Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Driver Notes & Quotes: Martinsville Tums Fast Relief 500

RYAN NEWMAN ON HAVING SUCCESS AT MARTINSVILLE: “I like the short-track racing. The more a driver has input – especially with some of the racetracks we go to, you don’t have to brake a lot – the more the driver has input, the more the driver has an effect. The short-track racing I definitely enjoy because of that. You go to a place like Michigan or California, it takes less driver and more car than it does at a short track, in my opinion. That is one of the things I enjoy about Martinsville. We had a good run there in the spring. We were fastest in practice, but we had to start pretty deep in the field because qualifying got rained out. But we had a good enough car that I was able to drive it into the top-10 and race there all day. And there, at the end, Tony Gibson used some strategy and made a pit call that put us in position to win the race with just a handful of laps to go. I was just unlucky on the outside there on the last restart. To get a top-four out of that and on older tires, I can’t complain. So, I look forward to going back. Gibson is a great fan of Martinsville and short-track racing, and he’s got a great understanding of the racecar there and what I like, and that makes a big difference, obviously, for me. We’ve been able to get three top-10 finishes in our three trips to Martinsville, and we’re looking forward to continuing that streak. It’s a fun racetrack, as long as you stay out of trouble and keep your brakes cool.”

KYLE BUSCH ON GETTING CLOSE TO THE DOMINANCE OF HAMLIN AND JOHNSON AT MARTINSVILLE: “No, they’ve had the dominating cars and they’ve been the dominating drivers. I’m not going to say I can get in Denny’s car. I’ve been in equipment that’s pretty close. I’ve been in equipment that’s been pretty close to Jimmie’s, too. I think I ran fourth to him that time. I think my best finish there was fourth, three times. It’s a difficult racetrack. It’s not easy for everyone. I mean, Jeff Gordon went through a spell of being one of the best guys there. Dale Earnhardt was one of those guys. Richard Petty, back before that. You know, I feel like I’ve gotten better there but, still, I’ve never really been one of the drivers who’s been the one to worry about going into Martinsville. I think I had the best car in the spring that I’ve ever had at Martinsville since I joined JGR, so I’m hoping we can finally get our M&M’s Camry to victory lane there.”

CLINT BOWYER ON LIKING MARTINSVILLE: “I do like it. It took awhile to learn it. I’ll tell you what, it’s very challenging and it’s a lot of fun. You have to look at it like that – that it’s challenging. It’s one of those tracks that I feel like I could win a race.”

BOWYER CHASSIS SELECTION: Clint Bowyer will race Chassis No. 327 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. This is a brand new No. 33 racer that will be put through its first paces in this weekend’s 500-lap contest.

JEFF BURTON ON WHY HE LIKES MARTINSVILLE: “It’s cool to race in your hometown. I grew up about an hour from Martinsville and ran late model races there when I was a kid. I can remember when they announced we were going to run late model races at Martinsville. I remember thinking that it was the coolest thing ever that we would have a chance to do that. That track has always meant a lot. I was able to win my first Nationwide Series race there. We’ve run well there. The spring race was really good for us. We had a shot to win that race but ended up cutting a right-front tire real late. We led a lot of laps and thought we had a great opportunity to win, but it got away from us. I’d like to go back and redeem that.”

BURTON CHASSIS CHOICE: Jeff Burton will race chassis No. 293 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new for the 2010 season, the South Boston, Va., native drove this Caterpillar Chevrolet Impala to an 11th-place finish in February at Las Vegas Motor Speedway before achieving a 10th-place result at Bristol Motor Speedway three weeks later.

KEVIN HARVICK ON MARTINSVILLE: “I think we’ve run well there. We ran well at the first race and had some mechanical issues. We just have to keep doing what we’ve been doing. I think (Jeff) Burton had the fastest car there last time and wound up getting a flat tire, so we will look at those notes and go from there and see what happens.”

HARVICK CHASSIS CHOICE: Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 322 from the Richard Childress Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stable. Built new for 2010, this Chevrolet made its debut at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last month, where Harvick finished fifth.

MARTIN TRUEX JR ON RACING AT MARTINSVILLE: “I have a love-hate relationship with Martinsville and if you ask (crew chief) Pat (Tryson) so does he. So far, our best finish of the season has been Martinsville. We’re proud of that top-five and I would never have predicted it. I’ve really learned a lot about the place during the last few times I’ve raced there. We just need to take what we learned in the spring and try to better ourselves. Obviously, that’s the plan going into each weekend, but sometimes it doesn’t always work out as planned. For now, we are going with a game plan and I am looking forward to it. It should be good.”

GREG BIFFLE ON MARTINSVILLE: “Well, it’s obvious by looking at my stats that Martinsville has been a tough place for me. We’ve had a few decent runs there but getting your car to turn can make the difference between a fun race at Martinsville and a long day at Martinsville. When the car is turning and you can get off of the corners on the gas, the race at Martinsville can be one of the most fun races of the season but when it won’t turn or your brakes a failing, it is probably my least favorite track on the circuit. I would say our goal this weekend is to leave Martinsville with a top-10 finish like we did in the spring.”

MATT KENSETH ON MARTINSVILLE: “It’s really hard to be patient at Martinsville because it always seems like you’re getting run into or you’re running into somebody. We’re always racing for the little bit of room we have on the track, so it can easily become a frustrating place. It’s not a tricky racetrack to get around, but a lot of times, it gets tough to be able to tell my crew what we need to change on the car in order to have it handle exactly how I need it to. It’s a place where you race hard all day long in order to get good track position, but you have to be patient as well in order to get a solid finish.”

KENSETH CHASSIS CHOICE: Primary: RK-704 (last run at New Hampshire)

CARL EDWARDS ON RACING AT MARTINSVILLE: “Martinsville is so tough, especially with the double-file restarts. It’s kind of a chaotic moment when you go down into turn one and it really depends who is over-aggressive, who bumps who, how things shake out. If everybody runs like they should, it’s really hard to pass people two-wide at Martinsville already. It’s when people are over-aggressive that you can take advantage. Hopefully, we can do that. Matt (Kenseth) almost won the thing the last time we were there, so I feel like we can run well enough, we just have to make the right calls.”

EDWARDS CHASSIS CHOICE: RK-647 - This car last raced at Loudon in Sept. ’10, Finished 11th

JAMIE McMURRAY CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis #1007. Bono and the No. 1 team will bring chassis #1007 to Martinsville Speedway this weekend. This chassis was used just last month at Richmond where McMurray finished 17th. The team also used this chassis earlier in the season at the first Richmond event finishing 19th and first Martinsville where McMurray battled handling issues after an on track altercation forcing a 30th-place finish. McMurray and team tested this chassis at Gresham Motorsports Park in August.

JUAN PABLO MONTOYA CHASSIS CHOICE: Chassis #1005. Pattie and the No. 42 Target team are bringing chassis #1005 to Martinsville Speedway this weekend. This chassis was last run in September at Richmond where Montoya started second and finished seventh. The chassis was also used at the first Martinsville event where Montoya had a tire expire forcing a 36th-place finish.

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