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STP 500
Martinsville Speedway
Sun, Mar 29, 2015
1:15pm EDT - FOXSports1

Race Data

Race #: 6 of 36
Event: STP 400
Location: Martinsville Va.
Track Size: 0.526 Miles
Track Type: Oval
Total Laps: 500
Total Miles: 263
2014-1 Winner: Kurt Busch
2014-1 Winner: D Earnhardt Jr
Pit Speed: 55 mph

Previous Winners

8 Jeff Gordon 96/97/99/03/03/05/05/13 8 J Johnson 04/06/07/07/08/09/12/13 4 Denny Hamlin 08/09/10/10 2 Tony Stewart 06/11 2 Kurt Busch 02/14 1 Bobby Labonte 02 1 Jeff Burton 97 1 D Earnhardt Jr 1 Ryan Newman 12 1 Kevin Harvick 11

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Other News

Joe Falk's No. 33 Team Penalized For Rules Violations At Fontana

Daytona Beach, Fla. (March 25, 2015) - The No. 33 team that competes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series has been penalized for a rules infraction discovered during opening day inspection March 20 at Auto Club Speedway.

This infraction is a P4 level penalty and violates the following Sections in the 2015 NASCAR rule book:

12.1: Actions detrimental to stock car racing;

20.14.2: Rear Suspension: Truck Trailing Arm

E. The left and right side truck trailing arms must be mounted to the truck trailing arm mounting brackets using a one-piece, minimum inch diameter magnetic steel bolt.

F. The horizontal centerline of the highest truck trailing arm mounting bolt must not be higher than the top surface of the truck trailing arm crossmember, at the respective truck trailing arm mounting bracket, when the vehicle is at inspection orientation.

INFRACTION: The inch diameter magnetic steel truck trailing arm mounting bolt was not installed horizontally.

J. Truck trailing arm must conform to the following drawing as specified in the NASCAR rule book: Rear Suspension-Truck Trailing Arm: A-008-00183-14 Rev.C

INFRACTION: Truck trailing arm monoball sleeve does not meet the drawing specifications. Sleeve is required to be minimum .125 inch minimum thick x two inches wide sleeve machined for press fit of .750 I.D. or .875 I.D. monoball assembly.

20.3.3.2.1: Truck Trailing Arm Crossmember Assembly:Truck Trailing Arm Mounting Brackets

B. Truck trailing arm mounting brackets must be constructed of magnetic steel flat plate with a minimum thickness of 0.169 inch.

INFRACTION: Truck trailing arm mounting bracket adapter was machined from Aluminum solid.

20.20: Assembled Vehicle Overall Rules

A. Except in cases explicitly permitted in the NASCAR rules, installation of additional components and/or modifications of existing components to affect the aerodynamic properties of the vehicle will not be permitted, including but not limited to, safety systems, chassis and roll cage, suspension, steering systems, brake systems, heat shields, body fillers, body sealers, filler panels, drivetrain components and exhaust components

The options for a P4 penalty are outlined in the following sections of the NASCAR rule book:

12.5.3.4: P4 Penalty Options:

A. Violations leading to P4 penalties, in general, are very serious. They include, but are not limited to, a broad range of infractions such as:

B. Parts which do not meet specifications

F. Measurement failures of significance

G. These often involve primary component or system infractions not otherwise to the magnitude of P5 infractions, but could also include secondary component or system infractions, particularly if of a nature suggesting some of the characteristics described in P5 . and/or involving safety implications.

12.5.3.4.2: Minimum P4 Penalty Options (includes all three points below):

A. Loss of 25 championship driver and owner points, regardless of whether the violation occurred during a Championship race or not.

B. $40,000-$75,000 fine

C. Suspension for the next three series Championship Races, plus any non-championship races or special events which might occur during that time period, for the crew chief, plus probation through the end of the calendar year, or probation for a six month period following the issuance of the penalty notice if that period spans across two consecutive seasons.

As a result of this violation, crew chief Slugger Labbe has been fined $50,000 and suspended for the next three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship races, plus any non-championship races or special events which might occur during that time period. Labbe has also been placed on NASCAR probation through Dec. 31. In addition, car owner Joe Falk has been docked 25 championship car owner points.

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...Game open for Martinsville...
 




Pole Winner: Joey Logano

Courtesy of NASCAR Media


Qualifying Fast Facts
Martinsville Speedway
66th Annual STP 500

Coors Light Pole Winner: Joey Logano
Age: 24
Team: No. 22 - Shell Pennzoil Ford
Owner: Walter Czarnecki
Crew Chief: Todd Gordon

Joey Logano won the Coors Light Pole Award for the 66th Annual STP 500 with a lap of 19.232 seconds, 98.461 mph.

This is his 10th pole in 225 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races.

This is his second pole and fifth top-10 start in 2015.

This is his first pole in 13 races at Martinsville Speedway.

Ryan Newman (second) posted his fifth top-10 start of 2015 and his 17th in 27 races at Martinsville Speedway.

Martin Truex Jr. (third) posted his third top-10 start at Martinsville Speedway. It is his third in six races this season.

Jeb Burton (32nd) was the fastest qualifying rookie.





NASCAR National Series News & Notes
2015 Martinsville Speedway

Courtesy of NASCAR Media


NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES

 

Ho-Hum: Another Top-Two For Harvick

Does the lead for NASCAR's News & Notes ever change?

 

Kevin Harvick has been THE story for weeks now, posting his eighth consecutive top-two finish with a runner-up showing at Auto Club.

 

The No. 4 Chevrolet driver now has two wins and three second-place performances this season and leads Joey Logano by 27 points in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings.

 

This Sunday, Harvick returns to the venue at which he last finished outside the top two - Martinsville Speedway - for the STP 500 (1 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1). (Kevin, if you're reading, don't watch this.) Harvick finished 33rd  at "The Paperclip" in last year's opener of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup's Eliminator 8 Round. His lone top-two finish at Martinsville was a victory in spring of 2011.

 

"Happy" continues to chase Richard Petty's record of 11 consecutive top-two finishes set in 1975.

 

"Bradical" Dude: Late Race Gamble Leads Keselowski To Victory

Running fifth with two laps left in the Auto Club 400 on Sunday, Brad Keselowski's No. 2 Ford team made the gutsy decision to take four fresh tires, moving Keselowski all the way back to 14th on the Lap 202 restart.

 

The decision paid off with a ticket to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

 

Keselowski engulfed the field like a wave, moving up to fifth for the next restart on Lap 207 and tracking down Kurt Busch on the 209th and final lap of the race - the only go-around Keselowski led all day - to take the victory. 

 

Keselowski, who paced the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with six wins last season, will attempt to continue his momentum by taking the checkered flag at Martinsville Speedway for the first time in his career. The 31-year-old claims one top five and five top-10 finishes in 10 starts at the .526-mile track.

 

Last weekend's Auto Club race marked the second of Keselowski's 17 career victories where he led just one lap. Ironically, the first came on Keselowski's first career win, at Talladega Superspeedway (4/26/09). (Keselowski's Talladega triumph entered NASCAR.com's March Madness tribute in the "Biggest NASCAR Upset" bracket as the sixth seed. Fans can vote on NASCAR's biggest upset here.)

 

The points leader entering the 2014 Chase, Keselowski ranks fifth in the standings, trailing Kevin Harvick by 62 points.

 

Might As Well Call Martinsville "Hendrickville"

Hendrick Motorsports' 22 wins at Martinsville Speedway not only rank first in track history, they mark the most victories by an owner at a specific track in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series annals.

The organization goes for its 23rd triumph of "The Paperclip" this weekend with five race entries: Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kasey Kahne and Chase Elliott.

 

Martinsville mavens Johnson and Gordon will lead the way. Both rank first among active drivers with eight wins at the storied short track. The pair also claims the most runner-ups at Martinsville among active drivers - Gordon with five and Johnson with four.

 

Unsurprisingly, Johnson boasts the top driver rating in the series at Martinsville (122.5), while Gordon's is second-best (119.8).

 

There's No Place Like Home For Hamlin

Chesterfield, Virginia native Denny Hamlin heads to his home track at Martinsville, which may be just what the doctor ordered after his tough-luck outing at Auto Club.

 

The No. 11 FedEx Toyota driver owns four wins at Martinsville, his most at any track (he also has four at Pocono). In addition, he boasts nine top fives and 14 top 10s at the southern Virginia track. His driver rating (110.1), fastest laps run (612) and average running position (8.8) at Martinsville are all the third-best among active drivers.

 

Hamlin finished 28th at Auto Club, a showing not indicative of his performance that showed off serious speed. The Joe Gibbs Racing wheelman led a season-high 56 laps, looking like he could contend for the win before he was sent to the back after Lap 185 when his team drew a pit road penalty for an uncontrolled tire.

 

If Hamlin can park his car in Victory Lane, he will tie NASCAR Hall of Famer Joe Weatherly for the most wins by a driver from Virginia with 25.

 

High Ratings: Dale Jr. Excels At NASCAR's Oldest Track

Four drivers average a driver rating of more than 100 at Martinsville. The top three aren't that big a surprise, considering they also reside atop the active Martinsville wins list - Jimmie Johnson (122.5), Jeff Gordon (119.8) and Denny Hamlin (110.1). The other highly rated driver: Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won his first Martinsville race last October in the series' most recent visit to the Virginia short track. Earnhardt's driver rating of 101.2 makes Martinsville his best track in terms of the loop data statistic, and the only track at which he eclipses the 100 driver rating barrier. For the record: No. 2 on his list is Michigan at 98.0. Last on his list is Sonoma, at 72.1.

 

Tough Task: Chase Elliott Hopes To Buck "Debut Downer" Trend

Reigning NASCAR XFINITY Series champion Chase Elliott starts his 'Jeff Gordon Replacement' march this Sunday at Martinsville, driving the No. 25 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports. It'll be the first of five races in 2015 before hopping in the No. 24 Chevrolet fulltime in 2016 (his other races this season are Richmond, Charlotte, Indianapolis and Darlington). And, if history is any indication, it'll be a tough task. The last driver to score a top-10 finish in his first career start was Carl Edwards' 10th-place finish at Michigan in 2004. Only three drivers have scored a top 10 in their debut since 1990: Edwards, Matt Kenseth (6th at Dover in 1998) and Kenny Irwin Jr. (8th at Richmond in 1997). The last driver to score a top five in his premier series debut: NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace, who finished second at Atlanta in 1980. And one last note.to best his father - NASCAR Hall of Famer Bill Elliott - Chase will have to finish 32nd or better. Bill Elliott finished 33rd in his NASCAR Sprint Cup debut, at Rockingham in 1976.

 

Who's The Boss: Jersey Native Martin Truex Jr. Looks To Continue Glory Days At Martinsville

Second generation NASCAR driver Martin Truex Jr. is proving he was born to run in 2015.

 

The South Jersey native who began his racing career not far from the streets of Philadelphia, is on fire after notching five straight top-10 finishes to start the season - tying his career-best streak set in 2012. He keeps on rising in the standings where he ranks third, five points behind Joey Logano and 33 behind defending NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick.

 

Despite starting outside the top 10 in three of the first five races, Truex has shown no surrender. At Auto Club Sunday, he proved if he should fall behind that he can make up his position by finishing eighth after descending to the back of the field multiple times.

 

Truex has high hopes for Martinsville where he can prove he's tougher than the rest. He will attempt to pilot his No. 78 Furniture Row Chevrolet to the promised land at the .526-mile track where he claims two top-five and four top-10 finishes.

 

Kurt Busch Attempts Martinsville Repeat

After being suspended for the first three races of the season, Kurt Busch has collected a fifth and a third-place finish in his first two starts, respectively.

 

Busch looked like he was going to pull off the 'perfect weekend', leading qualifying, all practices and the race at Auto Club on Sunday, but was tracked down by Brad Keselowski on the final lap and finished third.

 

This weekend, Busch will attempt to defend his win in last year's Martinsville spring race in the STP 500.  Busch claims two victories at Martinsville and his victory from the 36th position there in 2002 is the deepest in the field a race winner has ever started.

 

Busch's recent success coincides with his crew chief switch to Tony Gibson for the November race at Texas Motor Speedway last season. In five races with Gibson, Busch claims two top fives, four top 10s, a 6.5 average finish and an average driver rating of 111.5. His driver rating ranks second over that span, and his average running position of 6.8 ranks third.

 

Super Subs: Buescher, Moffitt Making Most Of Fill-In Roles

Unfortunately, Brian Vickers cannot race for the foreseeable future as he recovers from health issues related to blood clots.

 

Brett Moffitt, who piloted Vickers' No. 55 Toyota to an eighth-place showing at Atlanta, subbed for him at Auto Club and placed 22nd. Since Moffitt moved into the No. 55 for Michael Waltrip Racing, Chris Buescher took over for him in the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford at Auto Club, finishing 20th in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut.

 

Moffitt and Buescher, both 22 years old, will pilot the same cars again in this weekend's STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Neither driver has ever competed at Martinsville in any of NASCAR's national series.

 

No. 11 Boasts Storied History At Martinsville

Denny Hamlin is a perennial contender at Martinsville, having earned four grandfather clocks in his young career. However, he is not the first driver to experience success in the No. 11 car at the 0.526-mile track.

 

NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough set the tone in the No. 11 at Martinsville, with four wins in 16 starts from 1973-80.  He finished in the top five an astounding 11 times during that eight-year stretch, including three runner-up finishes.  And when fellow Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip took over the Junior Johnson owned ride in 1980, the success continued.  Waltrip won four Martinsville races for Johnson, including a stretch of seven consecutive top-five finishes from 1981-84.

 

It's not hard to imagine Johnson's success as a driver helped contribute to his ownership triumphs.  Johnson won twice at the paperclip-shaped track and had eight finishes of third or better in 19 attempts.

 

Overall, the No. 11 has 15 Martinsville wins, including a sweep by Geoff Bodine in 1990.  Only the No. 43 car has visited Martinsville Victory Lane more. Richard Petty, the all-time Martinsville wins leader, had 15 victories at the track. John Andretti earned a Martinsville win for Petty Enterprises in 1999.

 

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES

 

New Crop Of Impressive Youth Has NASCAR XFINITY Series Popping

The new crop of youth in NASCAR continues to blossom and this week's average age of the top five in the NASCAR XFINITY Series point standings is a fresh 21.2. The young contingent's success continues to emphasize that the NASCAR XFINITY Series is the place that 'names are made.'

 

These young gentlemen are the new wave of drivers raising the level of competition in one of NASCAR's national series. Points leader Ty Dillon, who just turned 23 years old on Feb. 27th, is the eldest of the youth movement; second in the standings belongs to Roush Fenway Racing's Chris Buescher (22 years old), followed by the youngster and 2014 series champion Chase Elliott at the age of 19. Fourth in points belongs to Ryan Reed (21 years old), and rounding out the top five is Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate Darrell Wallace Jr. at the age of 21.

  

Ty Dillon Faces First Slip Of The Season, Still Holds Points Lead

After starting the first four races with four consecutive top-10 finishes, Ty Dillon's season got loose at Auto Club Speedway last weekend when he posted a 14th-place finish ending his streak of top 10s. Dillon's slip, while costly to his standings lead, didn't knock the North Carolina native from the top spot; he still holds a five-point lead over second-place Chris Buescher.

 

Dillon is having a career season and he has made it clear he is on a mission to win the championship this year. In the first five races he has posted two top fives, four top 10s and an average finish of 6.8.

 

In 2015, Dillon has posted an average running position of 8.8 (fourth-best in the series), a driver rating of 98.9 (fifth-best) and has spent 92.3 percent of his laps completed in the top 15 (third-best).

 

Following this weekend off, Dillon will be hard to catch. At the next four races on the schedule (Texas, Bristol, Richmond and Talladega), he posted an average finish of 11.0 last season.        

 

Chris Buescher Closes Points Gap On Standings Leader Ty Dillon

Roush Fenway Racing's Chris Buescher is continuing to put the pressure on standings leader Ty Dillon after the first five races of the season. Buescher's third top five of 2015 last weekend at Auto Club Speedway has him second in the standings, just five points back from Dillon.

 

Buescher has been a busy man lately. Not only is he chasing a championship in the NASCAR XFINITY Series, but he has also been tapped to drive the Front Row Motorsports No. 34 Ford in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in David Ragan's stead. 

 

The extra seat time seems to be paying off. In five NXS starts this season, he has posted three top fives and an average finish of 7.8. His season-to-date Loop Data has him ranked fifth in average running position (8.9), fourth in driver rating (100.5) and second in laps in the top 15 (94.4%).

 

Next week, Buescher returns to his home state of Texas where he has made three starts at his home track (Texas Motor Speedway), posting a best finish of 13th last fall. 

 

He's. Back: 2014 Champ Chase Elliott Moves Into Contention

Chase Elliott has climbed the standings leaderboard from 20th to third in the last four races - a gain of 17 positions. As a result the 2014 series champion is right back in the mix for this year's title just 15 points back from standings leader Ty Dillon and 10 points behind second-place Chris Buescher. 

 

Elliott turned red hot last season from the second to the eighth race on the schedule when he strung together seven consecutive top-10 finishes including his two wins at Texas and Darlington. This season he is looking to do the same and his last four consecutive top 10s have him on track to do just that.

 

This season Elliott has posted three top fives, four top 10s and an average finish of 9.8. Elliott's ascension up the standings is due to stellar performance on the track. He has the third best average running position (8.6), fifth best driver rating (100.0), and has the second-highest percentage of laps run on the lead lap this season (97%).

 

There will be no rest for young Elliott this off weekend, the 19 year old will be making his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut for Hendrick Motorsports at Martinsville Speedway.

 

Sunoco Rookie Standout: Darrell Wallace Jr.

Watch out for Darrell Wallace Jr. this season. Right out of the gate, Wallace has been the man to beat in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings and five races into the season he still holds the lead. 

 

Eight points separate Wallace (57 rookie points) and second-place Daniel Suarez (49) following last weekend at Auto Club Speedway where the top two rookies finished 12th and 13th respectively. 

 

Wallace is also doing well in the overall NASCAR XFINITY Series driver standings. He is currently fifth, three points behind fourth-place Ryan Reed and 22 points back from the standings leader Ty Dillon. 

 

In the first five races of the season, Wallace has posted one top 10 and an average finish of 11.4. He is the head of his rookie class in every season-to-date Loop Data category and rivals the rest of the series quite nicely. He is ranked sixth in the series in average running position (10.2), eighth in driver rating (92.0), and sixth in percentage of laps completed in the top 15 with 87.2%. He is also averaging a +7.8 place differential through the first five races of the season.  

 

Next week in Texas, Wallace will be making his series track debut. Wallace is familiar with the 1.5-mile speedway though; he has made four NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts at TMS posting three top 10s.

 

Sunoco Rookie Standings following Auto Club Speedway: Darrell Wallace Jr. (57), Daniel Suarez (49), Ross Chastain (46), Cale Conley (41), Harrison Rhodes (31) and Josh Reaume (16).

 

 

Owner Standings Tight After First Five Events

Following the first five races of the season, Team Penske's No. 22 Ford Mustang team leads the JR Motorsport's No. 88 Chevrolet Camaro team by eight points in the NASCAR XFINITY Series owner points standings.

 

Kevin Harvick's win last weekend at Auto Club Speedway jumped the No. 88 team to second in the owner standings, leapfrogging the two Richard Childress Racing (Nos. 3 and 33) teams.

 

Penske's No. 22 Ford team led by crew chief Greg Irwin with drivers Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano took the owner standings lead following Logano's win at Phoenix, and have held on to it thanks to Keselowski's top 10 last weekend at Fontana.

 

Both the No. 22 Ford team (3.6) and the No. 88 Chevrolet team (5.4) have posted notable average finishes this season.

 

Roger Penske is looking to capture his third consecutive NASCAR XFINITY Series owner title this season. If he can accomplish the feat he will become the third owner in series history to win three in a row joining Joe Gibbs (2008-10) and William Baumgardner (1995-97). 

 

XFINITY Series FOX Sports Booth Driver Guests Continue To Delight

Nobody can bring you precise, insightful and relevant commentary during a NASCAR XFINITY Series race broadcast like the actual drivers themselves and this season the stellar NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver lineup in the TV Booth at FOX Sports has been knocking it out of the park. Alongside FOX Sports hosts Adam Alexander and Michael Waltrip, a rotation of drivers have been stepping into the limelight and offering their captivating views; the result - pure magic.  

 

The 2015 NASCAR XFINITY Series season kicked off with 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick covering the Daytona event followed by 2012 NSCS champ Brad Keselowski at Las Vegas. The two traded off the next two races and then we had 2008 NASCAR XFINITY Series champion Clint Bowyer take the reins in Fontana.  All three personalities have brought creative analytical commentary that has been resonating with the fans.

 

While the red hot FOX Sports booth will get the chance to cool down this off weekend, expect all eyes to be locked on next weekend's broadcast from Texas because four-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Jeff Gordon will make his FOX Sports TV booth debut.  Gordon is one of the most revered drivers in the garage today. Along with his four NSCS titles he brings a lifetime of motorsports knowledge and insight that is almost unmatched. If the audience can expect to see even the tiniest drop of class and eloquent detailed understanding of the sport we have come to know from Gordon, than the fans are in for a treat when he steps in front of the camera on April 10. 

 

Below is a list of 12 NASCAR XFINITY SERIES races on FOX and FOX Sports 1 for which NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers are scheduled to serve as guest analysts:

 

Race                 Date/Airtime                             Network                                    Driver/guest analyst

Texas               April 10 (8:30 PM ET)                 FOX Sports 1                            Jeff Gordon

Bristol               April 18 (1:30 PM ET)                 FOX Sports 1                            Jeff Gordon

Richmond         April 24 (7:30 PM ET)                 FOX Sports 1                            Brad Keselowski

Talladega          May 2 (1:30 PM ET)                   FOX                                         Jeff Gordon

Charlotte           May 23 (2:30 PM ET)                 FOX                                         Clint Bowyer

Dover               May 30 (2:30 PM ET)                 FOX                                         Kevin Harvick

Michigan           June 13 (1:30 PM ET)                FOX Sports 1                            Danica Patrick

*subject to change

 

This season, FOX Sports adds coverage of the NASCAR XFINITY SERIES for the first 14 races of the year. FOX Sports 1 telecasts 10 of the events while FOX broadcasts the races from Phoenix, Talladega, Charlotte and Dover.

 

 

NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES

 

Custer To Pilot JR Motorsports' No. 00 Chevrolet Silverado In Team's Trucks Debut

Fresh off its first NASCAR XFINITY Series driver championship - powered by the efforts of then-18-year-old wunderkind Chase Elliott (the youngest title-winner in NASCAR national series history) - JR Motorsports makes its first foray into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, debuting at Martinsville Speedway with another teenage prodigy - Cole Custer (the youngest NASCAR national series race and pole winner).

 

Custer, 17, will pilot the No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet Silverado in Saturday's Kroger 250 (2:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1), the first of 10 scheduled races he will run for JRM this season. Last year in his first NCWTS campaign, he amassed one victory, two poles, two top fives, six top 10s and 150 laps led in nine starts.

 

JR Motorsports, owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr., has fielded race teams since 2002 and launched its XFINITY Series program in 2006. The team boasts 23 XFINITY Series wins and 42 late model victories, including track championships in 2012 and 2014. Elliott's XFINITY Series championship paired with Regan Smith's runner-up showing in points marked the first time in JRM's history it secured a one-two finish atop the standings.

 

Kyle Busch Motorsports Looks To Continue Martinsville Streak

For the last four years, Kyle Busch Motorsports has been a fixture in Victory Lane at Martinsville Speedway. The Mooresville-based racing team has won one race each season at "The Paperclip" from 2011-14 (Denny Hamlin, 2011-12; Darrell Wallace Jr., 2013-14). Each of those races was in the fall though; none were won in the spring. KBM rival ThorSport has taken the last two checkered flags in the spring Martinsville showdowns (Johnny Sauter, 2013; Matt Crafton, 2014). Furthermore, Hamlin is not entered in Saturday's Kroger 250 and Darrell Wallace Jr. has moved on to the XFINITY Series with Roush Fenway Racing, so a fresh face will have to continue KBM's streak.

 

Three drivers will attempt to pilot their KBM Toyota Tundra's past the finish line first: Erik Jones (No. 4), Daniel Suarez (No. 51) and Justin Boston (No. 54). Only Jones has competed at Martinsville. He claims finishes of ninth, 18th and fourth at the .526-mile track. Jones made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Martinsville in April 2013.

 

Moto Family: John Hunter Nemechek Takes Father "Front Row" Joe's Place For 2015 Debut 

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series got a taste of "Modern Family" at Auto Club Speedway last weekend when actor Eric Stonestreet served as the race's Official Pace Car driver.

 

This Saturday, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will witness the third episode of its "Moto Family" when John Hunter Nemechek makes his 2015 debut in relief of his father "Front Row" Joe Nemechek.

 

As a driver under the age of 18, Nemechek is limited to racing on tracks that are road courses of 1.25 miles or less in length. Last season, he ran a split schedule with his father, logging six top-10 finishes in 10 starts, with a best showing of fourth. Expectations are high for the younger Nemechek this season after his win at the Snowball Derby - one of the most prestigious events in short-track racing - in December.

 

Following this weekend's race, Joe will compete in three of the next four events, lending the seat to John Hunter again at Dover. John Hunter turns 18 on June 11 and will take over the No. 8 NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet full-time at Gateway on June 13.

 

Standings Snapshot

After a month-long layoff, the high-octane NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is back in action at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday.

 

Tyler Reddick is its current standings leader. The 19-year-old Brad Keselowski Racing driver is followed by Matt Crafton (-2), Erik Jones (-7), Johnny Sauter (-15) and James Buescher (-24).

 

Crafton is the two-time defending series champion. Jones leads all Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidates in the standings. Buescher took the Truck Series title in 2012.

 

Rounding out the top 10 are Bryan Silas (-27), Ben Kennedy (-29), Ray Black Jr. (-29), Joe Nemechek (-29) and Korbin Forrister (-31).

 

Can Kennedy Build On Strong Atlanta Finish?

"Ken" he do it?

 

This weekend at Martinsville, Ben Kennedy will attempt to build off his strong Atlanta showing, where he won his first career Keystone Light Pole Award and tied his personal-best with a third-place finish.

 

History shows he "Ken."

 

The No. 11 Red Horse Racing driver will try to top that career-high third-place finish he originally set at Martinsville last spring when he heads back to "The Paper Clip" for Saturday's Kroger 250. In two other starts at the .526-mile track, Kennedy owns finishes of fourth (fall of 2013) and 16th (fall of 2014).

 

Rookies Readied For Martinsville At Test

At times, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series can be unkind to rookies. The inexperienced drivers often struggle having to keep up with grizzled veterans like Matt Crafton, Jonny Sauter and Timothy Peters.

 

Fortunately, the NCWTS rookie testing rule allows first-year drivers to test on tracks they have yet to race on.

 

Justin Boston, Daniel Suarez and Daniel Hemric put the extra work in, gaining valuable seat time last Tuesday at Martinsville Speedway - a track that can be unforgiving if a driver is not technically sound.

NASCAR fans will see if practice made perfect in Saturday's Kroger 250 at "The Paperclip." Boston and Hemric hope to land in the top 10 for the first time this season, while Suarez attempts to improve on his fourth-place Atlanta showing.

 

NCWTS Youth Movement

One cool aspect of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is that it acts as a proving ground for young drivers to test their skills.

 

Saturday's Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway marks the first race of the season that drivers between the ages of 16 and 18 can compete. Wheelmen from that age group can only race on road courses or tracks 1.25 miles or less in length. Seventeen year olds Cole Custer, Gray Gaulding and John Hunter Nemechek will all make their 2015 NCWTS debuts this weekend. Although the youngest, they are not the only youthful drivers in the series. Erik Jones, Cameron Hayley, Brandon Jones and Matt Tifft, all 18 years old, are also entered at Martinsville. Series points lead Tyler Reddick turned 19 in January. 






Statistical Advance: Analyzing the STP 500

Courtesy of NASCAR Media


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (March 23, 2015) - Below is a look at some of the top statistical performers at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia going into the STP 500 on March 29 (1 p.m. ET on
FOX Sports 1).

 

MARTINSVILLE-SPECIFIC STATISTICS
 

Clint Bowyer (No. 15 5-Hour Energy Toyota)

         Four top fives, 12 top 10s

         Average finish of 12.1

         Average Running Position of 12.1, sixth-best

         Driver Rating of 95.0, seventh-best

         296 Fastest Laps Run, seventh-most

         Average Green Flag Speed of 91.276 mph, sixth-fastest

         6,586 Laps in the Top 15 (72.9%), seventh-most

         613 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), sixth-most

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet)

         One win, 12 top fives, 17 top 10s

         Average finish of 12.4

         Average Running Position of 10.6, fourth-best

         Driver Rating of 101.2, fourth-best

         523 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most

         Series-high 1,181 Green Flag Passes

         Average Green Flag Speed of 91.386 mph, fourth-fastest

         7,860 Laps in the Top 15 (78.3%), third-most

         719 Quality Passes, second-most



Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet)

         Eight wins, 28 top fives, 35 top 10s; seven poles

         Average finish of 6.8

         Series-best Average Running Position of 6.6

         Driver Rating of 119.8, second-best

         Series-high 1,105 Fastest Laps Run

         1,000 Green Flag Passes, ninth-most

         Average Green Flag Speed of 91.689 mph, second-fastest

         8,848 Laps in the Top 15 (88.2%), second-most

         Series-high 754 Quality Passes

 

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Express Toyota)

         Four wins, nine top fives, 14 top 10s; three poles

         Average finish of 8.7

         Average Running Position of 8.8, third-best

         Driver Rating of 110.1, third-best

         612 Fastest Laps Run, third-most

         Average Green Flag Speed of 91.473 mph, third-fastest

         7,503 Laps in the Top 15 (83.1%), fourth-most

         659 Quality Passes, fifth-most

 

Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Budweiser / Jimmy John's Chevrolet)

         One win, three top fives, 12 top 10s

         Average finish of 16.4

         Average Running Position of 14.4, eighth-best

         Driver Rating of 91.8, eighth-best

         255 Fastest Laps Run, ninth-most

         1,016 Green Flag Passes, eighth-most

         Average Green Flag Speed of 91.130 mph, eighth-fastest

         6,475 Laps in the Top 15 (64.5%), eighth-most

         593 Quality Passes, seventh-most

 

Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet)

         Eight wins, 18 top fives, 22 top 10s; three poles

         Average finish of 6.2

         Average Running Position of 6.8, second-best

         Series-best Driver Rating of 122.5

         1,041 Fastest Laps Run, second-most

         Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 91.700 mph

         Series-high 8,932 Laps in the Top 15 (89.0%)

         689 Quality Passes, third-most

 

Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Dollar General Toyota)

         Four top fives, 11 top 10s

         Average finish of 14.7

         Average Running Position of 15.7, 11th-best

         Driver Rating of 84.9, 12th-best

         178 Fastest Laps Run, 11th-most

         1,097 Green Flag Passes, third-most

         Average Green Flag Speed of 91.043 mph, 11th-fastest

         5,235 Laps in the Top 15 (52.2%), 12th-most

 

Joey Logano (No. 22 Shell Pennzoil Ford)

         Three top fives, four top 10s

         Average finish of 14.0

         Average Running Position of 15.1, 10th-best

         Driver Rating of 85.1, 10th-best

         Average Green Flag Speed of 91.036 mph, 12th-fastest

 

Jamie McMurray (No. 1 CESSNA Chevrolet)

         One top five, 12 top 10s; two poles

         Average finish of 17.3

         Driver Rating of 85.1, 11th-best

         195 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most

         Average Green Flag Speed of 91.060 mph, 10th-fastest

         5,471 Laps in the Top 15 (54.5%), 10th-most

         452 Quality Passes, 12th-most

 

Ryan Newman (No. 31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet)

         One win, eight top fives, 12 top 10s; three poles

         Average finish of 15.0

         Average Running Position of 15.0, ninth-best

         Driver Rating of 87.4, ninth-best

         1,071 Green Flag Passes, fifth-most

         5,843 Laps in the Top 15 (58.2%), ninth-most

         568 Quality Passes, ninth-most

 

Tony Stewart (No. 14 Code 3 Associates / Mobil 1 Chevrolet)

         Three wins, 10 top fives, 16 top 10s; three poles

         Average finish of 13.6

         Average Running Position of 11.2, fifth-best

         Driver Rating of 97.6, fifth-best

         397 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most

         Average Green Flag Speed of 91.253 mph, seventh-fastest

         6,711 Laps in the Top 15 (70.4%), sixth-most

         471 Quality Passes, 10th-most

 


The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 2015 Top 16 at Martinsville Speedway

Rank

Driver

Races

Poles

Wins

Top Fives

Top 10s

DNFs

Average Finish

Driver Rating

 
 

1

Kevin Harvick

27

0

1

3

12

1

16.4

91.8

 

2

Joey Logano

12

0

0

3

4

0

14.0

85.1

 

3

Martin Truex Jr.

18

0

0

2

4

2

23.1

68.7

 

4

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

30

0

1

12

17

2

12.4

101.2

 

5

Brad Keselowski

10

0

0

1

5

0

15.2

83.4

 

6

Ryan Newman

26

3

1

8

12

2

15.0

87.4

 

7

Jimmie Johnson

26

3

8

18

22

1

6.2

122.5

 

8

Kasey Kahne

22

1

0

3

4

5

21.1

76.4

 

9

Paul Menard

15

0

0

0

1

1

20.5

63.4

 

10

Aric Almirola

12

0

0

1

3

3

23.8

66.0

 

11

AJ Allmendinger

13

0

0

1

3

1

19.7

72.2

 

12

Casey Mears

23

0

0

0

3

2

23.5

64.0

 

13

Matt Kenseth

30

0

0

4

11

2

14.7

84.9

 

14

Denny Hamlin

18

3

4

9

14

1

8.7

110.1

 

15

David Ragan

17

0

0

0

2

1

22.0

64.5

 

16

Jamie McMurray

24

2

0

1

12

2

17.3

85.1

 

 

* - Based on last 20 races at Martinsville Speedway (2005 - 2014).

                                               

 

 

Martinsville Speedway Data

Season Race #: 6 of 36 (03-29-15)

Track Size: 0.526-mile

Banking/Turn 1 & 2: 12 degrees

Banking/Turn 3 & 4: 12 degrees

Banking/Frontstretch: 0 degrees

Banking/Backstretch: 0 degrees

Frontstretch Length:  800 feet

Backstretch Length:  800 feet

Race Length: 500 laps / 263 miles

 

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson........................ 122.5

Jeff Gordon.............................. 119.8

Denny Hamlin............................ 110.1

Dale Earnhardt Jr...................... 101.2

Tony Stewart............................... 97.6

Kyle Busch................................. 96.2

Clint Bowyer............................... 95.0

Kevin Harvick.............................. 91.8

Ryan Newman............................. 87.4

Joey Logano.............................. 85.1

Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2014 races (20 total) among active drivers at Martinsville Speedway.

 

Qualifying/Race Data

2014 pole winner:

Kyle Busch, Toyota

99.674 mph, 18.998 secs. 03-28-14

 

2014 race winner:

Kurt Busch, Chevrolet

72.176 mph, (03:38:38), 03-30-14

 

Track qualifying record:

Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet

99.905 mph, 18.954 secs. 10-24-14

 

Track race record:

Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet

82.223 mph, (3:11:55), 09-22-96

Martinsville Speedway:

History

         Opened in September 1947 by H. Clay Earles, Martinsville, originally a dirt track, is one of the oldest continuously-operating race tracks in the United States.

         The first NASCAR-sanctioned race at Martinsville was on July 4, 1948.

         The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was Sept. 25, 1949.

         The track was paved in 1955.

         The first 500-lap event at Martinsville was in 1956.

         Concrete corners were added atop asphalt in 1976.

Notebook

         There have been 132 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway, one in the inaugural year and two races per year since 1950.

         602 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville; 380 in more than one.

         NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty has the all-time most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Martinsville with 67; Jeff Gordon has the most starts among active drivers with 44.

         Curtis Turner won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Martinsville Speedway in 1949.

         58 drivers have Coors Light poles at Martinsville, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip with eight; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with seven.

         12 drivers have won two or more consecutive Coors Light poles at Martinsville Speedway. Four of the 12 have won three consecutive poles at Martinsville: Glen Wood (Fall of 1959 and 1960 sweep); Darrell Waltrip (1979 sweep and spring 1980); Mark Martin (fall of 1990 and 1991 sweep); Jeff Gordon (2003 sweep and spring 2004).

         Youngest Martinsville pole winner: Ricky Rudd (4/26/1981 - 24 years, 7 months, 14 days).

         Oldest Martinsville pole winner: Morgan Shepherd (4/26/1987 - 45 years, 6 months, 14 days).

         48 different drivers have won at Martinsville Speedway, led by Richard Petty with 15; Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon lead the series among active drivers with eight wins each.

         24 drivers have multiple wins at Martinsville Speedway only five active drivers have multiple wins:  Jimmie Johnson (eight), Jeff Gordon (eight), Denny Hamlin (four), Tony Stewart (three) and Kurt Busch (two).

         Hendrick Motorsports leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in wins at Martinsville Speedway with 22.   

         21 of 132 races (15.9%) at Martinsville Speedway have been won from the Coors Light pole; seven of those 21 wins came from active drivers: Tony Stewart (2000), Jeff Gordon (2003 twice), Jimmie Johnson (2008, 2012, spring 2013) and Denny Hamlin (2010).

         The Coors Light pole is the most proficient starting spot in the field at Martinsville producing more wins (21) than any other starting position.

         36 of the 132 (27.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from the front row: 21 from the pole and 15 from second-place.

         95 of the 132 (71.9%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position.

         Seven of the 132 (5.3%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from a starting position outside the top 20 - including both races last season.

         The deepest in the field that a race winner has started was 36th, by Kurt Busch in the fall of 2002.

         Youngest Martinsville winner: Richard Petty (04/10/1960 - 22 years, 9 months, 8 days).

         Oldest Martinsville winner: Harry Gant (09/22/1991 - 51 years, 8 months, 12 days).

         NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the series in runner-up finishes at Martinsville Speedway with seven; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with five, followed by his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson with four. 

         Richard Petty leads the series in top-five finishes at Martinsville Speedway with 30; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 28, followed by Jimmie Johnson with 18.

         Richard Petty leads the series in top-10 finishes at Martinsville Speedway with 37; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 35, followed by Jimmie Johnson with 22.

         Jeff Gordon leads active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Martinsville Speedway with a 7.318. Denny Hamlin (9.500) and Ryan Newman (9.654) are the only other active drivers with an average starting position at Martinsville inside the top 10.

         Three active drivers have a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series average finish in the top 10 at Martinsville: Jimmie Johnson (6.231), Jeff Gordon (6.841) and Denny Hamlin (8.722).

         There have been five NSCS green-white-checkered finishes at Martinsville Speedway: fall 2007 (500/506), fall 2008 (500/504), fall 2009 (500/501), spring 2010 (500/508), and spring 2012 (500/515).

         Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions eight times in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway; the most recent was the fall race of 2011.


         Jeff Gordon has participated in the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway without a DNF (44).

         Tony Stewart (4/18/1999) and Scott Riggs (4/10/2005) won their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light poles at Martinsville Speedway.    

         Mike Bliss (09/27/1998), Travis Kvapil (10/24/2004) and Michael McDowell (3/30/2008) are active drivers that made their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career starts at Martinsville Speedway.

         12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted consecutive wins at Martinsville Speedway. Fred Lorenzen won four NSCS races straight (the most) from the fall of 1963 through the spring of 1965.  Jimmie Johnson is the most recent driver to win consecutive races (Fall of 2012 / Spring of 2013) at Martinsville.

         All eight active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Martinsville Speedway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Tony Stewart won at Martinsville (2000) with the fewest previous appearances (three).

         Ryan Newman competed at Martinsville Speedway 20 times before winning in the spring of 2012; the longest span of any the eight active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.

         Two active drivers have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Martinsville Speedway: Kevin Harvick (19) and Ryan Newman (20).

         Chevrolet leads series in wins at Martinsville Speedway with 54 victories - including the last eight consecutive races.

         Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway is the April 1, 2007 race won by Jimmie Johnson with a MOV of 0.065 second.

         Danica Patrick is the only female driver to compete at Martinsville Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Below are Patrick's stats at Martinsville.   

 

Driver

Starting Position

Finishing Position

Driver Rating

Date

Danica Patrick

32

12

72.6

4/7/2013

Danica Patrick

41

17

64.7

10/27/2013

Danica Patrick

10

32

52.4

3/30/2014

Danica Patrick

30

34

61.3

10/26/2014


         Seven car numbers have produced five or more Martinsville Speedway NSCS wins:

Car Number - Drivers - (Years)

o    No. 43  - Richard Petty (1960, '62, '63, '67 sweep, '68, '69 sweep, '70, '71, '72 sweep, '73, '75 and '79); John Andretti (1999)

o    No. 11 - Cale Yarborough (1974, '76, '77 sweep, '78); Darrell Waltrip (1981, '82, '83, '84); Geoff Bodine (1990 sweep); Denny Hamlin (2008, '09, '10 sweep)

o    No. 28 - Fred Lorenzen (1961, '63, '64 sweep, '65 and '66); Buddy Baker (1979); Ernie Irvan (1993).

o    No. 2 - Dale Earnhardt (1980); Rusty Wallace (1993, '94 sweep, '95, '96 and '04)

o    No. 48 - Jimmie Johnson (2004, '06, '07 sweep, '08, '09, '12, '13)

o    No. 24 - Jeff Gordon (1996, '97, '99, '03 sweep and '05 sweep, fall 2013)

o    No. 3 - Ricky Rudd (1983); Dale Earnhardt (1985, '87, '88, '91, '95)

 

NASCAR in Virginia

         There have been 286 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races among nine tracks in the state of Virginia.

Track Name

City

NSCS

Martinsville Speedway

Martinsville

132

Richmond International Raceway

Richmond

117

South Boston Speedway

South Boston

10

Langley Field Speedway

Hampton

9

Old Dominion Speedway

Manassas

7

Southside Speedway

Richmond

4

Starkey Speedway

Roanoke

4

Norfolk Speedway

Norfolk

2

Princess Anne Speedway

Norfolk

1

 

         172 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Virginia.

         Joe Weatherly and Wendell Scott are both from Virginia and have been inducted into 2015 Class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.  

         Leonard Wood from Stuart, Va. was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2013 and his brother Glen Wood also from (Stuart) Virginia was inducted in 2012.

 

         19 drivers from Virginia have won at least one race in NASCAR's three national series. 11 of the 19 Virginia native NASCAR winners have won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
 

Driver

NSCS

NXS

NCWTS

1

Joe Weatherly

25

0

0

2

Denny Hamlin

24

11

2

3

Ricky Rudd

23

1

0

4

Jeff Burton

21

27

0

5

Curtis Turner

17

0

0

6

Ward Burton

5

4

0

7

Glen Wood

4

0

0

8

Elliott Sadler

3

10

1

9

Emanuel Zervakis

2

0

0

10

Lennie Pond

1

0

0

11

Wendell Scott

1

0

0

12

Tommy Ellis

0

22

0

13

Jimmy Hensley

0

9

2

14

Rick Mast

0

9

0

15

Hermie Sadler

0

2

0

16

Elton Sawyer

0

2

0

17

Stacy Compton

0

0

2

18

Jon Wood

0

0

2

19

Jeb Burton

0

0

1