Roush Racing Drivers on Martinsville resurfacing Week of October 24, 2004 TOPIC: NASCAR returns to Martinsville, Virginia for the Subway 500 on October 24. Since the NEXTEL Cup's last visit to the track in April, the track surface has undergone...
Roush Racing Drivers on Martinsville resurfacing
Week of October 24, 2004
TOPIC: NASCAR returns to Martinsville, Virginia for the Subway 500 on October 24. Since the NEXTEL Cup's last visit to the track in April, the track surface has undergone significant renovation with new, smoother concrete in the corners and a fresh layer of asphalt on the straights.
We asked Roush Racing's drivers to share their thoughts on the new surface:
Mark Martin, No. 6 Viagra (Sildenafil Citrate) Ford Taurus:
"I'm really excited about it. The track was very rough before and I'm sure it will make it better for racing."
Matt Kenseth, No. 17 DEWALT Ford Taurus (tested the new surface on October 12):
"It's just like it was before they ground it. It's a little bit smoother, but it's just like Martinsville used to be before they ground the bottom groove. The fast way around is the bottom. You're going to see a race like you saw there a couple years ago, which I thought was OK. I mean, the bottom is the way to go and it's going to be very difficult to pass on the outside, but I still think a better handling car is going to be able to pass. Before you could run side-by-side, but you couldn't pass."
Kurt Busch, No. 97 IRWIN Industrial Tools Ford Taurus (tested the new surface on October 5-6):
"With this surface it's a whole new look and a whole new feel at Martinsville. I think the track record is like a 19.8 in qualifying and we were within three-tenths of that right off the bat. The track surface is definitely better. It still has its little quirks to it as far as Martinsville is concerned.
"They didn't bring the concrete out on corner entry. They brought it out on exit, which will probably enable cars to cut underneath somebody and try to go two-wide down the straightaway - try to get a run out of the corner. And then on corner entry, you're still going to have to finesse the car into the corner because you're going from asphalt to concrete and that might provide for some great racing. One thing I saw right away is that the surface is abrasive and it's creating a lot of marbles just outside the groove. They even had to blow it for us during the lunch break, so when you have cars running side by side, they do generally clean the track better for the cars and that will be something to watch and something to keep track of throughout the race. If the track surface is clear, people will be up there racing side by side.
Jon Wood, No. 50 Roush Racing Ford F-150:
"I think it will be the same old Martinsville mostly. The speeds will be faster and the track has more grip from what I've heard, but the shape of the track and the banking hasn't changed, and that's what makes Martinsville unique."