Thursday, March 31, 2011

Martinsville Race Preview

No. 43 Best Buy Ford Fusion
• AJ Allmendinger has made 7 starts at Martinsville Speedway
• Allmendinger enters the weekend in 15th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings
• Allmendinger’s best finish (ninth) at the half-mile track came in the 2009 spring race

Allmendinger on Racing at Martinsville Speedway: “Martinsville has been a decent track for us the past couple of years. I always look forward to short track racing. It’s racing where you have to get a rhythm going. It’s definitely a track that’s fun if you get your car to handle well. If you can get in a good rhythm it makes the laps go by quick. Qualifying is also very important, because it determines our spot on pit road, and pit selection is key at Martinsville.”

Allmendinger’s Thoughts After California: “Overall I think the Best Buy crew and I got a little bit of momentum back after a couple of hard weeks. We’re up to 15th in the points now, so that keeps us within striking distance of the top 10 guys. We need to have a good finish at Martinsville this weekend and gain some more points.”

Crew Chief Mike Shiplett’s Keys to Getting Around Martinsville Speedway: “Martinsville is a true short track. AJ will have to use his brakes sparingly during the first half of the 500-mile event so he has some brakes left at the end of the race. It is very easy to cut a tire at Martinsville since the cars like to bounce off each other. We have to concentrate on being consistent in our Best Buy Ford this weekend and we can’t use the car up early or we won’t have anything left at the end. We’re back in the top 15 in points now, and we’re working on building more consistency in our runs. If we can get that, the points and everything else will all fall into place.”

Shiplett on Pit Road at Martinsville: “It’s one of those places we visit where the hardest challenge is pit road. It’s pretty narrow getting on and off so we’ll have to be careful and make sure we don’t make any mistakes there. Pit road is also very long and the speed limit is only 35 mph, so if you have to pit under the green flag you will lose three laps before you get back out on the track.”

Chassis History: The No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports team has prepared chassis No. 729 for this weekend’s event at Martinsville Speedway. This Best Buy Ford Fusion was run previously this season at Phoenix International Raceway.

Notes: Allmendinger has seven NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Martinsville Speedway and has three top-15 finishes at the .526-mile track. Allmendinger enters Martinsville Speedway in 15th place in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings.

Voting is under way to determine the 2011 NASCAR Wheaties Fuel Most Popular Driver. Vote for your favorite RPM driver at The 10-week playoff format will return, with the top 10 vote-getters competing for top accolades at the season’s end. Fans can vote once a day for their favorite NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver.

Goody’s and BC Powder will hold a press conference with Richard Petty and Trace Adkins in Martinsville Speedway’s media center Sunday, April 3, at 9 a.m. ET. The two men, who have quite a lively rivalry on Facebook and at, will join together for the weekend to support Victory Junction and Adkin’s charity of choice. Adkins will sing the National Anthem on Sunday as well.

Credit - Richard Petty Motorsports PR

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