Saturday, Aug 13

MENCS: STP 500 Preview

RIDGEWAY, V.a— The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series arrives at Martinsville Speedway for the first short track race of the 2017 season. The STP 500 will be broken up into two 130 laps stages and a 140 lap shootout to the finish. 

There are currently 38 drivers scheduled to arrive at Martinsville for the STP 500. The field is considered full due to the 36 charter teams being present at the speedway.

There have been 60 different pole winners throughout the 70 year history of Martinsville. 49 drivers have made their way to victory lane. 21 races have been won from the pole with Jimmie Johnson being the last driver to do so in 2013. In 1996, Jeff Gordon set the race record at 82.223 mph. Joey Logano set the qualifying record back in 2014 at 100.201 mph.

Kevin Harvick will be without Rodney Childress this weekend due to the team rescinding their penalty from Phoenix with the trackbar mount. Childress will only miss this weekend while Daniel Knost will pilot the No. 4 team.

“Well, Rodney Childers is going to get a one-week vacation. Obviously with everything that has happened, basically we got in trouble for a part that was drawn a certain way and didn’t appear that way on the car. The way that NASCAR works now is you submit drawings for pretty much every part on your car,” said Harvick. “It has to meet certain specifications and that part didn’t meet it, so Rodney’s going to get to go on vacation this week. I know this is probably one of the most painful weeks for him to go on vacation because Martinsville really hasn’t been our best track. He and everybody at Stewart-Haas Racing, and especially everyone on our No. 4 team, put a lot of effort into trying to go in a different direction”

Brad Keselowski will see the return of the Paul Wolfe following their decision to repeal their penalty from Phoenix where they had failed weights and measurements in post-race inspection. The team decided this week to repeal following their analysis of the car. Wolfe has only served one of three weekend suspensions.

The defending race-winner of the STP 500 is Kyle Busch.

“We’ve run well the last couple of times at Martinsville and we’re definitely pumped about getting back there. I’m hoping we can have a really good car there again this time around like we did last spring. We led a lot of laps and we were really fast. Hoping that some of those things we were able to push through there a year ago at Martinsville we’ll be able to do this time around with our M&M’s Camry,” said Busch.

Cup drivers are scheduled to have one practice session on Friday at 11:30 a.m. EST. Qualifying will also be held on Friday at 4:30 p.m. On Saturday, there will be two practice sessions at 10:00 a.m. EST and 1:30 p.n. EST. The STP 500 will begin at 2:00 p.m. EST. All coverage of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will be broadcasted on Motor Racing Network and Fox Sports 1.

 

Caleb Whisler

I am 19 years old from Atlanta, GA. I have been following motorsports since I was born. Motorsports has been "passed down" in my family. I am named after NASCAR Hall of Famer, William Caleb Yarborough, also known as Cale. Growing up in the southeast, racing was something that was a Sunday tradition after church. What an honor it is to share that passion with others.

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