Speedway Digest Staff

Speedway Digest Staff

Follow us on Twitter @SpeedwayDigest

NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: Xfinity 500

The Place: Martinsville Speedway

The Date: Sunday, November 1

The Time: 2 p.m. ET

TV: NBC, 1:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 263 (500 laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 130),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 260), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 500)

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Draft Top 250

The Place: Martinsville Speedway

The Date: Saturday, October 31

The Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

TV: NBC, 3:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 131.5 miles (250 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 60),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 120), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 250)

 

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series

Next Race: NASCAR Hall of Fame 200

The Place: Martinsville Speedway

The Date: Friday, October 30

The Time: 8 p.m. ET

TV: FS1, 7 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 105.2 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 50),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 100), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)

 

NASCAR Cup Series

 

Martinsville Speedway to set the NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4

The NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs have come down to this Sunday’s Playoff Round of 8 elimination race, the Xfinity 500, at Martinsville Speedway at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

The 2020 season marks the first time Martinsville Speedway has hosted the penultimate race (Race No. 9) in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. Since the inception of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2004, Martinsville Speedway has occupied three different positions on the postseason schedule. From 2004 – 2010 (seven seasons) Martinsville hosted the sixth race in the Playoffs and from 2011 – 2019 (nine seasons) Martinsville hosted the seventh race in the Playoffs. Martinsville Speedway is the third different track to host the ninth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs; joining Darlington Raceway (2004) and Phoenix Raceway (2005-2019).

 

Martinsville Playoff Race Winners

 

Seasons

 

Race Winners

 

Track

 

2019

 

Martin Truex Jr

 

Martinsville

 

2018

 

Joey Logano

 

Martinsville

 

2017

 

Kyle Busch

 

Martinsville

 

2016

 

Jimmie Johnson

 

Martinsville

 

2015

 

Jeff Gordon

 

Martinsville

 

2014

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr

 

Martinsville

 

2013

 

Jeff Gordon

 

Martinsville

 

2012

 

Jimmie Johnson

 

Martinsville

 

2011

 

Tony Stewart

 

Martinsville

 

2010

 

Denny Hamlin

 

Martinsville

 

2009

 

Denny Hamlin

 

Martinsville

 

2008

 

Jimmie Johnson

 

Martinsville

 

2007

 

Jimmie Johnson

 

Martinsville

 

2006

 

Jimmie Johnson

 

Martinsville

 

2005

 

Jeff Gordon

 

Martinsville

 

2004

 

Jimmie Johnson

 

Martinsville

 

A total of eight different drivers have won a NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Martinsville Speedway, led by Jimmie Johnson with six Playoff victories (2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2016) on the 0.526-mile track.

 

Six times the winner of the Martinsville Speedway Playoff race has gone on to win the title later that same season – the most of any track on the Playoff schedule. In 2006, Jimmie Johnson won from the ninth starting position at Martinsville Speedway, and went on to win his first of seven NASCAR Cup Series championships. It was his only win during the 2006 Playoffs. In 2007, Jimmie Johnson won from the fourth starting position at Martinsville Speedway, and went on to win his second consecutive NASCAR Cup Series championship. The Playoff victory was the first of a record setting four straight postseason wins during the 2007 Playoffs (Martinsville, Atlanta, Texas, and Phoenix). In 2008, Jimmie Johnson won from the first starting position at Martinsville Speedway (Qualifying was cancelled) and went on to win his third consecutive NASCAR Cup Series championship. The win was his second of three victories during the 2008 Playoffs. In 2011, Tony Stewart won from the fourth starting position at Martinsville Speedway, and went on to win his third NASCAR Cup Series championship. The win was one of a record setting five Playoff victories for Stewart during the 2011 postseason. In 2016, Jimmie Johnson won from the third starting position at Martinsville Speedway, and went on to win his record tying seventh NASCAR Cup Series championship. The win was his second of three Playoff victories during the 2016 postseason. In 2018, Joey Logano won from the 10th starting position at Martinsville Speedway, and went on to win his first NASCAR Cup Series championship. The win was his first of two Playoff victories during his 2018 championship run. Team Penske’s Logano is currently the only driver locked into the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 due to his win at Kansas Speedway to open the Round of 8.

 

The worst finish in a Playoff race at Martinsville Speedway by a driver that went on to win the title later the same year was 33rd by Kevin Harvick in 2014.

 

Just like Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch stole the show at Texas Motor Speedway on Wednesday, twice a non-Playoff driver has won the Playoff race at Martinsville Speedway. In 2005, Jeff Gordon was ranked 15th in the points at the time of his win at Martinsville, and in 2014, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 11th in points at the time of his win. Earnhardt Jr. had made the Playoffs in 2014 but was eliminated in the Round of 12.

 

Playoff Race No. 9 - Race Winners

 

Seasons

 

Race Winners

 

Track

 

2019

 

Denny Hamlin

 

Phoenix

 

2018

 

Kyle Busch

 

Phoenix

 

2017

 

Matt Kenseth

 

Phoenix

 

2016

 

Joey Logano

 

Phoenix

 

2015

 

Dale Earnhardt Jr

 

Phoenix

 

2014

 

Kevin Harvick

 

Phoenix

 

2013

 

Kevin Harvick

 

Phoenix

 

2012

 

Kevin Harvick

 

Phoenix

 

2011

 

Kasey Kahne

 

Phoenix

 

2010

 

Carl Edwards

 

Phoenix

 

2009

 

Jimmie Johnson

 

Phoenix

 

2008

 

Jimmie Johnson

 

Phoenix

 

2007

 

Jimmie Johnson

 

Phoenix

 

2006

 

Kevin Harvick

 

Phoenix

 

2005

 

Kyle Busch

 

Phoenix

 

2004

 

Jimmie Johnson

 

Darlington

 

A total of nine different drivers have won the penultimate (ninth) race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, led by Jimmie Johnson (2004, 2007, 2008, 2009) and Kevin Harvick (2006, 2012, 2013, 2014) with four Playoff victories each.

 

Four times the winner of the ninth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs has gone on to win the title that same season. In 2007, Jimmie Johnson won from the sixth starting position at Phoenix Raceway and went on to win his second consecutive NASCAR Cup Series championship. The Playoff victory was the fourth of a record setting four straight postseason wins during the 2007 Playoffs (Martinsville, Atlanta, Texas, and Phoenix). In 2008, Jimmie Johnson won from the pole at Phoenix Raceway and went on to win his third consecutive NASCAR Cup Series championship. The win was his third of three victories during the 2008 Playoffs. In 2009, Jimmie Johnson won from the third starting position at Phoenix Raceway and went on to win his fourth consecutive NASCAR Cup Series championship. The victory was his fourth during the 2009 postseason. Then in 2014, Kevin Harvick won from the third starting position at Phoenix Raceway and went on to win his first NASCAR Cup Series championship. The win was his second of three Playoff victories during the 2014 postseason.

 

The worst finish in the ninth race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs by a driver that went on to win the title that same season at Phoenix Raceway was 38th by Jimmie Johnson in 2016 and at Darlington Raceway in 2004 it was sixth by Kurt Busch.

 

Four non-Playoff drivers have won the ninth Playoff race in the NASCAR Cup Series postseason. In 2005, Kyle Busch was ranked 19th in the points at the time of his win at Phoenix Raceway. In 2011, Kasey Kahne was ranked 14th in the points at the time of the win at Phoenix Raceway. In 2015, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was seventh in points at the time of the win at Phoenix. Earnhardt Jr. had made the Playoffs in 2015 but was eliminated in the Round of 12. And in 2017, Matt Kenseth was seventh in points at the time of the win at Phoenix. Kenseth had made the Playoffs in 2017 but was eliminated in the Round of 12.

 

In total Martinsville Speedway has hosted 143 NASCAR Cup Series races dating back to the inaugural event on Sept. 25, 1949 – the race was won by Red Byron in Raymond Park’s 1949 Oldsmobile. Originally opened in September 1947 by H. Clay Earles, Martinsville Speedway, originally a dirt track, is one of the oldest continuously-operating racetracks in the United States. The 143 Cup races at Martinsville have produced 61 different pole winners and 53 different race winners. 10 of the 53 winners are active this weekend. NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip leads the series in poles at Martinsville with eight (1979, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1992). NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in wins at Martinsville with 15 victories (1960, 1962, 1963, 1967 sweep, 1968, 1969 sweep, 1970, 1971, 1972 sweep, 1973, 1975, 1979) – the most wins by a driver at a single track in the series – he also accomplished the feat at North Wilkesboro (15 wins). Jimmie Johnson leads the series in wins among active drivers at Martinsville Speedway with nine victories (2004, 2006, 2007 sweep, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2016). Six of the eight Playoff drivers this weekend have won at Martinsville, led by Denny Hamlin with five victories. The Hendrick Motorsports teammates, Alex Bowman and Chase Elliott, are the two postseason drivers still looking for the first career win at 0.526-mile short track.

 

Cup Clinch Scenarios for Martinsville Speedway

Just three spots remain open in this season’s NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 round and this Sunday’s Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway is the last chance for the seven drivers not locked-in to vie for those final spots and secure their chance at the 2021 Bill France Cup next week in the season finale at Phoenix Raceway.

 

Team Penske’s Joey Logano is the only driver of the Round of 8 field that has locked himself into the Championship 4 round.

 

Can Clinch via Points

If there is a new winner, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the third winless driver in the standings.

  • Kevin Harvick: Would clinch with 37 points
  • Denny Hamlin: Would clinch with 53 points
  • Brad Keselowski: Would clinch with 55 points
  • Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, and Martin Truex Jr.: Could only clinch with help

 

If there is a repeat winner, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the fourth winless driver in the standings. They would also clinch if there was a new winner among Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin or Brad Keselowski and being ahead of the third winless driver in the standings.

  • Kevin Harvick: Would clinch with 14 points
  • Denny Hamlin: Would clinch with 29 points
  • Brad Keselowski: Would clinch with 31 points
  • Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, and Martin Truex Jr.: Could only clinch with help

 

Can Clinch via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone:

Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr., Kurt Busch

 

NASCAR Cup Series Driver Playoff Outlook Following Race No. 34

 

Rank

 

Driver

 

Points

 

Starts

 

Race Wins

 

Stage Wins

 

Playoff Pts

 

Pts from Cutoff

 

1

 

Joey Logano

 

4094

 

34

 

3

 

6

 

22

 

In On Wins

 

2

 

Kevin Harvick

 

4137

 

34

 

9

 

7

 

67

 

42

 

3

 

Denny Hamlin

 

4122

 

34

 

7

 

10

 

54

 

27

 

4

 

Brad Keselowski

 

4120

 

34

 

4

 

7

 

35

 

25

 

5

 

Alex Bowman

 

4095

 

34

 

1

 

4

 

9

 

-25

 

6

 

Chase Elliott

 

4095

 

34

 

3

 

9

 

27

 

-25

 

7

 

Martin Truex Jr.

 

4084

 

34

 

1

 

5

 

17

 

-36

 

8

 

Kurt Busch

 

4039

 

34

 

1

 

1

 

6

 

-81

 

 

Fighting For A Spot: Previous drivers that raced their way into the Championship 4

Since the introduction of the ‘elimination style’ format of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2014, racing your way into the Championship 4 round in the ninth and final cutoff race of the Round of 8 has proven to be much more difficult than one might expect with only two drivers accomplishing the feat.

 

2014: Heading to Phoenix Raceway (the ninth race of the Playoffs) in 2014, Kevin Harvick was ranked eighth in the Playoff standings, six points back from NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon in the fourth and final transfer position to the Championship 4 round. Kevin Harvick won the race at Phoenix and automatically advanced to the final round. Jeff Gordon finished runner-up, but it wasn’t enough and was bounced out of the Playoffs. Harvick would go on to win his first NASCAR Cup Series title in 2014.

 

2015: The four drivers below the Championship 4 round cutline heading into the ninth race of the 2015 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8 elimination race at Phoenix Raceway – Carl Edwards (-7 points from cutoff), Brad Keselowski (-19), Kurt Busch (-28) and Joey Logano (-63) – all failed to advance to the Championship 4 and were eliminated from the Playoffs following the Phoenix race. At Phoenix, Logano finished third, Kurt Busch finished seventh, Keselowski finished ninth and Carl Edwards finished 12th.

 

2016: The four drivers below the Championship 4 round cutline without a win heading into the ninth race of the 2016 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8 elimination race at Phoenix Raceway – Matt Kenseth (-1 point from cutoff), Denny Hamlin (-2), Kevin Harvick (-18) and Kurt Busch (-34) – all failed to advance to the Championship 4 and were eliminated from the Playoffs following the Phoenix race. At Phoenix, Harvick finished fourth, Kurt Busch finished fifth, Hamlin finished seventh and Matt Kenseth finished 21st.

 

2017: The four drivers below the Championship 4 round cutline heading into the ninth race of the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8 elimination race at Phoenix Raceway – Denny Hamlin (-19 points from cutoff), Ryan Blaney (-22), Chase Elliott (-49) and Jimmie Johnson (-51) – all failed to advance to the Championship 4 and were eliminated from the Playoffs following the Phoenix race. At Phoenix, Elliott finished second, Blaney finished 17th, Hamlin finished 35th and Jimmie Johnson finished 39th.

 

2018: The four drivers below the Championship 4 round cutline heading into the ninth race of the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8 elimination race at Phoenix Raceway – Kurt Busch (-3 points from cutoff), Chase Elliott (-17), Aric Almirola (-35) and Clint Bowyer (-51) – all failed to advance to the Championship 4 and were eliminated from the Playoffs following the Phoenix race. At Phoenix, Almirola finished fourth, Elliott finished 23rd, Kurt Busch finished 32nd and Clint Bowyer finished 35th.

 

2019: Heading to Phoenix Raceway (the ninth race of the Playoffs) in 2019, Denny Hamlin was ranked fifth in the Playoff standings, 20 points back from Joey Logano in the fourth and final transfer position to the Championship 4 round. Denny Hamlin won the race at Phoenix and automatically advanced to the final round. Joey Logano finished ninth, but it wasn’t enough and was tossed out of the Playoffs. Hamlin would go on to finish the season fourth in the championship standings.

 

Playoff’s Elite Eight at the Martinsville ‘Paperclip’

Sunday’s Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway sets the stage for the seven drivers hunting for the final three spots in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Championship 4 round. Team Penske’s Joey Logano is the only driver currently locked into the Championship 4 by virtue of his victory at Kansas two weeks ago. Below is a look at the elite eight Playoff drivers heading into Martinsville this weekend.

 

Joey Logano (No. 22 Team Penske Ford) is currently locked into the Championship 4 round thanks to his win at Kansas to open the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff’s Round of 8. Looking to Martinsville, Logano has made 23 starts putting up five poles, one win (2018 Playoff race), seven top fives and 11 top 10s. He finished fourth at Martinsville earlier this season.  

 

Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) currently holds a 42-point edge on the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff’s Championship 4 round cutoff. The Californian, Harvick, heads to Martinsville weekend having made 38 series starts at 0.526-mile short track posting one win (2011), five top five and 19 top 10s. He finished 15th at Martinsville back in June. 

 

Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) is grasping to a 27-point lead over the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff’s Championship 4 round cutoff. Hamlin’s resume at Martinsville is the most promising among the eight remaining Playoff drivers. The Virginia native has made 29 series starts at the ‘Paperclip’ posting four poles, five wins (2008 spring, 2009 Playoffs, 2010 sweep, 2015 spring), 15 top fives and 21 top 10s. But he finished 24th at Martinsville earlier this season.

 

Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Team Penske Ford) is clinging to the fourth and final transfer spot into the Championship 4 round by a mere 25 points over Hendrick Motorsport’s driver Alex Bowman in the first position outside the cutoff. Keselowski will start on the pole this weekend at Martinsville, a speedway where track position is key. Keselowski has made 21 series starts at Martinsville collecting two wins (2017 spring, 2019 spring), 10 top fives and 15 top 10s.  He finished third in the Martinsville race earlier this season.

 

Alex Bowman (No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) hangs onto the fifth spot in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff standings, 25 points back from Team Penske’s Brad Keselowski in the final transfer position to the Championship 4. Bowman has made nine series starts at Martinsville posting two top-10 finishes; including his career-best finish of sixth that he posted earlier this season at 0.526-mile track.

 

Chase Elliott (No. 9 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet) is currently tied with his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Alex Bowman in points and sits sixth in the standings 25 points behind the Championship 4 cutoff. Elliott looks to Martinsville to the catapult he needs to make the final round. Elliott has made 10 season starts at Martinsville posting three top fives and five top 10s. He finished fifth in the Martinsville event back in June. 

 

Martin Truex Jr. (No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota) finished second at Texas Motor Speedway on Wednesday but still finds himself 36 points behind the Championship 4 cutoff. Truex is optimistic about this weekend at Martinsville Speedway though. The New Jersey native has made 29 series starts at the Virginia half-mile winning the last two consecutive races and putting up a total of seven top fives and 13 top 10s. 

 

Kurt Busch (No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet) finds himself in the eighth final position in the Round of 8, 81 points behind the Championship 4 cutoff. Busch is in a must-win situation heading into this weekend at Martinsville. Busch has made 40 series starts at Martinsville posting two wins (2006 Playoffs, 2017 Playoffs), three top fives and eight top 10s. He finished ninth in the Martinsville race earlier this season.

 

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

Kyle Larson is tapped by Hendrick Motorsports in 2021 – This week Hendrick Motorsports signed driver Kyle Larson to a multi-year contract that will see him join the 12-time NASCAR Cup Series champions beginning with the 2021 racing season. He will pilot the No. 5 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, which the organization will field for the first time since 2017. Larson will be paired with crew chief Cliff Daniels, 32, who currently leads the No. 48 Hendrick Motorsports team with seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson.

 

“Kyle is unquestionably one of the most talented race car drivers in the world,” said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. “He has championship-level ability and will be a significant addition to our on-track program. More importantly, I have full confidence that he understands our expectations and will be a tremendous ambassador for our team, our partners and NASCAR. Kyle and I have had many, many conversations leading up to today’s announcement. I’m confident about what’s in his heart and his desire to be a champion in all aspects of his life and career. Kyle has done important work over the past six months, and Hendrick Motorsports is going to support those continued efforts.”

 

Rudy Fugle named crew chief to No. 24 team in 2021 - Hendrick Motorsports has named Rudy Fugle as the crew chief for William Byron and the No. 24 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE team for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season. He will join the organization in mid-November. The 36-year-old Fugle is one of the most successful crew chiefs at the NASCAR national series level. Fugle will replace current No. 24 crew chief Chad Knaus, who was recently named Hendrick Motorsports’ vice president of competition effective at the completion of the 2020 racing season.

 

“We’re pleased to welcome Rudy,” said Jeff Andrews, general manager of Hendrick Motorsports. “His teams have consistently performed at a championship level for many years. We believe he’s an excellent fit for our culture and will mesh extremely well with our other crew chiefs and competition personnel. In addition, Rudy and William have proven to be a successful combination with a high level of communication and trust in one another.”

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

 

Martinsville Speedway to set the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship 4

The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Martinsville Speedway this weekend to set the Championship 4 contenders and close out the Round of 8. This Saturday’s race, the Draft Top 250, will be at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

 

Last weekend, the series went to Texas Motor Speedway where the racing was intense, and the excitement was second to none.

 

Playoff driver Noah Gragson, who is in a must-win situation if he wants to compete for the championship at Phoenix Raceway, looked like he was going to take home the trophy (and cowboy hat).

 

However, Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender and now three-time winner, Harrison Burton, passed him on the final corner to steal the victory. Burton recovered from a spin that brought out the sixth caution of the day and then went on to pass Anthony Alfredo for the second position with only two laps to go.

 

Saturday’s race at Texas was a tough one for the current Playoff drivers. Austin Cindric was able to finish in fourth and Justin Haley finished in seventh. The remaining five postseason challengers finished outside the top-15 - Ross Chastain finished 16th, Chase Briscoe finished 24th, Brandon Jones finished 25th, Justin Allgaier finished 26th and Ryan Sieg finished 31st.

 

With his win two weeks ago, Briscoe is still the only driver with a Championship 4 spot, meaning that this weekend’s race at Martinsville will be the final chance for the seven other Playoff drivers to clinch their position.

 

The Draft Top 250 will also bring a new sense of excitement as the NASCAR Xfinity Series hasn’t raced at the short track since 2006. Kevin Harvick won that race from the sixth position. There have been 34 total Xfinity Series race at Martinsville Speedway, with the inaugural race being in 1982 and won by Sam Ard.

 

So, Martinsville Speedway is new territory for all the drivers in the field and the series is bound to put on a good show.

 

Cindric will lead the field to green on Saturday with Gragson joining him on the front row. Haley will start third and Chastain will start fourth. Briscoe and Allgaier will start fifth and sixth.

 

The race will be 131.5 miles and 250 laps with Stage 1 ending on Lap 60 and Stage 2 ending on Lap 120.

 

Saturday short track racing

The final race of the Round of 8 is on Saturday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway, a track that none of the drivers in the field have raced on, and everything is on the line for the seven Playoff drivers that haven’t clinched their spot in the Championship 4 yet.

 

Since we don’t have any stats to look at for Martinsville specifically, let’s look at the short track results from 2020. Noah Gragson took home the first short-track win at Bristol Motor Speedway back in June. It wasn’t until September that the series raced on another short track, Richmond Raceway, for a doubleheader. Justin Allgaier swept the weekend at Richmond winning both races. The week after, the series went back to Bristol Motor Speedway and Chase Briscoe was victorious.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series Driver Playoff Outlook Following Race No. 31

 

Rank

 

Driver

 

Points

 

Race Wins

 

Stage Wins

 

Playoff Pts

 

Pts from Cutoff

 

1

 

Chase Briscoe

 

3,133

 

9

 

12

 

60

 

In On Wins

 

2

 

Austin Cindric

 

3,103

 

5

 

10

 

50

 

14

 

3

 

Justin Allgaier

 

3,097

 

3

 

12

 

33

 

8

 

4

 

Justin Haley

 

3,093

 

3

 

3

 

23

 

4

 

5

 

Brandon Jones

 

3,089

 

3

 

3

 

20

 

-4

 

6

 

Ross Chastain

 

3,078

 

0

 

2

 

10

 

-15

 

7

 

Noah Gragson

 

3,069

 

2

 

8

 

25

 

-24

 

8

 

Ryan Sieg

 

3,050

 

0

 

2

 

2

 

-43

 

 

Xfinity Clinch Scenarios: Paperclip Style

Chase Briscoe has clinched a spot in the Championship 4 round while the other three spots are up for grabs. Here are the clinch scenarios for this weekend’s race at Martinsville, with a reminder that any driver can clinch a Championship 4 berth with a win:

 

Can Clinch via Points

If there is a new winner, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the third winless driver in the standings.

  • Austin Cindric: Would clinch with 46 points
  • Justin Allgaier: Would clinch with 52 points
  • Justin Haley, Brandon Jones, Ross Chastain, Noah Gragson and Ryan Sieg: Could only clinch with help

 

If there is a repeat winner, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the fourth winless driver in the standings. They would also clinch if there was a new winner among Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier or Justin Haley and being ahead of the third winless driver in the standings.

  • Austin Cindric: Would clinch with 42 points
  • Justin Allgaier: Would clinch with 48 points
  • Justin Haley: Would clinch with 52 points
  • Brandon Jones, Ross Chastain, Noah Gragson and Ryan Sieg: Could only clinch with help

 

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series 

 

Gander Trucks to shine bright under the lights at Martinsville

The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series put on a show last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway.

 

Sheldon Creed won the race and clinched his spot in the Championship 4, joining his GMS Racing teammate Brett Moffitt as the first two to lock themselves in the final round.

 

There are only two spots left for the remaining six Playoff drivers and the stakes couldn’t be higher heading to Martinsville Speedway for the NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 at 8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio on Friday, October 30.

 

Creed’s win didn’t come without plenty of on-track action. Playoff driver Ben Rhodes and Christian Eckes had some on-track scuffs and the one on Lap 146 put the race into NASCAR Overtime. Rhodes clipped the right rear quarter of Eckes’ truck and sent him spinning. Rhodes suffered damage from the incident and put himself in a must-win situation on Friday if he wants a spot in the Championship 4.

 

There were 10 cautions for the Gander Trucks at Texas and one of them was between veteran Johnny Sauter and Stewart Friesen, as they were both fighting for the lead as winless drivers.

 

Playoff driver Grant Enfinger suffered a day-ending engine issue and is now also in a must-win situation at Martinsville when he was originally only seven points below the cutline heading to Texas.

 

Other Playoff drivers Austin Hill and Zane Smith finished second and third. Rookie Raphael Lessard finished fourth, Moffitt finished fifth and veteran Matt Crafton came in sixth. Crafton is still sitting 12 points below the cutline heading to Martinsville.

 

This weekend will be the first time the series competes on the Virginia short track this year. Last season, Todd Gilliland won this race for Kyle Busch Motorsports and Kyle Busch himself won the first race of 2019 at the track.

 

Crafton is the only Playoff driver with a previous win at the track and Sauter joins him as the only two active Gander Trucks drivers with wins at Martinsville. For all the other drivers, they’re still on the hunt for their first win on the 0.526-mile track.

 

Friday evening’s race will be 105.2 miles and 200 laps with Stage 1 ending on Lap 50 and Stage 2 ending on Lap 100.

 

Creed will start from the pole and Zane Smith will join him on the front row. Hill, Moffitt, Crafton, Tyler Ankrum, Rhodes, Enfinger, Brandon Jones and Lessard will complete the top 10.

 

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Driver Playoff Outlook Following Race No. 21

 

Rank

 

      Driver

 

Points

 

Race Wins

 

Stage Wins

 

Playoff Pts

 

Pts from Cutoff

 

1

 

Sheldon Creed

 

3,142

 

4

 

10

 

28

 

In On Wins

 

2

 

Brett Moffitt

 

3,101

 

1

 

6

 

16

 

3

 

Austin Hill

 

3,123

 

2

 

3

 

28

 

27

 

4

 

Zane Smith

 

3,108

 

2

 

5

 

22

 

12

 

5

 

Matt Crafton

 

3,096

 

1

 

1

 

9

 

-12

 

6

 

Grant Enfinger

 

3,066

 

3

 

1

 

19

 

-42

 

7

 

Ben Rhodes

 

3,063

 

1

 

1

 

14

 

-45

 

8

 

Tyler Ankrum

 

3,029

 

0

 

1

 

3

 

-79

 

 

Martinsville stats for Gander Trucks Playoff drivers
Below is a look at the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Round of 8 Playoff drivers at Martinsville Speedway (in order of seeding):

 

Sheldon Creed will make his fourth start at Martinsville on Friday night. Although he punched his ticket to the Championship 4, he’ll still want to have a good points day. In his three starts, he has a best finish of 11th that came at this race in 2019. He has an average start of 11.0 and an average finish of 15.7.

 

Brett Moffitt is in the same position as his GMS Racing teammate Sheldon Creed. He already has a spot in the Championship 4 but would like to have a strong day at Martinsville before heading to Phoenix. He has five starts to his name at the short track with three top fives and four top 10s. He has led 80 laps and has an average start of 9.2 and an average finish of 8.6. He has a best finish of second from 2018.

 

Austin Hill is sitting in third in the Playoffs standings, 27 points above the cutline. Hill has nine starts at Martinsville with two top 10s. His best finish of ninth came in 2018. He has an average start of 17.1 and an average finish of 17.3.

 

Zane Smith will make his series track debut at Martinsville on Friday night. He is currently sitting in the fourth and final spot in the Championship 4 field, 12 points above the cutline. With no experience at the track, Smith will likely be chasing after all the points he can get.

 

Matt Crafton is 12 points below the cutline in fifth place in the Playoff standings. Crafton has 36 starts at Martinsville with two wins, nine top fives and 20 top 10s. He has led 385 laps and has an average start of 11.4 and an average finish of 11.0. In his 36 starts, he only has two DNF’s. He’s completed 97.8% of laps attempted at the track. His wins came in 2014 and 2015 and his most recent finish was 23rd.

 

Grant Enfinger’s engine issue at Texas puts him in a must-win situation at Martinsville. He is currently in sixth in the standings, 42 points below the cutline. Enfinger has seven starts at the track with two top fives and three top 10s. He has an average start of 13.1 and an average finish of 11.1. His best finish of fourth came at this race last season and he also finished fourth in 2018.

 

Ben Rhodes is 45 points below the Gander Trucks Championship 4 cutline in seventh in the Playoff standings. Also, in a must-win situation, Rhodes has made nine starts at Martinsville posting two top fives and four top 10s and has led 176 laps. He has an average start of 8.4 and an average finish of 11.8. He also started on the pole twice (2016, 2018). Most recently, he finished 16th at this race in 2019.

 

Tyler Ankrum is currently holding onto the eighth and final spot in the Playoff standings, 79 points below the cutline, in a must-win situation as well. Friday night will be his fourth start at Martinsville Speedway. He has a best finish of 18th at the 0.526-mile track from his debut in 2018. He has an average start of 12.7 and an average finish of 20.7.

 

Clinch Scenarios: Martinsville mayhem

GMS Racing teammates Brett Moffitt and Sheldon Creed have clinched their spots in the final four while the other two spots are up for grabs. Here are the clinch scenarios for this weekend’s race at Martinsville, knowing that any driver could clinch a shot at the championship with a win:

 

Can Clinch via Points

If there is a new winner, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 2nd winless driver in the standings.

o   Austin Hill: Would clinch with 41 points

o   Zane Smith, Matt Crafton, Grant Enfinger and Ben Rhodes: Could only clinch with help

 

If there is a repeat winner, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 3rd winless driver in the standings.  They would also clinch if there was a new winner among Austin Hill or Zane Smith and being ahead of the 2nd winless driver in the standings.

o   Austin Hill: Would clinch with 28 points

o   Zane Smith: Would clinch with 44 points

o   Matt Crafton, Grant Enfinger and Ben Rhodes: Could only clinch with help

 

NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, Etc.

Bobby Labonte named Grand Marshal: NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Labonte was named the Grand Marshal for the NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoff race at Martinsville Speedway on Friday. Labonte is a two-time NASCAR champion, winning the 2000 NASCAR up Series and 1991 NASCAR Xfinity Series titles. He was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2020.

 

Sensation Sam Mayer returns – Last the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series saw of Sam Mayer he was celebrating in the Bristol Motor Speedway’s Victory Lane after playing spoiler in the Playoff race at Thunder Valley and stealing the victory from the Playoff contenders in just his fourth start in the series. Now, the 17-year old from Franklin, Wisconsin returns to drive the No. 24 GMS Racing Chevrolet this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. He will start from the 22nd position.

NASCAR PR

Kyle Busch Sweet 16

Thursday, Oct 29

With Wednesday’s NASCAR Cup Series win at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Kyle Busch celebrated a Sweet 16 of sorts following his first victory of 2020.

 

Sixteen of course is the number of consecutive seasons Busch has scored at least one or more victories, as the two-time Cup Series champion has now scored a win each season since entering NASCAR’s top series as a full-time competitor in 2005.

 

The Texas win also enabled Busch to join seven-time Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson, Ricky Rudd, and Rusty Wallace for the third-longest streak of consecutive years with at least one victory. With his streak still alive, Busch will look to extend it in 2021 in hopes of catching David Pearson, who is second on the list by scoring wins in 17 consecutive years from 1964 to 1980. Richard Petty holds the all-time record with 18 consecutive seasons with at least one victory from 1960 through 1977.

 

As the Cup Series heads to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway this weekend for the penultimate race on the 36-race schedule, Busch is hoping to keep the momentum from Texas going and also add a third Grandfather clock to his trophy case for winning a race at the paperclip-shaped half-mile oval in NASCAR’s top series.

 

Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M’S Toyota Camry for Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR), heads to Martinsville for Sunday’s Xfinity 500 with a win in hand and to a track where he’s run as well as anywhere over his last 10 starts. Since the fall of 2015, Busch has racked up an impressive eight Martinsville top-10 finishes, including victories in April 2016 and October 2018.

 

Early in his 13-year tenure with JGR, however, this wasn’t always the case at Martinsville. In fact, Busch finished outside the top-10 in three of his first four Martinsville races with JGR in 2008 and 2009. While he scored four combined top-fives from 2010 to 2014, it wasn’t until 2015 that he found his stride at Martinsville.

 

The beginning of the recent success at Martinsville for Busch and the M&M’s team came with the Las Vegas native’s first career win there in April 2016. Not only did he bring home his first Martinsville clock, he did it in dominating fashion, leading five times for a race-high 352 laps en route to victory lane.

 

So as the season heads into the homestretch, Busch and the M&M’S team hope to take advantage of the confidence built from their win at Texas Wednesday night, as well as his strong runs at Martinsville since 2015. Since he’s already conquered the .526-mile short track in Southern Virginia twice in recent years, Busch hopes he can turn his Sweet 16 win into yet another traditional Grandfather clock at the end of Sunday’s 500-lap marathon.

 

TSC PR

Cole Custer will make his 38th career NASCAR Cup Series start in his No. 41 HaasTooling.com Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) during Sunday’s Xfinity 500 on the .526-mile oval at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

 

Custer started 16th in the No. 41 Autodesk Fusion 360/HaasTooling.com Mustang last Sunday at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. After 52 laps around the 1.5-mile oval, the 500-mile event was halted due to rain. After futile attempts to dry the track on Monday, the race was once again postponed and eventually concluded on Wednesday. Custer’s No. 41 crew worked on the handling of his Mustang and he ultimately finished 14th. The result was the best in the race among the four-car SHR entry.

 

Custer made his first Martinsville start in the Cup Series in June. The California native started 27th and fought a tight-handling Mustang throughout the race and finished 29th.  

 

In the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series at Martinsville, Custer has six starts and, with the exception of the March 2016 race, the rookie driver started in the top-10 each time, including a pole award in October 2015. The Ford driver has a best Truck Series finish of fourth and an average starting position of 5.2 and an average finishing position of 16.2, along with 115 laps led at the Southern Virginia paperclip-shaped track.

 

In his last seven starts at tracks 1 mile or less, Custer has two top-10s – Phoenix Raceway and Dover (Del.) International Speedway – with an average starting position of 17.2 and an average finishing position of 18.7.

 

Even though Custer is out of contention for this year’s Cup Series championship, he still has two more opportunities to capture his second win of the season. This weekend, a limited number of fans will be allowed to attend the 500-lap event while following social distancing guidelines.

 

So far this season, Ford has won 18 races, and Custer and his SHR teammate Kevin Harvick have both earned wins for the Blue Oval – one for Custer and nine for Harvick. Ford’s milestone 700th win in the Cup Series came at the hands of Harvick on Aug. 23 at Dover. Ford captured its first victory on June 25, 1950. Ford drivers made up 50 percent of this year’s starting playoff field. SHR’s Harvick advanced to the playoffs’ Round of 8, of which Martinsville is the third of three races.

 

With Custer’s Cup Series win July 12 at Kentucky, he became one of 10 drivers who have won in each of NASCAR’s top three national series, as well as in ARCA and one of NASCAR’s developmental series.

 

Team co-owner Gene Haas’ newest holding, Haas Tooling, was launched as a way for CNC machinists to purchase high quality cutting tools at great prices. Haas’ cutting tools are sold exclusively online at HaasTooling.com and shipped directly to end users. Beginning July 1, HaasTooling.com products became available nationally. The cutting tools available for purchase at HaasTooling.com are even more important during the current COVID-19 pandemic as CNC machines have become vital to producing personal protective equipment.

 

SHR has 74 starts at Martinsville with four wins – team co-owner Tony Stewart in October 2011, Ryan Newman in April 2012, Kurt Busch in March 2014 and Clint Bowyer in March 2018. SHR has one pole award with 10 top-fives and 29 top-10s at Martinsville, with an average starting position of 13.7 and an average finishing position of 17.2 along with 739 laps led.

 

Haas Automation, founded by Haas in 1983, is America’s leading builder of CNC machine tools. The company manufactures a complete line of vertical and horizontal machining centers, turning centers and rotary tables and indexers. All Haas products are constructed in the company’s 1.1-million-square-foot manufacturing facility in Oxnard, California, and distributed through a worldwide network of Haas Factory Outlets.

 

Custer, who had a trio of starts in the Cup Series in 2018, clinched 2020 Rookie of the Year honors in his official rookie season in NASCAR’s most prestigious series. Competing against fellow rookie notables Christopher Bell and Tyler Reddick, he was the only rookie to clinch a playoff spot this season.

 

TSC PR

In the 1999 film, For Love of the Game, Billy Chapel (played by Kevin Coster) is pitching for the Detroit Tigers and in the midst of a perfect game.

 

With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, with his arm weary and aching, he looks up to see Ken Strout ready to bat for the New York Yankees. Ken Strout is the son of Joe Strout, who Chapel played with 20 years prior.

 

Ken Strout is the last chance for the Yankees to break up the perfect game. As Chapel sees him walking up to the plate, he looks up and says, simply, “Why not?”

 

That’s how Kevin Harvick, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR), might be feeling after this past week at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. Harvick started on the pole and led early, but he brushed the SAFER Barrier on the outside retaining wall early on as the track may or may not have been a little wet during a constant mist. Then the rains came and, after more than 72 hours, the race finally got restarted late Wednesday afternoon.

 

Or, better than “Why not?” perhaps an overriding thought in Harvick’s mind is, “It’s a journey.”

 

That’s because 2020 has been a journey for everyone. NASCAR conducted four races, took a nine-week break due to the COVID-19 pandemic, then contested 30 races in six months before getting delayed by rain for more than 72 hours this week at Texas.

 

Never fear, though, because we (might) be almost done.

 

Harvick finished 16th at Texas and is still first in points, 42 markers above the cutoff to advance to the Championship 4.  

 

He now moves on to Martinsville (Va.) Speedway for the final race in the Round of 8.

 

Harvick has one win, five top-fives, 19 top-10s and has led a total of 628 laps in his 38 career NASCAR Cup Series starts at Martinsville. His average start there is 14.1, his average finish is 14.9, and he has a lap completion rate of 98.2 percent – 18,695 of the 19,039 laps available.

 

Thankfully, Harvick will have the help of Mobil 1 as a sponsor and partner at the tight, half-mile Martinsville paperclip.  

 

Mobil 1 isn’t just the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand, it also provides the entire SHR team with leading lubricant technology, ensuring that all SHR Mustangs have a competitive edge over the competition on the track. In its 18th consecutive season as the “Official Motor Oil of NASCAR,” Mobil 1 is used by more than 50 percent of teams throughout NASCAR’s top three series.

 

During the playoffs, Mobil 1 is giving fans the chance to win exclusive prizes, including signed exclusive SHR gear, race gloves, race used parts and die casts, one-of-a-kind stickers and a once in a lifetime opportunity to receive a zoom call from SHR co-owner Tony Stewart or Harvick’s SHR teammate Cole Custer.

 

To find out more or to enter, fans can head to http://officialmotoroilofnascar.com/.

 

TSC PR

It all started back in 1947 pre-dating the formation of NASCAR, a half-mile paperclip shaped track in Southwest Virginia. By 1949 the track was on the first Cup Series schedule.

Fast forward to 2020 and Martinsville is once again set to shape the championship with all three national series running at the short track over the weekend to set the final four for NASCAR Championship Weekend in Phoenix.

Yet with a very rain delayed Texas some of those plans at Martinsville could change to accommodate the conclusion of the Cup Series event.

“We’re waiting to see what transpires in Texas. We can adapt but I’m pretty sure the Xfinity 500 will go on regardless of what happens in Texas. We may have to adjust a little bit time wise but pretty flexible to help NASCAR out” Said Clay Campbell

Logano with his win at Kansas and in a rain delayed Texas with Kyle Busch winning that leaves three slots left to lock into the final four in the Cup Series headed to Martinsville.

Over in the Xfinity Series Briscoe being the only driver so far to lock in leaving three spots open that will be contended this weekend at Martinsville. Finally, the Truck Series only one driver, Brett Moffitt has lock himself into the playoffs.

 

Cup Series Cut Line:

Elliott -42

Bowman -42

Truex -53

Ku. Busch -98

 

Xfinity Series Cut Line:

  1. Jones -4

Chastain -15

Gragson -24

Sieg -43

 

Gander Truck Series Cut Line:

Crafton -12

Enfinger – 42

Rhodes -45

Ankrum - -79

 

This weekend Martinsville will welcome back fans to the track for the first time in 2020, social distancing and health department rules limiting the seating to 1,000 fans for each event with all seating in the front stretch grandstands.

“We’ve done signage to direct people and their movement through the concourse and grandstands. It will be a little different keeping people separated and there will be rows indicating up and down, people sitting on the end of a row”

The weekend culminating with the NASCAR Cup Series Xfinity 500 on Sunday, November 1 at 2:00 P.M. on NBC.

After an extraordinary year for iRacing and NASCAR, the 2020 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series season will culminate at virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway on Monday, November 2 at 9 p.m. ET on eNASCAR.com/live. One driver will be crowned series champion and take home their share of the $300,000 prize pool – $100,000 – the largest single prize payout in series history. 

When the checkered flag fell on Tuesday night at virtual Texas Motor Speedway, four drivers secured a Championship 4 spot for virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway through either playoff victories or points over the first three playoff races. This year’s eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series Championship 4 drivers are as follows:

  • Michael Conti, #8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet (Texas winner)
  • Ryan Luza, #53 Williams Esports Ford
  • Nick Ottinger, #25 William Byron Esports Chevrolet (Kansas winner)
  • Bobby Zalenski, #83 Virtual Racing School Chevrolet (Charlotte Roval winner)

“We look forward to crowning the 2020 eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series champion, concluding one of our most successful years of esports competition to date,” said Tim Clark, senior vice president and chief digital officer, NASCAR. “As a result of iRacing’s leadership and collaboration this season, our traditional esports series and the world’s most elite sim racers commanded increased attention from fans globally.”

NASCAR Hall of Fame Class of 2021 inductee Dale Earnhardt Jr. will make a special guest appearance during the championship broadcast. The series will return to NBCSN this year with a one-hour condensed broadcast of the top moments from the championship race on Sunday, November 8 at 7:30 p.m. ET, directly after the real-world NASCAR Cup Series champion is crowned at Phoenix Raceway.

“This year’s eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series has been the most exciting eNASCAR season yet,” said iRacing president Tony Gardner. “This year’s playoff drivers have been pushing hard for an opportunity to make it into the Championship 4, and the ones who have made it will all make for a worthy champion if they can get it done. Last year’s finale came down to the final turn and run to the finish line, and we expect no different this time around. We’re also thankful to both NASCAR and NBC Sports for their support, especially as we bring the exciting highlights of the championship race back to NBCSN after the real-world Cup Series finale.”

After increasing the overall series purse to $100,000 in 2019, this year’s eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series will award that same amount to the champion as part of a total prize pool of over $300,000, the largest in iRacing history. The world’s top sim racers have battled through an exciting season that kicked off at Daytona International Speedway in February, continued alongside the debut of the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series in the spring, and has powered down the stretch with compelling battles to make, and stay in, the playoffs through the late summer and early fall.

The quartet will return to Homestead-Miami Speedway, home of last year’s thrilling photo finish where Zack Novak claimed the championship over Keegan Leahy, with the top finisher earning the title on Monday night. Following the race, the champion will undertake a virtual media tour building up to Sunday night’s NBCSN telecast.

For more information on the eNASCAR Coca-Cola iRacing Series and to watch past series races, visit www.eNASCAR.com. For more information on iRacing and for special offers, visit www.iracing.com.

NASCAR PR

High winds and continued rainfall throughout the morning has forced DIRTcar and Charlotte Motor Speedway officials to postpone Thursday night’s Drydene World Short Track Championship Hot Lap sessions to Friday afternoon.

However, all teams are still invited to enter the facility through the drag strip entrance and visit the registration area under the pavilion to complete registration forms, obtain pit/ATV/parking passes and other event information until 5 p.m. Hauler parking will go from 2 p.m. through 5 p.m.

In addition, Friday’s activities will now begin earlier than originally scheduled, beginning with the Flight 1 drivers meeting at 1 p.m., followed by a single Hot Lap session for all divisions at 2 p.m. Friday’s originally scheduled program will follow. Registration and hauler parking will begin at 9 a.m.

All drivers must have a Thursday pit pass in order to take part in the Thursday Hot Lap session.

For a full schedule of the weekend’s events, head to DIRTcar.com.

Can’t be at the track to watch the action in person? DIRTVision presented by Drydene’s got you covered – $39 per month gets you every lap LIVE!

For more live updates from the 5th annual Drydene World Short Track Championship at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, follow DIRTcar Racing on Twitter @DIRTcar_Racing, like us on Facebook @DIRTcar or follow on Instagram @dirtcar.official.

DIRTcar Series PR

MotorTrend is going racing at the Xfinity 500 NASCAR Cup Series race in Martinsville, Va. on Sunday, November 1, 2020. MotorTrend is the lead sponsor for driver Tyler Reddick and Richard Childress Racing (RCR) team’s No. 8 Chevrolet. The custom wrap, featuring branding for the MotorTrend App, the subscription streaming service dedicated entirely to the motoring world, will adorn the hood, quarter panels, decklid and rear TV panel of the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE. MotorTrend branding will also adorn Reddick’s fire suit on race day.

Driver Tyler Reddick is featured in MotorTrend’s all-new docuseries NASCAR 2020: UNDER PRESSURE, premiering Saturday, October 31 on the MotorTrend App. The docuseries offers fans an all-access pass to the behind-the-scenes moments on and off the track that have defined and will define this year’s NASCAR Cup Series™ season. Reddick was also featured in the MotorTrend App’s NASCAR ALL IN: BATTLE FOR DAYTONA, the sports documentary series that chronicled the on-track and off-track commitment, struggles and sacrifices of Reddick, RCR teammate Austin Dillon, and Corey LaJoie of Go Fas Racing as they chased greatness at the 2020 Daytona 500. Both series are part of the MotorTrend App’s special collection of NASCAR entertainment.

Additionally, the MotorTrend App offers more than 8,000 episodes and more than 3,600 hours of world-leading automotive series and specials including the most complete collection of classic TOP GEAR (200+ episodes and specials spanning seasons one thru 27), the upcoming all-new TOP GEAR AMERICA, and every season of SPEED RACER, WHEELER DEALERS, ROADKILL, FAST N’ LOUD, BITCHIN’ RIDES, IRON RESURRECTION, TEXAS METAL and many more. The MotorTrend App is available for Prime Video customers in the U.S. on Prime Video Channels and on Amazon FireTV in addition to other media players and streaming devices including Apple TV, Roku, Google Chromecast and on the web, as well as across iPhone, iPad, and Android mobile devices.

MotorTrend PR

Martinsville Speedway will welcome distinguished dignitaries as part of pre-race ceremonies for the Draft Top 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff race on Saturday, Oct. 31 and NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoff race on Friday, Oct. 30.

Bobby Labonte has been named the Grand Marshal for the NASCAR Hall of Fame 200. Labonte is a two-time NASCAR champion winning the 2000 NASCAR Cup Series and 1991 NASCAR Xfinity Series titles. He was inducted in the 2020 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

“Thinking back to January when the induction ceremony happened – the time and the experience we had – it was second to none,” said Bobby Labonte. “It’s so amazing being recognized in different ways and that’s the top of the top. It would be hard to beat being named a NASCAR Hall of Famer. I definitely cherish that. And to be honest, I can’t wait to get to Martinsville on Friday for the race and be the Grand Marshal for the NASCAR Hall of Fame 200. To be that is fun, an honor and it’s exciting. It’s been such a different year because of the pandemic, to be able to get back to the track and be able to smell and hear race cars will be exciting for me.”

At Martinsville, Labonte is a three-time race winner with a win in each of the sport's three national series. Labonte won the spring 2002’s Virginia 500 Cup race, fall 1992 Winston Classic Xfinity Series race, and spring 2005’s Kroger 250 Gander Truck race.

“I had the opportunity to run a couple of truck races at Martinsville and then win the race in 2005. I beat Ricky Craven at the end. It was just one of those really good battles at the end. What made it exciting at the end is I was losing a cylinder with about 10 to go and it was kind of laying down on me, so it made it really hard to keep Ricky behind me. But winning the truck race there kind of put a cap on my races there because I was able to win in the Busch (1992), the Cup (2002) and the Truck Series (2005) at Martinsville. That really meant a lot to me."

While Labonte has had success at Martinsville, he has also been challenged by the track in Late Models, which the track has annually hosted in the ValleyStar Credit Union 300, the nation’s biggest, richest and most prestigious NASCAR Late Model Stock Car race.

“I started racing there a long time ago – in the old Busch Grand National days or maybe even the Late Model Sportsman Days. We would go up there because it was close by. So, Martinsville has always been a cool place for me to either go watch or race.”

“I’ve raced Late Model stocks up there. The old Busch Grand National Series back in the Late Model Sportsman days, I ran my first race in that series in Martinsville. It’s an hour from where I live. I haven’t always had the best success up there, but I’ve always enjoyed it. I mean 500 laps at Martinsville – you think, ‘Oh my gosh, this is hard.’ So to be in all three of those series is pretty cool and a big accomplishment, so it’s definitely one of my favorites.”

David Martin, a longstanding supporter of the NASCAR Hall of Fame, has been named the Honorary Starter for the NASCAR Hall of Fame 200. The 29th Infantry Division Band, Virginia Army National Guard, will honor our nation with the playing of the National Anthem prior to the green flag for the NASCAR Hall of Fame 200.

For the Draft Top 250, Sean Kelly, Co-Inventor and Co-Founder of Draft Top, will be the Grand Marshal and Alex Caracappa, Chief Technical Officer, will be the Honorary Starter. To learn more about Draft Top, visit drafttop.com.

Nashville recording artist Josh Shilling will sing the National Anthem prior the Draft Top 250. A Martinsville, Va. native, Shilling released his new single “2020” earlier this year. To learn more about Schilling, visit joshshilling.com.

The invocation for the NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 and Draft Top 250 will be led by Nick Terry, Motor Racing Outreach chaplain.

Martinsville 2020 Season

Martinsville will host NASCAR’s penultimate playoff races for the first time on Oct. 30-Nov. 1. The Xfinity 500 will set the field for the NASCAR Cup Series Championship on Sunday, Nov. 1 at 2:00 p.m. ET. The Draft Top 250 NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoff race will compete on Saturday, Oct. 31 at 3:30 p.m. ET. The NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series Playoff race will start the NASCAR Playoffs Weekend at Martinsville on Friday, Oct. 30 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

The fall NASCAR races at Martinsville will be televised nationally with the Cup Series and Xfinity Series on NBC and Gander Trucks on FS1. The races will also air on MRN and its network of nationwide affiliates, in addition to SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.

Stay connected to Martinsville Speedway on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and by downloading the Martinsville mobile app for Apple or Android.

Martinsville Speedway PR

Page 1 of 4140