need to work on, those kind of things. Sometimes your competition is more you than anybody else." –Ryan Newman
Nick Schwartz is a Contributor for Frontstretch.com. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.
TODAY ON THE FRONTSTRETCH:
IndyCar Preview: Barber Motorsports Park
by Danny Peters
Formula 1 Friday: Top Ten Reasons to Give F1 a Try
by Andy Hollis
Where's the Excitement In This World of Instant Gratification?
by Amy Henderson
Ride Buyers: NASCAR's Necessary Evil
by Kevin Rutherford
Three Years Later, TV Coverage Still Strangling the Nationwide Series
by Bryan Davis Keith
Kenny Wallace Driver Diary: Momentum and a World Series Dream
as told to Amy Henderson
This Weekend on the Frontstretch:
Tracking the Trucks: Kroger 250 by Beth Lunkenheimer
Beth has all the post-race analysis you need after Saturday afternoon's Truck Series race from Martinsville.
Q: The 1996 Goody's Headache Powders 500 is best known as the race in which Terry Labonte overtook Richard Petty with his 514th consecutive start (nowadays, the record is 787 by Ricky Rudd). However, it also marked the surprise Cup Series debut of Stacy Compton, whose late model team put together an effort to qualify ninth. Where did the Dean Monroe-owned team get their equipment from?
Check back Monday for the answer, here in the Frontstretch Newsletter!
Q: Staying with the 1995 Goody's 150 Truck race at Martinsville, that race was supposed to mark a milestone. Unfortunately, circumstances forced "history" to wait a little while. What am I talking about?
A: The 1995 Goody's 150 was Ernie Irvan's intended return to racing, however that was a very cool and rainy race weekend in Martinsville. Qualifying got rained out and since Irvan's No. 28 NAPA United truck had no points, he was forced to sit out. He eventually made his comeback at North Wilkesboro and ran exceptionally well in his sixth-place finish.
Frontstretch Trivia Guarantee: Take the shirt off our backs! If we've provided an incorrect answer to the Frontstretch Trivia question, be the first to email the corrected trivia answer to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send you a Frontstretch T-Shirt ... FREE!
Coming Monday in the Frontstretch Newsletter:
-- Goody's Fast Relief 500 Race Recap by Jeff Wolfe
-- Secret Star and Stat of the Race by Tom Bowles
-- Links to your favorite Frontstretch articles, and more!
Monday on the Frontstretch:
Matt McLaughlin's Thinkin' Out Loud: Goody's Fast Relief 500 by Matt McLaughlin
Matt will be here with his overall thoughts about the action from Sunday afternoon's action at Martinsville.
Monday Morning Teardown by Ron Lemasters
Ron returns for a website look at one of the big stories from Sunday's race from Martinsville.
Bowles-Eye View by Tom Bowles
Tom brings back his weekly post-race commentary with all of the insight you need from a weekend of racing at Martinsville.
Big Six: Goody's Fast Relief 500 by Amy Henderson
Looking for all you need to know leaving Sunday's event at Martinsville? Amy has your who, what, when, where, why and how from a weekend of racing.
Pace Laps: Martinsville Weekend by the Frontstretch Staff
In our newest column this season, we'll take a look at the biggest stories to keep an eye on in each series after a weekend at Martinsville.
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