MARTINSVILLE, VA. (Oct. 8, 2003) -- Kyle Petty's been lapping Martinsville Speedway's oval for more years than he'd probably like to remember. But he was back at Winston Cup racing's oldest track again this week, turning lap after lap in...
MARTINSVILLE, VA. (Oct. 8, 2003) -- Kyle Petty's been lapping Martinsville Speedway's oval for more years than he'd probably like to remember. But he was back at Winston Cup racing's oldest track again this week, turning lap after lap in preparation for the SUBWAY 500 and beyond.
"We've been working on two things here yesterday and today," Petty said late Wednesday afternoon as he and his Georgia Pacific team worked on the primer-gray Dodge.
"Obviously we're getting ready for next week, but there's more than that. Actually that takes a back seat at times. There is a lot of stuff under the car that we can work on to get us ready for next year and not just for here ... for tracks like Atlanta and other big tracks, too."
The Martinsville-Atlanta comparison isn't about configuration or track length. It's about stamina and toughness under the car.
"We've only got so many tests so we've got to use every one for as much as we can," said Petty. "We know if a car's going to take a beating, it's going to take one here. This track is probably the toughest on parts and pieces. The stress on the shocks and springs and lower control arms is tougher than anyplace else. We gather and run the numbers here and that pretty well tells us if parts are going to take the beating at a place like Atlanta."
Petty and his crew didn't spend all of their time working on next year, though. The better portion of their efforts were directed toward the SUBWAY 500 on October 19.
"I think we've got a good car for next week, but a lot depends on the engine," said Petty. "This has always been an engine track, a horsepower track. I feel confident about our car. I just hope to come back with a little more engine."
As Wednesday's session wound down and other teams began to pack up, Petty kept grinding away, rolling up the laps.
"I don't even want to know how many laps I've run (the past two days). I'm just going to run it until I run out of stuff to do to it," said Petty.
Wednesday marked the final day of testing before the October 19th SUBWAY 500. Joining Petty in the test session were Matt Kenseth, Kurt Busch, Jason Leffler, Scott Wimmer, subbing for Ward Burton and Larry Foyt.
The SUBWAY 500 weekend at Martinsville Speedway begins with MW Windows Pole Day on Friday, October 17. NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series qualifying for the Advance Auto Parts 200 is set for 1:30 p.m. on Friday. The Winston Cup cars going under the clock at 3:05 p.m. the same day.
The Advance Auto Parts 200 starts at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday, October 18 and the SUBWAY 500 at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 19.
Good tickets remain for all events and may be ordered toll free at 877-RACE-TIX, 276-956-3151 or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com. The Martinsville Speedway ticket office is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.