It’s been a long time since the Daytona races, but the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to the track this Saturday for the Kroger 250 at Martinville Speedway.
It’s known as the paperclip which refers to its appearance. Martinsville Speedway is a one-mile track with 12 degrees of banking in the corners. That combined with a pavement combination of asphalt and concrete and two pit roads makes it one of the more fun tracks on the circuit.
While you’re there, don’t forget to stop and pick up the famed Martinsville hot dog.
More importantly, what are the drivers saying about the track?
Ben Rhodes is making his first start in the NCWTS this weekend in the No. 32 Alpha Energy Solutions Chevrolet for Turner Scott Motorsports:
“I’m really thankful for this opportunity,” said Rhodes. “I can’t thank Harry Scott and Steve Turner enough for giving me this chance to gain valuable experience behind the wheel of one of the best trucks in the Truck Series. I also appreciate the ongoing support from Alpha Energy Solutions this season and hope I can make everyone proud. I’m really excited to start off at Martinsville [Speedway] since I’ve got short-track racing experience and plan to carry momentum from my K&N win over to the No. 32 truck. Turner Scott Motorsports is a top-notch organization and I hope to learn a lot this year from both my Truck Series team as well as my K&N team.”
John Wes Townley, driver of the No. 5 Zaxby’s Wauters Motorsports Toyota:
“Martinsville is a really racy track; it is definitely a challenging short track. The best part though, is that it really brings you back to your roots of racing. I grew up racing on the short tracks and it brings back great memories. I’m really looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the truck. The break between Daytona and Martinsville is so long. I know myself and the guys on this Wauters Motorsports team are ready to get on a more consistent schedule.”
Ross Chastain, driver of the No. 92 BTS Tire and Wheel Distributor/National Watermelon Association/Goodyear FleetHQ Ford for Ricky Benton Racing:
“I really enjoy racing at Martinsville. As is with most drivers, it’s what I grew up on. To me, it exploits every aspect of a race. You have to be better than everyone all the way around the track if you want to beat them. Most places you can give up some in certain areas and still be ok. But in my opinion, that’s not valid at Martinsville.”
Tyler Reddick, driver of the No. 19 Broken Bow Records Ford for Brad Keselowski Racing:
“I’m a big Jason Aldean fan, so it means a lot to me to drive that paint scheme this week. We listened to ‘Night Train’ in the shop as we set the car up, so I’m feeling really good about it.” Reddick said. “Ever since Daytona last month I’ve been itching for the opportunity to get back in the BKR Ford F-150,” Reddick said. “The 19 team is strong, and it is a privilege to drive Brad’s truck. This weekend should be another great learning opportunity and I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of the Broken Bow Music Group Ford F-150!”
Ryan Blaney, driver of the No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford for Brad Keselowski Racing:
“I’m more than ready to get back behind the wheel of my Cooper Standard Ford F-150. I had a chance to race Bristol for Team Penske in the Nationwide Series but it’s still been a while since my last race due to the schedule. I feel like I’ve had an opportunity to win at Martinsville the past several trips there, and hope to close the deal this time around,” Blaney said.
Tyler Young, driver of the No. 02 Young’s Building Systems Chevrolet for Young’s Motorsports, on if the short tracks suit him better than the superspeedways:
“Short track racing is my background, what I grew up doing, so yes it’s more my forte compared to Daytona. Daytona was actually my first Truck Series start on a superspeedway. Although I learned a lot, at the end of the day I’m just hammer down on the gas and go. Martinsville is more of a racer’s race track and for that I can’t wait to get there this weekend. You have to stay up on the wheel, be aggressive and race the race track. It’s also one of the few tracks on the schedule I have experience at. Our last time there, I just took my time, tried to learn as much as we could as the race went on, and I did. This year, it’s game on.”
Erik Jones, driver of the No. 51 ToyotaCare Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports on his confidence level going into the Martinsville race:
“I think it’s definitely a lot better this year than it was last year. I was confident last year coming into Martinsville, but I didn’t have any experience in a truck and I knew that. I didn’t have any experience at Martinsville, so it’s always hard come into a new series in a new vehicle at a new track and to do it all in one weekend. I definitely struggled at first and it took me a long time to get used to it. Going back this year with that experience under my belt and being able to work with the same guys is really going to be a big help for me. I feel like we are really prepared for Martinsville. We have a really fast new ToyotaCare Tundra that looks really good and I can’t wait to get there.”
Johnny Sauter, driver of the No. 98 Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff/Curb Records Toyota:
“I grew up in the midwest and short-track racing was always my deal. I love it to this day and actually have some short-track cars of my own. Martinsville reminds me a lot of a track I used to race at (Raceway Park), up in Shakopee, Minn. The first time I came to Martinsville I took to it really well because it’s a unique racetrack where ultimately you have to be real patient but you have to be aggressive.”
Darrell Wallace, Jr., driver of the No. 54 Toyota #1 for Everyone Sales Event Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing:
“I have the same felling, if not a better feeling, as I did heading in to the October race at Martinsville last season. Our season really starts this weekend. We didn’t have the finish we wanted at Daytona, but we’ve regrouped and definitely have confidence on our side as we go back to Martinsville. We’re building brand new Toyota Tundras back at the shop and the team is pumped to get back to the track. We’ve got Toyota back on board this weekend with their #1 for everyone sales event and I plan on putting them back in Victory Lane at Martinsville for a second time in a row.”
Ron Hornaday, driver of the No. 30 Rheem Comfort Products Silverado for Turner Scott Motorsports:
“I’m really looking forward to getting back in the Rheem Comfort Products Chevrolet this weekend in Martinsville. I have to thank Steve Turner and Harry Scott Jr. for giving me the opportunity to go out and race this weekend. The guys at Turner Scott Motorsports have worked hard during the off weeks to prepare me a great Silverado. I really enjoy short-track racing and Martinsville is one of the best short tracks in the world. The new qualifying format at Martinsville should be a lot of fun for us and the fans. I think if we can stay patient and work our way through traffic, we can come home with a great finish.”
Ben Kennedy, driver of the No. 31 ALS Association Silverado for Turner Scott Motorsports:
“After the fourth-place finish we had there last year, Martinsville is a race that I’ve had circled on my calendar since the schedule came out. We had a great run there, and anytime you can go back to somewhere that you have experience, there’s things you’ve learned that you can take with you into the next race. I’m very excited to have the ALS Association on our Chevy Silverado this weekend, and it’s really special to have Annette’s name on the truck. She’s a very good friend of my family and she was diagnosed with ALS four years ago. We want to do everything we can to educate people about the disease and help fund research to find a cure.”
Brandon Jones, driver of the No. 33 Exide Silverado for Turner Scott Motorsports:
“We have been running some tracks that are very similar to Martinsville Speedway the past few weeks in the K&N Series, and we have had some great racecars at those tracks, so hopefully we can carry that over to the truck race. I really just want to thank Steve Turner and Harry Scott, as well as my entire Turner Scott Motorsports team. I think the whole team has a lot of confidence from the way our K&N cars have performed, and I look forward to getting on track this weekend and racing on Saturday.”
Timothy Peters, driver of the No. 17 Parts Plus Toyota for Red Horse Racing on momentum going into the Martinsville race:
“[Racing in] Daytona was so much fun; what a great way to start the season! I was definitely disappointed that we didn’t capture the win, but it left us hungry to get to Victory Lane. The team is working really well together and momentum is high heading into Martinsville as the series points leaders.”
Germán Quiroga, driver of the No. 77 NET10 Wireless Toyota for Red Horse Racing:
“I’m still really excited after our results from Daytona, I think it’s a great start to the season, being eighth in points, but we obviously want to keep fighting for more.”
Brian Ickler, driver of the No. 7 Bullet Liner Toyota for Red Horse Racing:
“I’m really looking forward to going back to Martinsville Speedway. I have a really good team behind me and really good teammate in Timothy Peters, who has obviously run well there in the past. We had the opportunity to go test at Martinsville which was great, and hopefully we’ll finish as well as, if not better, that I did my first time there.”