Testing Key For Success In Bailey's 300 At Martinsville Speedway
MARTINSVILLE, VA (September 26, 2005) - Peyton Sellers knows better than to take anything for granted in racing. That's why he'll be in line Wednesday morning at 6 a.m. to sign in for a day-long test session for the Bailey's 300 at Martinsville Speedway.
Seller's recorded an amazing season in the Late Model Stock Car division, claiming the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Series national championship on the back of a 15-win season.
But he knows all of that won't amount to a hill of beans when it comes to the Bailey's 300 on October 9. Competitors consider the Bailey's the Daytona 500 of their division. It draws the cream of the Late Model crop from several states with roughly 100 entries expected.
"You had better be right when you get there on race weekend," said Seller. "There will be a lot of big names coming in and lot of good cars from this year. You can't afford to be off a tick."
As many as 75 teams will be testing at Martinsville Speedway Wednesday in preparation for the Bailey's 300 on October 9. Cars will be on the track from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with an hour break at noon. The grandstands will open to fans at 8 a.m. with no admission charge.
Teams will get practice time on race weekend, but according to the driver of the Clarence's Steakhouse Chevrolet, with 100 cars expected, that time is limited.
"We have practice Friday and Saturday (of race week), but you've got so many cars out there, you just don't get a lot of time," said Sellers, who started eighth and finished 15th in last year's Bailey's 300 after a late-race altercation cost him several spots.
"I'd say in testing Wednesday we'll get in 100 to 125 laps. Next week we'll be lucky to get in 30 laps before the race.
"This week in testing we'll have a chance to work on the big stuff, springs, shocks, tuning the motor, changing gears, stuff like that. Next week we'll fine tune."
In the past there have been two provisional spots reserved for those drivers ranked high in the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Racing Series who don't make the event through qualifying or heat races. Under that format, as national champion, Sellers would have been guaranteed a spot in the field. Those provisional spots have been eliminated though, which means Sellers has to race his way into the field.
"Without the provisional, it'll put a little pressure on us, but we've made the field every time we've tried in the past," said Sellers, who will be attempting to make his fourth Bailey's 300. The first three times he made the field in qualifying and avoided the heat races.
"I really don't think we'll work that much on qualifying in testing. If you get the car driving good, you're going to qualify good. We're coming with something altogether different from last year, stuff we've learned this year that we think will help at Martinsville."
Qualifying for the Bailey's 300 is scheduled for Saturday, October 8 at 1 p.m. The top 22 positions will be set through qualifying.
The final 20 spots will be determined through four, 25-lap heat races, which will begin at 12:30 on Sunday, October 9. The 200-lap feature will begin at about 3 p.m. on Sunday, October 9.
Tickets for qualifying are $5 apiece while tickets for Bailey's 300 are $20, and may be purchased in advance by calling 877.RACE.TIX, toll free, or by visiting www.racetickets.com. Tickets may also be purchased on the day of the event.
Information about the Bailey's 300 may be found at www.martinsvillespeedway.com