ON THE DEFENSE: Johnny Sauter heads to Martinsville Speedway as the defending winner of the spring race at the 65-year old facility. Sauter had a perfect record in the March event in 2011, starting the race from the pole position before bringing home the famous grandfather clock trophy. In his eight previous starts at the 0.526-mile oval, Sauter has earned two top-five and two top-10 finishes, tallying an average start of 12.9 and an average finish of 16.1.
STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: It's all about track position at the 'paperclip,' and the best way to get to the front is to start there. ThorSport Racing had no trouble getting to the front in 2011 when the organization swept the pole for both races at Martinsville in 2011: Sauter started from the point position in the spring race, while teammate Matt Crafton took the award when he broke the track's NCWTS qualifying record in the fall event.
LISTEN IN: New Country Q 104.1 returns to the No. 13 as an associate sponsor this weekend in Martinsville. The Greensboro, N.C. country station was on board for last year's win and will appear on the tonneau cover of the Hot Honeys Toyota Tundra for this year's event. Fans attending the race can tune into the station locally and those outside the area can listen live on iHeartRadio or at www.wtqr.com.
COME SAY 'HI': Sauter and his ThorSport Racing teammates Matt Crafton and Dakoda Armstrong will be appearing at the NCWTS autograph session this weekend in Martinsville. The session will be held on Friday, March 30th from 4:00-5:00 PM ET by the track's main ticket office outside the track behind Richard Petty Tower.
CHASSIS HISTORY: The No. 13 team will utilize chassis No. 11 this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Sauter drove this same chassis to the win in the spring Martinsville race last season, following up with a fourth-place finish in the fall race.
PREVIOUS RACE RECAP: After employing a conservative strategy for much of the NextEra Energy Resources 250, Sauter charged to the lead before getting turned in a green-white-checker finish, causing a fiery crash that collected teammate Crafton and ultimately resulted in a 24th-place finish.
THOUGHTS FROM THE DRIVER: Johnny Sauter
What are your thoughts on Martinsville Speedway?
"My roots are in short track racing, so this is always a track I enjoy racing at, and I look forward to it even more now that we've got a win there. Anytime you return to a track where you have a win or a pole, you go in with a certain amount of confidence because you know you've conquered it, that you can conquer it. We had two really great races in Martinsville last year and we're bringing back the same truck, so we know we're going in with something that works. Now the goal is to make it even better and bring home another grandfather clock trophy."