A pair of consecutive night races kicks off the first of two NASCAR weekends at Martinsville Speedway as the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series kicks things off on Friday night with the NASCAR Xfinity Series following 24 hours later. The weekend culminates with an afternoon race on Sunday in the NASCAR Cup Series.


Cam Waters, a fixture in the Australian Repco Supercars Championship, is scheduled to make his NASCAR debut in Friday night’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway. Waters, who drives for Tickford Racing, has won three races in each of the last three seasons and has 10 career victories overall. He will be in a fifth truck for ThorSport, joining Matt Crafton, Ben Rhodes, Ty Majeski and Jake Garcia.


The last time NASCAR came to Martinsville Speedway, Ryan Blaney passed Aric Almirola with 22 laps to go and never looked back to win the Xfinity 500 and clinch a spot in the Championship 4. Blaney came into the race with a 10-point cushion, but extended that by finishing second in Stage 1 and winning Stage 2. In all, Blaney led four times for 145 laps enroute to his third victory of the year, which matched his career-best for a single season. One week later, Blaney was celebrating his first championship. Overall, Martinsville is Blaney’s best track in terms of averaging finish. In 16 career starts, the Team Penske driver has a 9.0 average finish, which includes a current streak of four consecutive top-10 runs.


Only one other track on the NASCAR Cup Series circuit has been better for Joey Logano when it comes to qualifying than Martinsville Speedway. Logano enters this weekend with an average starting position of 8.4 at the half-mile facility and is only bettered by his 7.8 average at Las Vegas. He has six poles, including three in a row in 2015-16, and had an active streak of 18 straight top-10 starts (including races where qualifying was rained out) at one point. In 30 career races at Martinsville, Logano has an average finishing position of 10.9 and has been running at the finish of every event. He come into Sunday’s race with a streak of nine straight top-10 finishes, including runner-up finishes in this event each of the past two years.


Chris Buescher heads into this weekend’s race at Martinsville Speedway looking to extend a top-10 finishing streak that reached four after his ninth-place run Sunday night in Richmond. After an 18th-place finish in the season-opening Daytona 500, Buescher has registered five top 10 efforts in the last six races with Las Vegas being his only hiccup as a wheel issue resulted in him hitting the wall and finishing 37th. Other than that, he’s been a model of consistency at Atlanta (9th), Phoenix (2nd), Bristol (7th), COTA (8th) and Richmond (9th). In 17 career series starts at Martinsville Speedway, Buescher has only a pair of top-10 results, but one of those came on his last visit when he finished eighth.

RYAN BLANEY: “Bristol and Martinsville are the same size, but very different shapes and banking and speed. I feel like at Martinsville I find myself getting into more of a rhythm than Bristol. At Bristol things are happening super quick and you’re always loaded up in the corner. Martinsville is more finesse. You ease it down in the corner and try to find your own rhythm there if you get a little bit of a break from someone pressuring you or you trying to pressure somebody else. You kind of get in this mode at Martinsville 50 or so laps into a run onwards and you just kind of find yourself in a little bit of a trance of making laps and adjusting for what the track wants. It’s a big rhythm racetrack.”

CHASE BRISCOE: “Five hundred laps is definitely a long time at Martinsville. Physically, it’s one of the harder races we go to. When we got done with the fall race there last year I literally couldn’t even bend over to take my shoes off because my back hurt so bad just with all of the braking we’re doing there constantly, so it’s hard from a physical standpoint. Mentally, I feel like it’s harder for some guys than others just to stay mentally focused for that long and just always being around somebody and keeping your emotions in check, but it is a marathon. It’s 500 laps, but it goes by super quick. At the same time it’s super long. There are a lot of opportunities to make mistakes, but you’ve got to be so aggressive there now with this Next Gen car because it is so hard to pass. It’s so hard to get track position that, honestly, you run 500 qualifying laps and it’s a challenge to do that well. I’m looking forward to getting to Martinsville. That’s been a place where I feel like we’ve done everything but win there the last four times, so that’s probably the one race I’ve had circled on the schedule for a while now.”

HARRISON BURTON: “I feel great about Martinsville. It’s always fun to go there because the Wood Brothers have a huge following there and we have a lot of support. I think we’ve run well there at times, but Martinsville is either a good run or a bad run for a lot of people and it all depends on qualifying recently. You’ve got to really qualify well and if you don’t, you can have one of the best cars and still go a lap down. Martinsville, for me, qualifying is everything and it’s going to be half-a-tenth that makes the difference in five or six spots, so we’re gonna have to just really nail that and have a good lap. Once you get in the race, it’s really managing the runs and trying to restart well. I think restarts are really important to get spots early and then hopefully tuck back in line and try to manage your tires and run a little bit. For me, it’s super exciting to go there. I love Martinsville. It’s one of my favorite racetracks.”


Brad Keselowski outdueled Kyle Busch down the stretch to win his first grandfather clock after capturing the STP 500 on Apr. 2, 2017. The two drivers waged a memorable battle that saw them swap the lead five times in the last 160 laps, but Keselowski ended up making the decisive pass on lap 458 and led the final 43 circuits to become the first repeat winner in 2017. Prior to winning at Martinsville, Keselowski took the checkered flag at Atlanta in the second race of the season.


Clint Bowyer snapped a 190-race winless stretch by leading the final 114 laps to win the weather-delayed STP 500 in 2018. The win was Bowyer’s first with Ford and ninth of his career. He passed Ryan Blaney on lap 285 to gain the lead for the first time, and when Jamie McMurray brought out the caution 100 laps later after hitting the wall, Bowyer’s pit crew got him back out with the lead and that proved to be the difference. That capped a big day for Ford, which had five drivers finish in the Top 10 and saw Blaney win Stage 2.


The first time Ford won a NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway also marked the first career victory for 2015 NASCAR Hall of Famer Fred Lorenzen. The date was April 9, 1961 and Lorenzen battled Rex White, who led the first 118 laps after starting on the pole. Lorenzen, driving for Holman-Moody, grabbed the lead on lap 119 and held it until rain came ending the race prematurely after 149 circuits. Little did anyone know that 54 years later both men would be enshrined into the NASCAR Hall of Fame as part of the same induction class. Martinsville was a place Lorenzen dominated, winning six times, including four straight from 1963-65 – the only driver to date to accomplish the feat. He was absolutely unbeatable in 1964 as he led 990 out of a possible 1,000 laps (487 in the first and 493 in the second) in winning both races.


Cole Custer had to drive through the field during the latter stages of last week’s race at Richmond Raceway, but he was able to extend his streak of top-10 finishes to four after a 10th-place finish. The streak started with a runner-up finish in Las Vegas and continued with runs of fifth at Phoenix Raceway and fourth at Circuit of the Americas. Custer, who is third in the point standings, has two career series starts at Martinsville Speedway. He sat on the pole and finished third in 2023 before ending up 19th last year.


Ty Majeski is still looking for his first win of the season, but he comes into Friday night’s race at Martinsville Speedway second in the point standings and only 10 points out of the overall lead. Majeski, who has started in the top 10 in all five races this year, has finished 11th and fourth in his two previous series starts at Martinsville Speedway.

Ford Performance PR