Ballew Team Improving with Each Martinsville Performance Looks to Build on Sixth-Place Run from Last March MOORESVILLE, N.C. (October 18, 2010) - Aric Almirola and the No. 51 Billy Ballew Motorsports Toyota team wants nothing more than to ...
Ballew Team Improving with Each Martinsville Performance
Looks to Build on Sixth-Place Run from Last March
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (October 18, 2010) - Aric Almirola and the No. 51 Billy Ballew Motorsports Toyota team wants nothing more than to finish the season with another win. The Kroger 200 at the .526-mile Martinsville (Va.) Speedway this weekend is shaping up to be a perfect place for that to happen. Since making his first NCWTS start in 2006, Almirola has only gotten better. He followed up an 18th-place finish in his inaugural run with 16th, 12th and 6th-place finishes respectively. The team recently tested at Ace Speedway and feel confident heading into the weekend.
In seven previous starts at Martinsville, the No. 51 team has achieved three top-10s, with a best finish of fourth-place (Kyle Busch, October 2008).
Almirola is currently second in the NCWTS point standings. He and the team ride a streak of eight consecutive top-10 finishes which began in July at Pocono Raceway.
Almirola Comments on Martinsville Speedway:
"You go to Martinsville expecting a rough race. There's really only a couple of ways to pass other trucks and it usually involves pushing them out of the way or nudging them. It's a short, little race track and there's not much room to get around them, no matter how fast you are. It's not like a Kansas or California-type track, where there are multiple grooves and it's easy to go high or low to make a pass. There's really only one lane at Martinsville and if someone ahead of you is in it, you'll probably need to give them a shove to get by.
"As a driver, it's a tough balance between staying patient and being aggressive at Martinsville. If you get stuck in the middle of the field, you're going to have to be pretty aggressive to get to the front, but you can't get so crazy that you get caught up in a wreck. You've also got to take care of your brakes and not use up too much of your truck early in the race. There's no magic formula. It helps to have a spotter that can keep you calm and focused when you're upset or being careless, or tell you that it's time to go when you need to kick it in high gear.
"Starting off the race with good track position makes all the difference in the world at Martinsville. It's so hard to make up positions on the track. Qualifying is so important. A good starting spot makes race day so much easier. It's a lot easier to stay up front and protect your position than it is to fight your way through the field.
"Martinsville is one of those tracks that I feel like I learn more and more each time I race there. We finished sixth in March. We're building on that performance and coming back with a few changes. Hopefully we'll be a little bit better and can win our third race of the year."