Monster Energy Cup Series News

Monster Energy Cup Series News (16679)

Brad Keselowski put on a dominate performance Sunday at Martinsville Speedway, leading 446 of the 500 lap race. Sunday marked Keselowski's second win of the 2019 NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series season.

It was also driver NO. 2's 29th career NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series win and his second at the paperclip.

"The car was really good," Brad Keselowski told FS1. "Just a great day for our team. Awesome execution on pit road. Just one of those days you dream of as a race car driver where you have a great car."

Chase Elliott, who finished second, tried to make a late-race surge on Keselowski but ran out of time.

"Our Camaro was good and felt we were about as even with him (Keselowski) as we could be," Chase Elliott told FS1. "I tried to move up there at the end, but don't know if i could have got him, maybe if i had moved up a little sooner. Maybe next time."

Rounding out the top five were Chase Elliott in second, Kyle Busch in third, Ryan Blaney in fourth and Denny Hamlin in fifth.

Kyle Busch, who made the 1,000th start of his NASCAR career would finish third, snapping his two-race winless streak (ISM Raceway and Auto Club Speedway).

Rounding out the top ten were Kevin Harvick in sixth, Clint Bowyer in seventh, Martin Truex Jr. in eighth, Aric Almirola in ninth and Daniel Suarez in tenth.

The NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series will head into Texas Motor Speedway in the running of the O'Rilly Auto Parts 500 on Sunday, March 31 on FOX; green flag is scheduled for just after 3 p.m. Eastern.

Stage 1 Winner: Brad Keselowski

Stage 2 Winner: Brad Keselowski

Race Winner: Brad Keselowski

Paul Menard and the No. 21 Motorcraft/Quick Lane Ford Mustang are set to start Sunday’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway from 15th place, although no starting positions are official until after inspection is completed Sunday morning.

Menard toured the tricky, paper-clip-shaped half-mile at 96.884 miles per hour on his fourth lap in the opening round of qualifying Saturday afternoon. That put him 11th fastest and allowed him to advance to Round Two. 
 
In the second round he posted a best lap of 96.699 miles per hour on his fifth lap, which was just .025 seconds per lap shy of being good enough to advance to the final round but left him 15th
 
“It’s about where we expected,” Menard said. “We weren’t really strong in qualifying trim in practice, and our first run I thought that we could have picked up for the second round.  
 
“We didn’t do any adjustments and just got pretty tight, so it kept getting faster as I ran, so stayed out a little bit too long probably for brakes, but it was pretty much where we were.”
  
Eddie Wood said he was encouraged that Menard’s Mustang was just a tick or two of the stopwatch away from a top-12 run in the second qualifying round and that the car performed well in the final practice session. Both practices were held on Saturday prior to qualifying.
 
Menard’s best lap in “Happy Hour” practice was at 96.538 miles per hour, which was fifth best on the speed chart.
  
“The car was good in race trim,” Wood said.
 
The STP 500 is set to get the green flag just after 2 p.m. on Sunday with TV coverage on Fox Sports 1.

WBR PR

With surgical efficiency, Joey Logano continued his domination of knockout qualifying at Martinsville Speedway.

Saving his car and his tires for the final round of Saturday’s time trials at the .526-mile short track, Logano won the pole for Sunday’s STP 500 (2 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) with a lap at 97.830 mph (19.356 seconds).

Driving the No. 22 Team Penske Ford, Logano edged Stewart-Haas Racing Ford driver Aric Almirola (97.643 mph) for the top starting spot by .037 seconds. Brad Keselowski (97.458 mph) qualified third, followed by Kevin Harvick (97.382 mph), as Ford drivers captured the top four positions on the grid.

The Busch Pole Award was Logano’s first of the season, his fifth at Martinsville and the 21st of his career. Logano ran only three laps total in the first two rounds, allowing him to save his tires for a four-lap run in the final round. His last lap was his fastest.

“It’s awesome to get another pole and hopefully we can top it off with another win,” said Logano, who used a victory in last year’s Playoff race at Martinsville as a springboard to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championship. “This is a fun race. I always look forward to coming up here.”

Logano has earned his five of the last seven contested poles at Martinsville over a nine-race span, with two of the qualifying sessions canceled because of adverse weather.

All told, Fords claimed six of the top 12 starting positions, including Team Penske drivers Logano and Keselowski and all four Stewart-Haas Racing drivers—Almirola, Harvick, Daniel Suarez (10th) and Clint Bowyer (11th). In contrast to Logano’s economical runs, Bowyer had 16 laps on his tires at the end of the final round.

Five-time Martinsville winner Denny Hamlin paced the first two rounds but had to settle for fifth when the starting order for the top 12 drivers was decided. Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. (ninth) were the only Toyota drivers to make the final round.

William Byron was sixth fastest in the money round to lead four Chevrolets in the final 12. He was joined by Chip Ganassi Racing’s Kyle Larson (seventh) and fellow Hendrick Motorsports drivers Chase Elliott (eighth) and Jimmie Johnson (12th), who leads active drivers with nine victories at the paper-clip-shaped track.

Trying for his third straight Cup win on Sunday—not to mention a weekend sweep of the Martinsville races—Saturday’s NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series victor Kyle Busch will start 14th in the STP 500.

“Too loose—just didn’t have it with track conditions today,” said Busch, who opted not to make a mock qualifying run during practice.

For Byron, the sixth-place run was a welcome end to a frustrating day. Early in Saturday’s opening practice, his No. 24 Chevrolet bounced off the outside wall. Byron’s crew spent the rest of the session—and then some—repairing the car.

“I’m kind of optimistic, but we’ve had a rough day,” Byron said after qualifying. “These two-day shows are tough, and we started out with a flat right front (tire) and hit the wall. Then in second practice, we were way behind because we didn’t have enough practice time.

“The guys made a lot of great changes to get it right going into qualifying. We were really struggling over the bumps over both ends, really, and getting on the concrete (in the corners). We’ll see what happens—should be fun.”

Joey Logano will start from the pole in tomorrow's STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

The Fords dominated qualifying on Saturday, capturing four out of the five top spots.

Logano covered the paperclip with a speed of 97.830 mph, claiming the 21st pole of his NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series career.

"You just have to be so precise and pushing yourself so hard in the corners, and a mistake is such a penalty," Joey Logano told FS1 after qualifying. "It was awesome to get another pole here at Martinsville and hopefully we can top it off with another win in the books."

Rounding out the top five were Aric Almirola in second (97.643 mph), Brad Keselowski in third (97.458 mph), Kevin Harvick in fourth (97.832 mph) and Denny Hamlin in fifth (97.362 mph).

Aric Almirola who qualified second seemed to have the pole wrapped up until Joey Logano put down the fastest lap with just 34 seconds remaining in the final round.

Kyle Busch, who won the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series race earlier on Saturday failed to make the final round of qualifying. Busch will take the green flag tomorrow from the fourteenth position in his 1,000th NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series race of his career.

Sunday's STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway is scheduled to begin just after 2 p.m. Eastern with live coverage on FS1, MRN and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio.

Joey Logano offers understanding, but no apologies.

After he applied the bumper to Martin Truex Jr.’s Toyota in the final corner of last year’s fall race at Martinsville Speedway, Logano edged past Truex for the race victory and a guaranteed berth in the Championship 4 event at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

In that season finale, Logano went on to win his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series title.

Logano understood why Truex was upset at being denied his first short-track win on the final lap. But Logano wasn’t sorry.

Given that the series is returning to Martinsville this weekend for the first time since last November’s memorable race, it was inevitable that the subject of the bump-and-run would come up.

“I mean, it’s in the past at this point,” Logano said. “But I think at that point Martin texted me and, like I told you guys, he was pretty clear that he was frustrated with the move. I understood, and I think he understood why I had to do it, and it kind of played out and worked out, but my move to him was that I didn’t wreck you. I gave the old bump-and-run.

“That happened 15 times a race here at Martinsville, and that one was just a little more popular. I think there’s a fine line. You don’t want to straight out bump somebody on purpose, but you also, when it comes down to the end of the race like that and there’s that much on the line… that was our shot to win a championship.

“So I think every driver has a line that they are OK with and that you can go to sleep at the end of the night and say, ‘I did what I had to do and I’m all right with it,’ and if it happened to me, you have to be OK with that as well. I think that was the situation for me that I was trying to explain to him.”

 

COREY LAJOIE SUFFERS BRAKE FAILURE, HARD CRASH IN PRACTICE

Perhaps the most uncomfortable feeling at any race track comes from stabbing the brakes and feeling the pedal sink to the floorboard.

That’s what happened to Corey LaJoie, whose No. 32 GoFas Racing Ford crashed hard into the Turn 1 wall after his brakes failed in Saturday’s opening Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice at Martinsville Speedway.

The car suffered extensive front-end damage, leaving the right front tire barely rolling at a cockeyed angle as LaJoie nursed the car back to pit road.

“I’ll tell you, there is no coffee strong enough that will wake you up like losing brakes into Turn 1 at Martinsville,” LaJoie said after the crash. “It’s not a good feeling losing brakes. It had like a half-pedal, and then it felt like it blew through the seal or something.

“It’s unfortunate, because small teams like ours, we don’t really bring a backup (car) that’s fully ready to go, so my guys have a lot of work ahead of them. I’ll probably pitch in and help a little bit, but, obviously, our backup is not going to be as good as the car that we choose and bring as our primary.”

 

MARTINSVILLE CUP PRACTICES PRODUCE MIXED BAG OF LEADERS

With teams toggling back and forth between race trim and qualifying trim, Saturday’s two Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice sessions at Martinsville Speedway produced radically different groups of cars at the top of the leaderboard.

Clint Bowyer, defending race winner in Sunday’s STP 500 (2 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), paced the opening session with a lap at 97.674 mph. Daniel Suarez and Aric Almirola, Bowyer’s teammates at Stewart-Haas racing, were second and third fastest, respectively.

Happy Hour was a completely different story. With Chase Elliott leading the way at 97.542 mph, Hendrick Motorsports drivers claimed the top three spots on the leaderboard. Alex Bowman was second fastest, followed by nine-time Martinsville winner Jimmie Johnson, who is looking for a turnaround after four straight finishes of 12th or worse at the .526-mile short track.

Martin Truex Jr., the victim of a last-lap bump-and-run in last year’s Playoff race at Martinsville, figures to be a contender again Sunday, after leading consecutive-lap averages over runs of five, 10 and 20 laps.

Near the end of final practice, Cody Ware wheel-hopped into the outside wall. His No. 51 Chevrolet sustained heavy damage in the accident.

Denny Hamlin, who won the most recent Daytona 500 on a 2.5-mile track, is happy to be visiting NASCAR’s oldest and shortest Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series speedway this weekend.

In Hamlin’s view, .526-mile Martinsville Speedway features something else that’s short—the list of potential winners.

“There’s really five guys that are kind of up front in those races,” Hamlin says. “It doesn’t really change much from that.”

In fact, there are only eight active drivers who have won at Martinsville since 2011: Jimmie Johnson three times, Kyle Busch twice and Ryan Newman, Kurt Busch, Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer and Joey Logano once each.

Cup drivers will be using the new competition package at Martinsville with roughly 750 horsepower and increased downforce through the implementation of a larger spoiler, leading Hamlin to predict a possible track record due to higher cornering speeds.

But Hamlin doesn’t expect the new rules to change the list of contenders for the coveted grandfather clock trophy.

“It doesn’t really matter what the package is,” Hamlin said. “You always continue to kind of race against the same guys. I think there’s a technique there. Sometimes somebody different will hit it and be in contention, but ultimately, it seems like the race winners are all the same group.”

All told, Hamlin has five victories at the track. Johnson has nine wins, most among active drivers, but he hasn’t finished better than 12th since picking up his ninth victory in the fall race of 2016.

 

JOHNNY SAUTER: THE SECRET TO MARTINSVILLE IS HARD TO EXPLAIN

Like Denny Hamlin, Johnny Sauter has an exceptional record at Martinsville Speedway, with four victories and a pole in 22 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series starts at the .526-mile short track.

Sauter and Hamlin feature similar backgrounds, learning their craft on asphalt short tracks, but beyond that, Sauter is at a loss to explain why certain drivers excel at Martinsville and others never solve the mystery of one of NASCAR’s most enigmatic venues.

“I think for a lot of us, it’s similar to what we grew up doing,” Sauter said on Friday during a question-and-answer session with reporters at the speedway. “Our background has been around this kind of racing, or this type of atmosphere or whatever you want to call it.

“I know it is for me. I’ve always been partial to short tracks. It’s fun. I’ve been fortunate to win at mile-and-a-half’s and Daytona and all those places, but when you win here, you feel like it’s a big feather in your cap.

“But to answer your question, I don’t know. Me, personally, I think it’s about equipment and that feel you’re looking for as a driver—and I seem to get it sometimes.”

Sauter was eighth fastest in Friday’s final Truck Series practice, but his strength at the speedway typically manifests itself in long-run speed.

 

CLINT BOWYER LOOKS FOR ANOTHER JUMP-START AT MARTINSVILLE

When Clint Bowyer won last year’s spring race at Martinsville Speedway, it was the perfect antidote to a disappointing debut season at Stewart-Haas Racing.

Five races into the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season, Bowyer is looking for another rally, after an overheating issue at Auto Club Speedway (Fontana, Calif.) left him 38th in the Auto Club 400 and 15th in the series standings.

NASCAR’s shortest track may be the ideal venue for Bowyer, whose win last year followed several impressive at the .526-mile speedway.

“I’ve felt like I’m someone that’s capable of winning at Martinsville for several years,” Bowyer said. “It felt good to finally check that box. When I look at race tracks, that was always one that I said, ‘Damn it. I can win at that place.’ And we finally did.”

With another victory at Martinsville, Bowyer would earn another grandfather clock trophy to go with the last year’s prize, but the way the driver of the No. 14 Ford sees it, that might be a mixed blessing.

“It’s super cool,” Bowyer added. “But it’s a pain in the ass. I’m not lying. It dings and chimes and stuff, but it’s a good reminder of that day and what we accomplished that day.”

Even JTG Daugherty Racing's Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate, Ryan Preece, can appreciate the irony. For a young talented driver renowned for his short track background and expertise, his best showing so far this year is a top-10 in the Daytona 500 on the sport’s most famous superspeedway.

Preece, 28, is genuinely optimistic, however, to feature those skills that helped him rise in the stock car ranks when the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races Sunday in the STP 500 (at 2 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at the Martinsville Speedway half-miler.

This is Preece’s wheelhouse, as they say.

He already owns a Martinsville grandfather clock trophy from a win there in 2008 – the first of 22 victories in the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour – a series the Connecticut native won the championship in (2013).

“It’s what most of us that come through the ranks grow up doing," Preece said of short track racing. “Heavy braking, getting the car turned, being able to drive off the corner, pick the throttle up as quick as possible. It’s something that I’m used to doing."

“These mile-and-a-halves, that’s just a different package where you’re on the throttle so much, it’s kind of outside the nature of what I’m used to doing. Kind of going to a place like Martinsville, and I would say even the next few races, it’s going to be very familiar to what my background is.

“It makes me very optimistic. Obviously if you look back at JTG’s runs with AJ [Allmendinger] and even Chris [Buescher] last year, they ran really well. It makes me very excited to go there this weekend."

Allmendinger, who previously drove the No. 47 JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet Camaro that Preece now drives, had five top-10 finishes in 10 Martinsville races with the team between 2014-2018, including a best showing of runner-up in the spring of 2016.

Six of Preece’s 17 career top-10 finishes in the Xfinity Series have come on tracks one-mile or shorter, including wins at Iowa Speedway (2017) and Bristol Motor Speedway (2018).

Even with his particular background and place atop the current Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings, he insisted this week he is at best cautiously optimistic about his Martinsville Monster Energy Series debut. It’s a careful balance of managing expectations and carrying confidence.

“Man, the expectations?" he said. “It’s hard to say without being there or running there with the team. I mean, my expectations when I go to a short track are to be a contender. Really at this point, it’s to have a really smooth weekend, run top-10 most of the day. If we can get a top-five, that would be fantastic.

“Definitely short tracks like Martinsville, Bristol, New Hampshire, those are kind of in my wheelhouse. It’s something I’ve been doing for a long time. When it comes to the restarts and all those moments of being aggressive, it’s something that I enjoy doing.

“As far as what I expect, I expect that we should show really well and at least be running top-10 and hopefully get a top-five by the end of the weekend."

There should certainly be a good vibe at Martinsville for Preece. His success there initially put him on the map for NASCAR teams searching for young, untapped talent.

He acknowledged, however, his short track debut in NASCAR’s big leagues will be a definitive new test. The hard-nosed, bumper-on-you style that has long characterized this form of exciting full-contact racing will be a brand new arc on Preece’s learning curve. But, he said this week, he feels absolutely ready for it.

“I’ve never been anybody who really wants to put a bumper to someone," Preece said. “I always try to find a way around them without doing that.

“At the end of the day, I think we all just look for respect. You’re going to race somebody the way they race you. I’m going to fully intend on going into the weekend just like I would a Modified [race], that’s finding a way around without using them up.

“At the end of the day, as long as we’re respectful to others, I believe you get respect back. That’s kind of how I’m going to approach it. I don’t fully intend on going there and smashing people."

The style and philosophy has certainly worked for Preece, who leads the Sunoco Rookie standings for fourth time in the season’s opening five weeks. He’s ranked 25th overall, tops among the four-driver 2019 rookie class with one top-10 (his Daytona 500 debut). He was involved in wrecks at both Atlanta and Phoenix but responded last week with a solid 23rd-place effort at Fontana, Calif.

In six years, Preece has made 67 starts in either the Xfinity or Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, but had the chance previously to run only a single full season – the 2016 Xfinity Series schedule for team JD Motorsports.

So the encouraging start to 2019 says a lot about Preece’s natural ability, but also about his huge drive to make good on this opportunity.

“It’s nice," Preece said of leading the rookie standings. “It’s showing that we’re right there. But Daniel [Hemric], he’s shown a lot of speed, especially during the West Coast Swing. That’s something we addressed in the meetings yesterday.

“Our goal at the beginning of the year was to make the Playoffs. We’re kind of in a hole right now because of Atlanta and because of Phoenix. It’s really put us behind.

“We just really need to turn it around and get to where the 37 is running and hopefully sneak in some top-10s and be up front. It’s definitely not from a lack of effort. Hopefully we can turn things around and really fight these guys."

The NASCAR short track season is officially upon us - huge grins, high spirits, bumpers and intensity all around.

Sunday’s STP 500 at the half-mile Martinsville Speedway (at 2 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) opens the test of gumption, patience and short track mastery for the season.

Certainly the last time the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series visited Martinsville it met all expectations of drama and excitement. With a 2018 championship spot on the line, Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr. went door-to-door, bumper-to-bumper for the win in an epic duel in the final laps.

The two made contact multiple times. Ultimately Logano moved leader Truex out of the way in a “bump and run” winning the race and earning his spot to ultimately be in the Championship Four at Homestead-Miami. Logano answered with his first Monster Energy Series championship three weeks later with a victory in South Florida.

The final lap intensity that Logano and Truex showed last year is every bit what NASCAR fans have come to expect in short track racing – that particular chapter came complete with a post-race promise from Truex that he would not soon forget the way Logano raced him.

The defending winner of Sunday’s race – Stewart-Haas Racing’s Clint Bowyer earned his first win at the track in a less dramatic, however equally stellar fashion – leading a race best 215 laps. He was one of three drivers who led at least 100 laps on the afternoon (also Ryan Blaney, 145 and Denny Hamlin, 111).

Over the course of their careers, it’s been Jimmie Johnson and Kyle Busch leading the short track (Martinsville and Bristol, Tenn.) statistics among active drivers.

Johnson has nine wins at Martinsville and two at Bristol. Kyle Busch has seven victories at Bristol and two at Martinsville. His brother Kurt has six wins at Bristol and a pair at Martinsville – including the longest span between wins there (22 races) between his first win in 2002 and last in 2014.

And Denny Hamlin is always a favorite at Martinsville, where he’s won five times – a mark second only to Johnson’s nine among active drivers. This year’s Daytona 500 winner has four top-10s in the opening five races and won this race last in 2015.

Interestingly, over the last 10 races at Martinsville and Bristol, there have been only two drivers to win multiple times at the tracks. Logano has a pair of wins at Bristol (2014-15). And Kyle Busch is the only one to do so at both tracks - winning twice in that time frame at Martinsville (2016 and 2017) and also at Bristol (2017 and 2018).

There have been nine different winners in the last 10 Martinsville races (Kyle Busch the long repeat winner) and eight different winners in the last 10 Bristol races (Kyle Busch and Logano repeat winners).

Three of the last four Martinsville winners – Logano, Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski – already have wins this season.

Busch, who scored his 200th NASCAR national series win last week at California’s Auto Club Speedway is looking to earn his third consecutive win and top that magic number. So far he’s won on Phoenix's ISM Raceway one-miler, the California Auto Club Speedway two-miler and eager to see if he can retain his magic in the epic 500-miler at Martinsville’s historic half-mile "paperclip".

“I think just being able to get comfortable, get settled and make sure that you’re good to go for those hauls,’’ Busch said about the demands of racing at Martinsville. “Don’t worry about what lap it is ,ever, during a race. That’s the worst thing that could happen to you.

“You just try to not ever worry about what lap you’re on or what’s going on around you. You just keep battling, keep driving, keep your focus forward on what you’re doing. That’s the best way to go about those long, long races.”

 

GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES

The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series returns to competition this week in the Martinsville 250 at Martinsville Speedway (at 2 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) after a two-week break.

Grant Enfinger leads the series driver championship standings with a six-point advantage over Sunoco rookie Harrison Burton, but history has proven Martinsville remains a race very much “up for grabs.” There have been eight different winners in the last 10 races.

The exception to that is veteran Johnny Sauter – who has won twice in the last five races. His four career wins are most in series history at the track. He’s still looking for his first win of 2019 and ranked sixth in the championship since changing teams this season and returning to ThorSport Racing where he raced from 2009-2016.

Defending race winner John Hunter Nemechek is not entered this weekend, however one of the track’s most high profile former winners, Bubba Wallace will be competing. The Richard Petty Motorsports fulltime Monster Energy NASCAR Cup driver is very partial to Martinsville as that’s where he scored the first career victory (2013) in one of NASCAR’s three national series. He added another in 2014 making Martinsville the only track on the circuit where he’s been a repeat winner.

Other fulltime Monster Energy and Xfinity Series drivers entered this week include two-time Gander Outdoors Truck Series winner already this year Kyle Busch, along with Austin Dillon, Ross Chastain and Timmy Hill, who will debut an entry for his new family-owned team - Hill Motorsports.

Coming into the race, points leader Enfinger and defending series champion Brett Moffitt are the only drivers with two top-five finishes in the opening three races. Neither of them has won at Martinsville, however. The top-10 in the standings are separated by only 26 points heading into the weekend and show a very diversified points battle with four Fords, three Chevrolets and three Toyotas represented.

StarCom Racing partners with CGS Imaging, a premier high-volume graphics manufacturer and digital printing company, for this weekend’s first short track race of the 2019 season at the half-mile flat cornered Martinsville Speedway in Virginia at the STP 500. Landon Cassill will grip the wheel of the SCR 00 Chevy Camaro for the 500-lap event and is poised to put on a good show and get the CGS Imaging Chevy a solid finish. The “Paper Clip,” as it is known, has a long rich history as one of NASCAR’s oldest and most historic tracks.

“This race track has a truly nostalgic feel about it,” said Michael Kohler CEO of StarCom Racing.” It’s going to be a mentally grueling 500 laps and we are excited to have CGS Imaging along for the ride!

StarCom Racing welcomes CGS Imagine aboard as its primary sponsor for STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Coming off a long West Coast Swing, SCR is ready to get back “on-track” with CGS Imaging and bring home a solid finish.

“CGS Imaging is excited to Partner with Starcom Racing as a sponsor of the 00 Car driven by Landon Cassill for this weeks STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway,” said CGS Imaging President & CEO, Chuck Stranc. “StarCom Racing is an up and coming team in NASCAR with a great group of people, and we are proud to be affiliated with them.”

To learn more about StarCom Racing, follow the team on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Snapchat @StarComRacing.

StarCom Racing PR

Weekend Notes 
 

NASCAR’s West Coast swing is complete, and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is back on the East Coast to go racing at Martinsville Speedway. After a strong showing and posting a top-15 finish in Phoenix, Ty Dillon and the Germain Racing team will head to the historic Virginia track for the first true short-track race of the season. Finishing in the 15th position at “The Paperclip” last fall after running with the leaders throughout the event, Crew Chief Matt Borland is looking to use this season’s added downforce and restored horsepower to put together another impressive run for the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1. 

Stories from Martinsville
 

Martinsville Speedway is the only track that has hosted Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races every year since the division’s inception in 1949. Two GEICO Racing team members grew up in racing families and have been attending races at Martinsville since they were young children.  
 

“I always went to Martinsville when I was really young. We would sit in the stands there because you could see everything from your seat. I have a ton of memories there, but one of my favorites is when they ran the Xfinity Series race in 2006. Darrell Waltrip had kind of come back, Toyota was just entering the sport, and I believe Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer went 1-2 in the race. I was sitting in the stands right between Turns 1 and 2, ate a couple Martinsville hot dogs and just had fun watching the race. It is such a fun racetrack to visit and enjoy.” – Ty Dillon, Driver

 

 “All of my earliest memories of Martinsville are of going up there and watching Richard Petty win races. We would all sit in the infield to watch; it was just grass back then. They put on the kind of show with the type of racing that made me want to be around race cars and work on them. It was always one of my favorite tracks to go to as a kid, and it still is as an adult.” – Travis Owens, Front-End Mechanic

Germain Racing PR

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