Cup teams set for final short track race of season; Dodge hoping for encore performance at Martinsville. MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Oct. 16, 2002) - The NASCAR Winston Cup Circuit heads to the .526-mile Martinsville Speedway this weekend for the Old ...
Cup teams set for final short track race of season; Dodge hoping for encore performance at Martinsville.
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (Oct. 16, 2002) - The NASCAR Winston Cup Circuit heads to the .526-mile Martinsville Speedway this weekend for the Old Dominion 500, and Dodge teams will be hard pressed to upstage last week's performance at Lowe's Motor Speedway.
Dodge officially welcomed Roger Penske's two-car team of veteran Rusty Wallace and rookie Ryan Newman to the Intrepid ranks for 2003 last Sunday as rain soaked the 1.5-mile track. After a three-hour rain delay, young Jamie McMurray kept the Dodge ball rolling by winning the UAW-GM Quality 500 in only his second Winston Cup start.
Driving the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T for injured driver Sterling Marlin, McMurray's Miracle gave Dodge its seventh win of the season and the third for the Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates Racing Team.
McMurray, who had never won in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series or NASCAR Busch Grand National Series, will not compete this weekend in the Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville. He has a prior commitment to drive in the Busch Grand National race at Memphis. Ganassi, who picked McMurray to drive a third Dodge out of the Ganassi stables in 2003, has given Mike Bliss the start this weekend in the No. 40 Dodge, the third different driver in the past four races since Marlin's misfortune at Kansas City.
McMurray, a 26-year-old driver from Joplin, Mo., will resume driving duties on Oct. 27 at Atlanta Motor Speedway and complete the season in the No. 40 Coors Light Dodge at Rockingham, Phoenix and Homestead. Competing in only six Winston Cup races this season will allow McMurray to retain his rookie status for the 2003 campaign.
Dale Jarrett is the defending champion of the Old Dominion, while Dodge driver Ward Burton, a Virginia native, finished third last year in the No. 22 Caterpillar Intrepid. Veteran Geoffrey Bodine will sub for Burton's teammate, Kenny Wallace, this week in the final short track race of the season. Wallace, driver of the No. 23 Hills Bros Dodge Intrepid R/T, also had a previous commitment to compete in the Busch race at Memphis.
Bodine will be making his 38th Winston Cup start at Martinsville. The 53-year-old driver has four victories to his credit at NASCAR's shortest bullring..
With five races remaining in 2002, Ford has a commanding 203-185 advantage over Chevrolet in the Winston Cup manufacturers standings. Dodge is third with 153 points, followed by Pontiac with 141.
The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series are idle this weekend, but the Pennzoil World of Outlaws will compete on Saturday and Sunday.
The Outlaws converge on Devil's Bowl Speedway in Mesquite, Texas, on Saturday for the 29th annual Winter Nationals, and action resumes on Sunday night at State Fair Speedway in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Mark Kinser, driver of the Mopar-powered Maxim, continues to hold sixth place in the series standings. He's only 51 points out of fifth with eight races remaining in 2002.
Weekend Motorsports TV, Radio Schedule
* 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, 2002. NASCAR Winston Cup qualifying at Martinsville. MRN Radio.
* 3:05 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, 2002. NASCAR Winston Cup qualifying at Martinsville. Speed-TV.
* 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, 2002. NASCAR Winston Cup Happy Hour at Martinsville. Speed-TV.
* Noon, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2002. Old Dominion 500 pre-race show. NBC-TV and MRN-Radio.
* 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, 2002. Old Dominion 500. NBC-TV and MRN-Radio.