Lead Draft Friday: The Martinsville Mash
At the time of this writing we have over 100 people entered into the NASCAR Ranting and Raving Free NASCAR Pool powered by NASCAR Pools Online.
We’ve got some pretty good people from some good NASCAR sites entered too. I’ll put up a complete list sometime after the deadline, but if you enter yourself and poke areound a little bit in the team area you’ll find out for yourself who is in on this battle for supreme NASCAR Pool bragging rights.
The deadline to enter is noon (EST) on Friday March 27th 2009 (today) and if you are reading this in the morning you’ve still got time to enter. So what are you waiting for?
I also want to thank Garz Karz for coming on board and making the special one-of-a-kind diecast trophey for the Pool. I’ll keep you updated about the trophey’s progress as well – I might even be able to convince Garz Karz to keep us up-to-date with the building process with pictures etc. once he starts building it.
Anyway, we’re headed to one of my more favourite tracks this weekend; Martinsville and here is the first draft of my article for today’s Hamilton Spectator.
Did we all have a good March Break? I did. We kind of decided at the last minute to take off and go on a road trip toFLA.
Man, the Busch brothers are on a role with 3 wins in a row between them (Kyle -2, Kurt – 1) with Kyle winning in dominating fashion at Bristol Motorspeedway last weekend.
The question entering into this weekend’s race at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia is whether the Busch’s can make it four wins or not? I personally don’t think so and I’ll explain why later.
Martinsville is one of my favourite tracks on the NASCAR circuit. Rubin’ is racin’ is the best way to describe the racing at Martinsville.
Martinsville has a long history in NASCAR racing and has a Canadian connection too.
In 1974 Canadian Earl Ross in a Junior Johnson prepared car won his one and only NASCAR victory in the Old Dominion 500. No other foreign-born driver won in the NASCAR Cup Series again until Columbian born Juan Montoya won at Sonoma in 2007.
Nicknamed ‘the paperclip’ this half-mile oval has long narrow straight-aways with short sharp corners and if you don’t make contact with another car on the track during the course of the race then you must be sitting in the garage.
Several key ingredients are needed in order to do well at Martinsville; big brakes, good forward bite, a good qualifying position, and a ton of luck.
With the long straight-aways you need to slow down fast and having bigger brake rotors helps, but you must also be careful not to use up all of your brakes before the end of the race or you’ll find yourself in the wall. Brake issues have always been a story line at Martinsville and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Forward bite refers to traction in the front end of the car. If the car’s nose wants to push (slide towards the wall) when you are in the corner you’ll have to slow down even more just to make it turn which will cause you a ton of lost track position as everyone else behind you passes you.
This track is hard to pass at and since it is so small the leaders are on top of the tail end of the field within the first 20 laps so if you don’t qualify well you’ll find yourself a lap down awful fast.
Also, the higher you qualify the better pit stall you get, and this is one of the toughest pit roads to get on and off of as well as work on in NASCAR so you’ll want to qualify well to get one of the better positioned pit stalls so you don’t have that added pressure of having a pit stall on the corner or in a heavy traffic area.
But with all this being said, you can have the best brakes, the best handling car, and even the best pit stall but you can still lose the race in an instant because there is so much traffic and close contact between the cars that anything can happen. So without a little luck along the way the best car/team will not win.
Drivers to look out for at this track are Hendrick teammates Jeff Gordon (24) and Jimmie Johnson (48) who have 12 wins at this track between them with Jimmie Johnson having won 5 of the last 9 races held at this track – this is why I don’t think either of the Busch brothers will win here. Denny Hamlin (11) also runs well here as does Tony Stewart (14) and another Hendrick driver, Mark Martin (5).
The dark horses at this track would be Juan Montoya (42), Casey Mears (07), Clint Bowyer (33) and Dale Earnhardt Jr (88).
Remember to race on over to www.4ever3blog.com and sign up for my free NASCAR Pool today! It’ll take more than just big brakes and a good pit stall to win this one. Do you have what it takes to win?