Camping World Truck Series:
Saturday, 10/29, Texas Roadhouse 200, Martinsville Speedway, 1pm, MRN
Sprint Cup Series:
Sunday, 10/30, Goody's Fast Relief 500, Martinsville Speedway, 12 noon, MRN
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NASCAR News (courtesy of John Singlar, MRN Radio)
NEXT STOP … MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY … for Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 as the semifinal round of the post-season Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup begins. The eight remaining title contenders are traveling along a path that will ultimately lead to a championship for one with 1,076 “Miles-2-Miami” left before Ford Championship Weekend in November. This will be the sixth and final short-track race of the year and the only Chase race to be run on an oval less than one mile in length. Joe Gibbs Racing has dominated the 2016 short-track schedule with wins in four of the five races run thus far. Carl Edwards has victories at Richmond International Raceway and Bristol. Denny Hamlin won last month in Richmond and Kyle Busch was victorious in this year’s first visit to Martinsville on April 3rd. All four of J-G-R’s Cup Series competitors, including Matt Kenseth, have advanced to the Chase’s Round of Eight … Busch is bidding to become the first driver to sweep both Martinsville races in a single season since Hamlin doubled up in 2010.
THE NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES … shares the spotlight at Martinsville with Saturday’s Texas Roadhouse 200 Presented by Alpha Energy Solutions. The original eight-man Chase Grid has been trimmed to six entering the final four races of the year. Four organizations are represented in the semifinal round that opens at Martinsville: G-M-S Racing (Ben Kennedy and Johnny Sauter), Kyle Busch Motorsports (rookies Christopher Bell and William Byron), Red Horse Racing (Timothy Peters) and ThorSport Racing (two-time champion Matt Crafton) … Of those six drivers, only Sauter, Peters and Crafton are past winners at Martinsville. In this year’s first stop on the Virginia half-mile, Byron finished third. Peters was fifth, Crafton seventh, Kennedy eleventh, Bell nineteenth and Sauter thirty-second.
THE X-FINITY SERIES … is idle again this weekend and returns to action Saturday, November 5th, in Fort Worth, Texas. The semifinal round of the inaugural X-FINITY Series Chase is underway with the eight-man title field getting trimmed to four after the next two races. Top-seeded Erik Jones is presently tied with Justin Allgaier for the fourth and final transfer spot. They’re two points ahead of sixth-place Ryan Reed. Brendan Gaughan and Darrell Wallace Junior are at the bottom of the Chase standings, more than fifteen points below the cutoff.
► With a twelfth-place finish last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, Chase Elliott of Hendrick Motorsports maintained a sixty-one-point lead over Ryan Blaney in the Sunoco Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year standings. Chris Buescher remains in third place, now twelve points ahead of Brian Scott, with Jeffrey Earnhardt completing the top five.
► In the X-FINITY Series rookie chase, Erik Jones of Joe Gibbs Racing holds a commanding eighty-six-point lead over Brennan Poole following his fifteenth-place finish on October 15th at Kansas Speedway. Brandon Jones is third, twenty-six points behind Poole. Ryan Preece and Garrett Smithley make up the rest of the top five.
► In the Camping World Truck Series rookie standings, William Byron of Kyle Busch Motorsports has a fifteen-point lead over teammate Christopher Bell following his tenth-place finish last weekend at Talladega. Bell placed sixth in the fred’s 250. Cole Custer, Ben Rhodes and Rico Abreu round out the top five.
TRACK INFORMATION: Martinsville Speedway in Southern Virginia is a point-five-two-six-mile oval with twelve degrees of banking in the turns and flat straightaways. The length of both the frontstretch and backstretch is eight hundred feet. Grandstand seating capacity is sixty-five thousand.
58th RUNNING OF THE GOODY’S FAST RELIEF 500 SPRINT CUP SERIES RACE AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY … Sunday, 12 p.m. (ET)
Last Year’s Race: Jeff Gordon grabbed the lead from A-J Allmendinger with twenty-two laps remaining and kept the Number-24 Chevrolet in front the rest of the way to notch his ninety-third career win and ninth at Martinsville, securing a spot in The Championship Four as he chased a fifth Cup Series title. Gordon’s margin of victory was thirty-three one-hundredths of a second over runner-up Jamie McMurray with Denny Hamlin, Dale Earnhardt Junior and Kyle Busch completing the top five … Matt Kenseth drove into the back of race leader Joey Logano less than fifty laps from the finish – sending Logano into the wall and to the garage for repairs as the Eliminator Round of the post-season Chase began. Kenseth was running laps down to Logano when they made contact, a retaliatory move on Kenseth’s part after the two also got together two weeks before at Kansas Speedway. Logano started from the pole in Martinsville and led 207 of the 454 laps that were run before Kenseth sent him into the wall and to the bottom of the Chase standings. Kenseth would draw a two-race suspension for purposely wrecking Logano.
This Year’s First Race: On April 3rd, Kyle Busch dominated the second half of the race, leading all but twelve of the final 260 laps to notch his first Sprint Cup victory of the season. The defending Cup Series champion swept the weekend on the Virginia half-mile, also winning the Camping World Truck Series race. Of the 755 laps of competition in the two races combined, Busch led 475 of them … nearly two-thirds. He started seventh in the Cup Series race, had the Number-18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota in front for the first time at
Lap-32 and beat runner-up A-J Allmendinger to the checkered flag by sixty-six one-hundredths of a second. Kyle Larson, Austin Dillon and Brad Keselowski completed the top five. Pole sitter Joey Logano led only the first twenty-one laps and finished eleventh in the forty-car field.
Practice Schedule: Friday from 11 a.m. to 12:25 p.m. (ET) … Saturday from 9 to 9:55 a.m. and 12 to 12:50 p.m. (ET) … Qualifying: TODAY at 4:30 p.m. (ET) … Logano won the pole last year but finished thirty-seventh in the race after being wrecked intentionally by Matt Kenseth.
14th RUNNING OF THE TEXAS ROADHOUSE 200 CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES RACE AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY … Saturday, 1 p.m. (ET)
Last Year’s Race: Matt Crafton’s bid for a record third straight Truck Series championship gained new life when he drove to his fifth victory of the season. Crafton entered the weekend third in the standings, twenty-three points behind leader Erik Jones. He came out of it second in the championship chase, just ten points behind Jones entering the final three races of the season. Crafton started thirteenth and steadily worked his toward the front, grabbing his first – and only – lead of the day two-thirds of the way through the race and keeping the Number-88 ThorSport Racing Toyota in front over the final sixty-three laps.
This Year’s First Race: On April 2nd, Kyle Busch had to work overtime – driving away from John Hunter Nemechek on the day’s final restart to claim his forty-fifth career victory but first as a driver on the half-mile Virginia oval. Busch won there four times before as a team owner but had come up empty in eight previous attempts behind the wheel. This time, he started second and led a race-high 123 laps – beating Nemechek to the finish by a little less than a half-second.
Friday’s Practice Schedule: From 12:30 to 1:25 p.m. and 2:30 to 3:50 p.m. (ET) … Qualifying: Saturday at 10:15 a.m. (ET) … Cole Custer won the pole last year and finished fourth in the race.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Sunday, 11/6, AAA Texas 500, Texas Motor Speedway, 1pm, PRN
Sunday, 11/13, Quicken Loans Race for Heroes 500, Phoenix International Raceway, 1:30pm, MRN
Sunday, 11/20, Ford EcoBoost 400, Homestead-Miami Speedway, 2pm, MRN
NASCAR X-Finity Series
Saturday, 11/5, O'Reilly Auto Parts Challenge, Texas Motor Speedway, 3pm, PRN
Saturday, 11/12, Phoenix 200, Phoenix International Raceway, 3:30pm, MRN
Saturday, 11/19, Ford EcoBoost 300, Homestead-Miami Speedway, 2:15pm, MRN
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Indy Car Series