Martinsville: Ballew Motorsports preview

Martinsville, Virginia (March 26, 2008) -Billy Ballew Motorsports looks to have an All-Star Showdown this weekend as the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams head to the Martinsville Speedway for the running of the fourth race of the 25 race season...

Martinsville, Virginia (March 26, 2008) -Billy Ballew Motorsports looks to have an All-Star Showdown this weekend as the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams head to the Martinsville Speedway for the running of the fourth race of the 25 race season on Saturday, March 29th.

Ballew will not only field NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series and Sprint Cup Series Championship Points Leader Kyle Busch in the No. 51 truck in Saturday's Kroger 250 but he will also put Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Denny Hamlin in the No. 15 Toyota Tundra. Miccosukee Resorts will be the major primary sponsor on both Billy Ballew Motorsports entries.

"I'd like to thank James Finch and Miccosukee Resorts for coming on board to support both the No. 51 and the No. 15 Tundra's this week in Martinsville," Team owner, Ballew said. "They have been a huge supporter of what we are trying to do and it is greatly appreciated. I hope we can bring home a decent finish if not a win for them Saturday."

Billy Ballew Motorsports has 15 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts between the No. 51 and No. 15 trucks at the Martinsville Speedway. The team has posted two top-five finishes (Kyle Busch 2005, Rich Bickle 1998) and four top-ten finishes at the .526-mile paperclip shaped short track in Martinsville, VA.

Hamlin has eight starts at the track in his native state of Virginia including five starts in the Sprint Cup Series racking up one pole in the spring 2007 race, two top-5 finishes and four top-10 finishes. Hamlin also has one Nationwide Series start posting one top-5 and top-10 finish.

This will be Hamlin's third start in the Craftsman Truck Series. In his first, he posted an eighth place finish in 2006. In his first start for Billy Ballew Motorsports in the fall 2007 race, a blown tire while racing three-wide forced him into traffic after having to pit. Martinsville is notorious for accidents on the track and Hamlin moving through the pack was the victim of one of them. After running upfront all day and working his way back through the traffic Hamlin looked to bring home a solid top-15 finish when aggressive driving again took its toll again catching Hamlin off turn-four headed for the checkered flag sending him home with a disappointing 19th place finish.

"We took tires on our stop losing position early on," Hamlin said. "Then we had to give up the track position after being blowing a left rear tire in three-wide racing. I had to use up a lot of the truck to move back up front. I just wished we could have had a better finish for Billy Ballew Motorsports."

"I think running in the truck race is always valuable for us in the Cup race on Sunday. The new Cup car and the Craftsman trucks are very similar in the draft. On the competition side, it will be valuable for both Kyle and me as we can learn a lot on pit strategy and the draft with a vehicle that doesn't turn real well like the trucks because of its long wheel base. It should be a lot of fun mixing it up out there and I hope to walk away with a solid finish and valuable information for Sunday."

"I am very excited about running the truck race this week in Martinsville. I normally run at least one a year and this year I'll drive for Billy Ballew at both the spring and fall races. This team's equipment is second to none as you can see by Kyle's two wins already for them this season. I'm looking forward to bringing home a better finish this year than we did last fall. Kyle and I are friends on and off the track and we've already started trash talking about the race. Hopefully we'll be able to race around each other out there and bring home a truck series victory for Billy Ballew."

-credit: bbm

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Rich Bickle , Denny Hamlin , Kyle Busch
Teams Joe Gibbs Racing