Speedway Digest Staff
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Timothy Peters came to Martinsville Speedway, which is just a chip shot away from his hometown of Danville, Virginia with high hopes having captured the pole in last year's race. He qualified the No. 17 Parts Plus Toyota Tundra in 10th place. Peters let the dust settle at the front of the field when the green flag waved, but soon started to move through the pack and by lap 20 was in sixth. It was looking to be a good race as he had a fast Tundra and all the necessary skills but then the 'Martinsville Mayhem' reared its ugly head.
At the lap 77 restart the field checked up, leaving Peters to make contact with the truck in front of him. This caused the hood to release and flop on top of the windshield requiring him to drive blind back to the pit where the Parts Plus team pulled out all the equipment to get the truck back out on the track. When they returned to the track, the Tundra was several laps down. The loss of track position trapped the No. 17 five laps down with no way to recover and a disappointing 26th place finish at race's end.
Timothy Peters talks about this race at Martinsville Speedway:
"Just a disappointing day for our Parts Plus Tundra team. We've got three to go."
John Wes Townley arrived at Martinsville Speedway bringing with him a lot of momentum having three consecutive top-10 finishes and five consecutive top-12 finishes over the last five races. The driver of the No. 7 Zaxby's Toyota Tundra qualified 17th and battled loose conditions at the beginning of the Kroger 200.
Townley drove a smart race, picking up positions one-by-one and holding steady in the 13th-place for the majority of the 200 lap event. The restart on lap 134 was a scuffle for position, forcing Townley back to the 18th spot. As the laps wound down, Townley continued to fight back for position claiming a 13th-place finish at the paperclip.
John Wes Townley talks about his race at Martinsville Speedway:
"Sadly, I think we had a better truck today than we finished. We had a top-10 truck but we just got hung out on a few of the restarts because of the positioning, lining up on the outside. When you are on the outside at this place it kind of hurts you. All-in-all a good day for the Zaxby's Toyota Tundra and we brought it home in one piece. We'll go to Texas next week and get back to top 10s."
Germán Quiroga came to Martinsville Speedway with some experience under his belt having qualified fifth in his debut at the 0.526-mile speedway in the spring. The driver of the No. 77 OtterBox/NET10 Wireless Toyota Tundra qualified in the sixth position. Quiroga battled loose conditions in the early stages of the Kroger 200 but was battling hard for position inside the top-15.
It was the restart on lap 150 where Quiroga switched lanes before the start
, finish line and was penalized by NASCAR with a pass thru penalty on pit road. As the three-time Mexico Series champion always does, he battled back from the punishment earning his lap back after another caution flag was displayed. The No. 77 OtterBox/NET10 Wireless team gave the driver fresh tires, and Quiroga demonstrated his talent as a real wheelman, managing to work his way back to finish seventh.
Germán Quiroga talks about his race at Martinsville Speedway:
"It was going pretty well at the beginning. We were loose in, loose off. The No. 77 OtterBox/NET10 Wireless was good, and fast. I was very happy with the setup and my pit crew did a great job today. We were good, then I made a mistake by changing lanes on the restart. We got penalized and lost a lap but recovered. With 25 laps to go we battled from 21st to finish seventh. Let's keep going to make the first win happen for a Mexican in NASCAR."
Goody’s®, the brand known for its fast-acting headache relief, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., the driver known for his speed on and off the NASCAR track, are joining forces for a nationwide search to find Dale Jr.’s fastest fan.
The Goody’s Headache Relief Shot Fastest Fan Challenge kicked off today at Martinsville Speedway, where Goody’s and Dale Jr. unveiled a new video to inspire fans to create their own videos depicting their speediest moments. The new video features Dale Jr. speeding through his day, making fast work of everything from solving a Rubik’s cube, to commuting to work, to dressing up for a big night out. It premiered during pre-race ceremonies at the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 and on the national broadcast of the race on ESPN.
“We are partnering with Dale Jr. on the Goody's Headache Relief Shot Fastest Fan Challenge to show everyone how quickly the new Headache Relief Shot works, and to really bring the speed of Goody's fast-acting relief to life," said Joseph Juliano, brand director, Goody's. "With its innovative single-dose format, the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot is unlike anything else on the market, and like Dale Jr., it’s all about speed."
Beginning today, fans can enter the Fastest Fan Challenge by uploading an original video that captures high-speed action to their own profiles on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. To be eligible, each post must include the hashtag #FastestFan. All entries must be posted by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on December 1, 2013 to be considered. After five finalists are selected, fans will cast their votes for the winner on the Goody’s Facebook page. For complete rules and information on how to enter the contest, and to watch the Dale Jr. video, visit the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot Facebook page at facebook.com/GoodysHeadacheReliefShot.
Video entries will be judged on their creativity, and of course, speed. The grand prize winner will receive an ultimate NASCAR tailgate weekend hosted by Goody’s and Dale Jr., including: a race weekend RV for him or herself and three friends, travel to and from the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 in Martinsville, Virginia, tickets to the race (including VIP access to the garage and pit areas), $1,000 in spending money, and a personal meeting with Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“Working with the Goody’s team to create the fast day-in-my-life video was a lot of fun,” said Dale Earnhardt Jr. “I know our fans are extremely creative. I am looking forward to seeing their videos and to meeting the Fastest Fan at next year’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500.”
The Dale Earnhardt Jr. video can be seen here: http://youtu.be/5piQzOGkl6o.
Martinsville Speedway PR
Following the conclusion of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East season, in which he competed full time in 2013, Ben Kennedy returned to Turner Scott Motorsports and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) for the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway. After two practice sessions at the half-mile track, Kennedy qualified 14th for Saturday afternoon's race. Kennedy remained patient throughout the 200-lap event and worked his way towards the front. After avoiding late-race mayhem, Kennedy crossed the finish line in fourth, earning a top-five finish in just his fourth NCWTS start and his Martinsville Speedway debut.
After placing 19th and 20th in Friday's two practices, Kennedy prepared to qualify his No. 30 Chevrolet Silverado knowing that he had to earn his way into the Kroger 200 on speed. The 21-year-old did just that, laying down the 14th-quickest lap in Friday evening's qualifying session. After taking the green flag from the 14th position, Kennedy immediately went to work learning how best to get around the 0.526-mile short track.
Kennedy settled into the 16th position and was all quiet on the radio as he built experience throughout the race's first 25 laps. Kennedy was shuffled back to 20th after getting bumped by another competitor on lap 30, but kept his composure as he reported to crew chief Chris Carrier that his No. 30 Turner Scott Motorsports Chevy was loose on exit. As the laps continued to tick by, Kennedy's spotter Jimmy Kitchens coached the young driver on how to get the most out of his truck and stay out of trouble. Just after Kennedy went one lap down, the caution flag waved on lap 70. Kennedy reported that his truck was a little loose into and through the corners, but that he was really loose exiting the corners. After getting the free pass back onto the lead lap, Carrier called his driver to pit road for four tires, fuel and both chassis and air-pressure adjustments.
Kennedy restarted 18th on lap 77 and was scored in the 17th position when the caution flag waved again on lap 92. Kennedy radioed his Turner Scott Motorsports crew to say his Chevy was rotating better but that he was still a little free after he got off the brakes. After staying out on the track, Kennedy restarted in 16th. The young driver was in 17th when the yellow flag was displayed again a few laps later, but restarted 15th on lap 106.
After fluctuating between 14th and 16th throughout the next green-flag run, Kennedy was scored in 15th when the caution flag waved on lap 129. Carrier again called his driver to pit road for four tires, a can of fuel and a slight air-pressure adjustment. After a great pit stop by the No. 30 Turner Scott Motorsports crew, Kennedy restarted in the 13th position on lap 135. After two quick cautions, Kennedy again restarted 13th on lap 151. From there, the 21-year-old began to lay down solid lap times and pick off his competitors one-by-one, entering the top 10 for the first time on lap 167.
During the caution at lap 171, Carrier relayed to his driver that his lap times were as good as the leader. After Kennedy replied that his truck was good overall, Carrier had him remain on the track. Kennedy restarted in 10th on lap 176 and was in ninth when the yellow flag waved on lap 189. Kennedy was able to avoid trouble, as several competitors in front of him were involved in an accident, and was scored in fifth when the field went back to green. Kennedy immediately grabbed the fourth position and held it through the race's final laps, earning a top-five finish in his first start at Martinsville Speedway.
"I had a blast out there," commented Kennedy after the race. "I really have to thank Turner Scott Motorsports for this opportunity and Chris Carrier and the rest of my team for giving me such a great truck. After our final pit stop, we were really rolling out there and towards the end, we were one of the best trucks on the track. I also want to thank my spotter for helping me get around the track today; he is definitely one of the reasons we were able to survive all the cautions. I'm really proud of this fourth-place finish and thankful for everyone that helped us achieve it."
Miguel Paludo made it through a wreck-filled race at Martinsville Speedway, ending the day with one of the few trucks to not sustain major damage. However, losing a lap early in the event and a mid-race spin hurt the No. 32 AccuDoc Solutions team, and by the time Paludo regained his lap, there were only enough laps remaining to salvage a 21st-place finish.
After feeling good about the balanced handling of the AccuDoc Chevrolet Silverado in both practice sessions, the Turner Scott Motorsports crew was surprised and disappointed by a 20th-place qualifying effort, but they felt hopeful when Paludo relayed in the opening laps that his truck was "perfect." Able to work his way up to 15th by lap 12, the tide turned on lap 30 when Paludo reported that his truck was now free in the middle and back to the gas. Trapped behind a pack of lapped traffic, the Brazilian quickly dropped back to 21st and lost a lap to the leader on lap 53.
When the caution flag waved on lap 70 for a spin, crew chief Jeff Hensley called his driver down pit road to battle his free condition. The team serviced the No. 32 Silverado with four tires, fuel and a major track-bar adjustment, sending it back onto the track in 23rd for the lap 77 restart. Following the adjustments, Paludo radioed to his crew that his truck was good on entry but loose off. Unfortunately, the rough, tight-quarters racing resulted in Paludo's truck spinning and bringing out the yellow on lap 92. Without sustaining any damage, Paludo was able to continue his run without necessitating any tires or repairs.
Over the next 90 laps, Paludo kept his truck out of trouble for a rash of six cautions, but the high number of trucks caught a lap down prevented him from getting back on pace with the leaders. Finally, on lap 189 of 200, Paludo was running 23rd and in the free pass position when a large wreck unfolded at the front of the field. Paludo was awarded his lap back, but a long cleanup effort left the field with only six laps remaining after the green flag waved. Paludo was able to battle his way up two spots, ultimately crossing the finish line in 21st.
"Today was frustrating," said Paludo. "We went down a lap early in the race, and you can't make any progress when you're not on the same lap as the leaders. It's disappointing that we couldn't come back and compete the way we did in the spring. I'm ready to move to on Texas; we've run well there in the past and we're bringing a great truck. Hopefully a great run next week can get us back in the top five in the points and help us to finish the season strong."
Paludo now sits in a three-way tie for sixth in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Driver Point Standings, ten points behind the top five. The NCWTS next heads to Texas Motor Speedway for the second round of 'No Limits' racing in 2013. The WinStar World Casino 350 will air on FOX Sports 1 at 8:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, November 1.
Returning to his hometown track for a second time in the 2013 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season, Jeb Burton fought hard to achieve a third-place finish in the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway. The 21-year-old South Boston, Va. native was among the top-10 fastest trucks during both practice sessions, as well as qualifying, and was able to drive his No. 4 Arrowhead/Kangaroo Express Chevrolet across the finish line in third place.
With strong short-track racing roots, Burton and his Turner Scott Motorsports (TSM) team had high hopes of redemption leading into this weekend's race. At the NCWTS's first appearance at Martinsville Speedway earlier this year, Burton claimed the pole award and led the most laps but ultimately finished in third place. "We really gave that one away," said Burton. The TSM team came equipped with the same truck that appeared in the spring and felt confident that together, the team could land the No. 4 in victory lane.
Burton used both of the weekend's practice sessions to get reacquainted with the short track and to find his rhythm. Although the No. 4 Arrowhead/Kangaroo Express truck had speed, the TSM team was faced with brake issues that caused Burton to experience a slight chatter in each turn. Despite the issue, Burton managed to qualify his truck in ninth place, remaining consistent with his practice times. As the green flag dropped for the Kroger 200, the first caution was quick to come and Burton told crew chief Mike Hillman Jr. that his truck was tight in the center. During a lengthy caution-free stretch, Burton and his No. 4 truck were running the fastest lap times on the track from within the top 10.
As the second caution came out on lap 69, Burton told Hillman that his truck felt loose all around and he was having trouble touching the gas. Hillman called Burton down pit road for four new tires, fuel and a few adjustments. Remaining in the top 10 for another lengthy stretch, Burton was once again running the same lap times as the leader. When the track went yellow on lap 129, Burton told Hillman that he was having issues with handling. Pitting under caution, the No. 4 truck received four tires, a splash of fuel and another round of adjustments. With 50 to go, the 21-year-old Rookie of the Year candidate had charged his way into the top five. Hillman and spotter Kevin Hamlin told Burton to be patient and remain on defense until it was time to be aggressive. Maintaining his top-five position after several restarts, with just 11 laps to go, a multi-truck accident occurred just in front of the No. 4 truck and Burton was able to squeeze by with minimal damage. Securing his position after the final restart, Burton took the No. 4 Arrowhead/Kangaroo Express truck across the finish line in third place.
"I wanted to win this race more than any of them," said Burton. "I'm disappointed because we were hungry for a win here after our run in the spring and I thought we could make it happen. We were faced with some issues that we didn't have here last time and my team worked so hard to try to make it right. It was a good points day for us and even though we were here to win, we'll take this third-place finish and use it as momentum going into Texas. I was really proud to race here at my hometown track in front of my family, friends and local fans. There's nothing like it."
James Buescher and his Rheem crew came into the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway with nothing to lose and looked to rebound after an accident at Talladega Superspeedway last week that cut their day short. Starting the 200-lap race from the seventh position, Buescher had an up-and-down day, running as high as fifth and as low as 18th. After a spin on lap 129 dropped them deep in the running order, Buescher and his No. 31 Rheem team battled back to come home with a 10th-place finish. In the process, Buescher was able to gain some valuable points and move back into second place in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Driver Point Standings.
On a bitterly cold fall afternoon in Virginia, Buescher and his No. 31 Rheem team looked to capitalize on their solid qualifying spot for the Kroger 200. Following the drop of the green flag, Buescher moved up two spots in the running order to fifth just before the first of the race's 10 yellow flags was displayed on lap four. When the field restarted the 200-lap event, they seemed to calm their nerves and settle in. During a long green-flag stretch, Buescher started to slip back in the running order, running as far back as 15th. During the run, Buescher radioed to his Rheem crew that his Chevrolet Silverado was extremely loose through the entire corner. The race saw its second yellow flag on lap 70, giving the Rheem team a chance to make adjustments. Buescher ducked down pit road to get four fresh Goodyear Wranglers, a full load of Sunoco fuel and a host of chassis adjustments. The Rheem crew's changes helped, as Buescher radioed the crew on lap 90 to say that he now had rear grip, but wondered if they had gone a little too far with their adjustments. The rash of yellow flags started on lap 92, and Buescher took advantage of the break to come back down pit road to reverse some of the changes from his previous stop and to top his Rheem Chevy off with fuel.
Many short green-flag stretches ensued, and Buescher just started to move up positions one-by-one. On lap 129, while running just outside the top10, Buescher received some contact from another competitor that sent his Rheem truck spinning, but he was able to avoid making any contact with the retaining walls. After making a pit stop for tires, Buescher restarted in the 16th position with just under 70 laps to go. On lap 154, Buescher was able to crack the top 10 again.. Not quitting there, Buescher grabbed ninth place before being shuffled back a few positions. On the race's last restart on lap 195, Buescher restarted in the 10th spot and looked to salvage a solid finish. Buescher did just that, earning his 12th top-10 finish of the season and his fourth at Martinsville Speedway. With some of the other championship contenders running into issues during the Kroger 200, Buescher was able to overtake second place in the points and close the gap on the leader.
"It was definitely an up-and-down day for my entire Rheem team, but we kept our heads in it and were able to fight back for a solid finish," said Buescher. "In the race, we battled the same handling issues that we had in practice, so we had an idea of what adjustments we needed to make. My Rheem team made some great calls to get our No. 31 Chevy handling better and gave me a truck to put us back into contention. At a place like Martinsville, you are never out of it; you just have to keep taking all you can until the checkered flag falls. We were able to do that today, which allowed us to gain some points in the championship standings. Hopefully we can do that again when we get to Texas Motor Speedway."
The NCWTS returns to action at Buescher's home track of Texas Motor Speedway for the WinStar World Casino 350 on Friday, November 1. The event can be seen live on FOX Sports 1 at 8:00 pm EDT. The race can also be heard live on SiriusXM Satellite Radio, channel 90 and MRN Radio.
Making his third career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start and first career start at Martinsville Speedway, the 16-year-old Brandon Jones continued to impress once again. Starting the Kroger 200 in the 23rd position, Jones followed many veteran racers through the 36-truck field and worked his way up to contend for a top-10 finishing spot. Restarting 12th on the outside of a late-race restart, Jones got hung out to dry and multiple trucks slipped by his Exide Edge AGM truck. However, that would not spoil the solid effort that Jones and his entire Turner Scott Motorsports team put in all day long, and Jones came home with a 19th-place, lead-lap finish.
Jones' third and final NCWTS start of the 2013 season came at Martinsville Speedway in the Kroger 200. With very little experience around the 0.526-mile oval known as the "paperclip," Jones spent the two practice sessions logging laps and getting comfortable with the track. When it came time for the race on a cold Saturday afternoon, Jones and his Exide Edge AGM Chevrolet rolled off the grid in the 23rd-starting position. Knowing he couldn't stay towards the back of the pack long as the leaders would start to close in on him, Jones quickly picked up a couple spots and by lap 30, he had already cracked the top 20. Running lap times as quick as the trucks inside the top 10, Jones continued his push forward in the running order. Jones was able to get behind some series veterans and went to school, following them through the pack. On lap 76, under the race's second yellow flag, Jones brought his Exide Chevy to the attention of his crew for four tires and fuel. Jones seemed to be content with the handling of his No. 33, stating that it was feeling neutral.
Just as the slew of yellow flags were displayed around the halfway mark of the 200-lap race, Jones was running in the 15th position and started to get more aggressive, driving his No. 33 deeper into the corners. This helped Jones overtake some positions as he worked his way up to the 11th-running spot with just over 20 laps remaining. The rookie learned a tough lesson about Martinsville, however, when he got caught in the outside lane on a late-race restart. Jones tried to be aggressive to get down to the preferred bottom line, but was unable to do so before multiple trucks slipped pass the No. 33 Exide Silverado. Jones brought his No. 33 Exide Edge AGM Chevy home on the lead lap with a solid 19th-place finish.
"This place is a lot of fun," said Jones. "I can't thank my entire Exide team enough for the truck that they prepared for me. I was able to gain a lot of valuable experience by just following some of the veterans. Hopefully I'll be more prepared for the next time I get to run here."
- Richard Childress Racing teammates finished second (Brendan Gaughan) and 22nd (Ty Dillon).
- Dillon is third in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings, 61 markers behind the leader; while Gaughan ranks ninth in the standings.
- The No. 3 Chevrolet team is fifth in the Camping World Truck Series owner championship point standings, with the No. 62 team 11th in the standings.
- According to NASCAR's Post-Race Loop Data Statistics, Gaughan completed 30 Quality Passes ranking him fifth in the category.
- Gaining five positions during the final 10 percent (20 laps), Gaughan was sixth in the Closers category, was the sixth-Fastest Driver Early in a Run, had the seventh-best Driver Rating (92.6) and had the eighth-Fastest Green-Flag Speed.
- Dillon had the fastest-Speed in Traffic, earned the second-best Average Running Position (5.810), was third-Fastest on the Restarts, had the third-Fastest Green-Flag Speed, fourth-best Driver Rating (103.6) and was the fifth-Fastest Driver Late in a Run,
- Combined, RCR teammates Dillon and Gaughan posted 18 of the Fastest Laps Run, with 16 and two, respectively.
- Darrell Wallace, Jr. took the checkered flag and was followed to the line by Gaughan, Jeb Burton, Ben Kennedy and Ryan Blaney.
- The next scheduled Camping World Truck Series race is the Texas 350 at Texas Motor Speedway on Friday, Nov. 1. The 20th race of the 2013 season is scheduled to be televised live on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time and broadcast live on Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.
Late-Race Tangle Relegates Dillon to 22nd-Place Finish at Martinsville
Start - 5 Finish - 22 Laps Led - 16 Points - 3rd
TY DILLON QUOTE:
"That was an unfortunate ending to the race. This No. 3 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet team worked really hard and we had a fast truck. We could have had something there at the end, but we got caught up in that wreck. It's really unfortunate. We'll keep digging and head on to Texas (Motor Speedway)."
Gaughan Earns Runner-Up Finish at Martinsville Speedway
Brendan Gaughan and the No. 62 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet team earned a runner-up finish at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday afternoon, the Las Vegas native's career-best finish at the Virginia-based short track. Starting from the 15th position, Gaughan maintained a spot within the top 20 during the first 70 laps of the 200-lap event while battling a loose-handling condition. Crew chief Shane Wilson called his driver to pit road on lap 71 under caution for four tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment in an effort to combat the handling issue Gaughan was facing. Back on track, the Richard Childress Racing driver began to slowly maneuver his way toward the front of the field settling into the top 10 by lap 107. As the race neared an end, Gaughan continued to compete within the top 10 until the field was slowed on lap 189 for a multi-truck incident that took place in front of the black and gold Chevrolet. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series veteran avoided the melee and lined up in the third position for the lap 195 restart and ultimately crossed the finish line in the second position. The runner-up finish allowed Gaughan to move up one position, to ninth, in the Camping World Truck Series driver championship point standings.
Start-15 Finish-2 Laps Led-0 Points- 9th
BRENDAN GAUGHAN QUOTE:
"Great job by the 54 team and congrats to them on their win today. I got into Jeb Burton at the end as I was going for the 54. We were just racing hard, and I was going for the win. I've always wanted to win at Martinsville (Speedway). There was such a great crowd here today, and I'm glad they got to see that battle at the end. I'm really proud of the South Point Hotel & Casino team, we had a top-five or sixth-place truck, but the guys in front of us took care of themselves and we got to battle for the win."