Martinsville Ricky Craven Preview

‘BRAKES' NEED TO GO CRAVEN'S WAY AT MARTINSVILLE MARTINSVILLE, Va. - Ricky Craven needs a few good "brakes" as the Winston Cup Series visits Martinsville Speedway Sunday for the NAPA Autocare 500. Craven, driver of the MidWest ...

‘BRAKES' NEED TO GO CRAVEN'S WAY AT MARTINSVILLE

MARTINSVILLE, Va. - Ricky Craven needs a few good "brakes" as the Winston Cup Series visits Martinsville Speedway Sunday for the NAPA Autocare 500. Craven, driver of the MidWest Transit Racing Chevrolet, has endured a string of bad luck recently including transmission failure and an accident not of his making. Brakes may provide Craven the good break he needs. "You must be aggressive and use a lot of brakes to pass here," Craven said. "But you must be careful and not abuse them too early in the race." "Aggressive" will be Craven's mindset during Friday's qualifying as he hopes to duplicate his pole-winning run in the 1996 spring event. In April of this year, the difference between the polesitter and the 36th qualifying position, the last qualifying position without the use of a provisional, was a mere .323 seconds. "You must drive hard into the turns, have the front tires grip the track and accelerate clean out of the corners," Craven said. "You must be careful not to hit the curbing in the corners. It will destroy your lap." A good qualifying lap will accomplish two things: a good starting position for Sunday's race and a better choice of pit stalls. Although Martinsville Speedway can now pit all teams in one lane, pit stall choice is crucial. Several pit stalls are located in the corner which means the driver must turn right as he leaves the pit stall and turn left to avoid the wall – all while avoiding other cars. "Ideally, I would like to pit in the last stall before exiting pit road," Craven said. "It's much more difficult entering and exiting cleanly from the corner pit stalls. There will be enough ‘paint swapping' out on the track and it is to your advantage if you can avoid it on pit road." Avoiding all the accidents at Martinsville, both on and off the racetrack, will take crafty driving from Craven – and some good "brakes."

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Ricky Craven