Martinsville: Kyle Petty preview

Petty Always Looks Forward To Martinsville Petty Enterprises Owns 19 Wins at Paperclip Oval This weekend, Kyle Petty and the ...

Petty Always Looks Forward To Martinsville
Petty Enterprises Owns 19 Wins at Paperclip Oval

This weekend, Kyle Petty and the #45 Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil Dodge team will head to the .526-mile Martinsville (Va.) Speedway for Sunday's Goody's Cool Orange 500.

Petty Enterprises came away from round one of the 2007 Car of Tomorrow (COT) schedule for the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series with some positives to focus on. Now it is off to the Martinsville Speedway for round two. Martinsville has always been a successful track for Petty Enterprises. Considering its close proximity to their Randleman, N.C. shop, it is easy to see why they take the racing there seriously. They own 19 wins at the track, the most of any track on which they have fielded a car.

Petty will be making his 791st Nextel Cup start this weekend. It will also mark his 53rd start at Martinsville. Petty owns some impressive statistics at the historic track. He has captured five top-fives, 15 top-tens and one pole. His 15 top-ten finishes in 52 starts means he brings home a top-ten finish in almost one out of every three races there. Petty finished 10th in the 2006 fall event at Martinsville.

Petty is 32nd in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series standings heading into Martinsville.

Comments from Petty as he prepares for Sunday's Goody's Cool Orange 500:

"The Car of Tomorrow is different, but braking at Martinsville will never be. You've got less downforce with these cars. That will be a little bit of an issue. It will be a little bit harder on the brakes, and working the cooling out on the brakes. I think we are all taking an educated guess on brake ducts because of how the air is going to flow around the front of the splitter and around the front of the cars. I think we are all pretty confident that we can get the air there."

"No matter what brake package you use, the brake people continue to make bigger and better brakes. The brake pad people continue to get better and better. Because not only do you think about your brake package at Martinsville, but you think about the brake package at Infineon (Sonoma, Calif.), Watkins Glen (N.Y.) and at Richmond (Va.). They never stop developing them. I don't see brakes being a huge problem. It's still a thirty-four hundred pound racecar. It is still a hundred and ten-inch wheel base racecar. The biggest issues are going to be the downforce, how that affects braking, and whether we have the proper cooling.

"If you can look past the brakes it goes back to the racing on the track. What about passing? I don't think passing is going to be an issue. Everybody talks about this car being wider. It is maybe one-inch narrower than a truck and the trucks put on great races at Martinsville, great races at Bristol, great races everywhere we go. I don't think the width of the new Dodge Avenger is going to make any difference. It is still going to be the same old tough place. If Bristol was any indication of what Martinsville is going to be like, when you look at the qualifying speeds, everyone is running the same speeds. That is why it is going to be tough to pass.

We have had some success at Martinsville. We have passed a lot of cars. Hopefully braking and passing won't be on our mind too much. Getting the Marathon American Spirit Motor Oil Dodge to the front is our real focus."

-credit: pe

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Kyle Petty