Martinsville II: Series round 21 preview

*Peters, Hensley Head Home As Champions, But Want More *Bodine Goes Pink For A Good Cause At Martinsville *White To Make 100th Start At Martinsville Peters, Hensley Head Home As Defending Champions, But Want More Hometown roots run deep for ...

*Peters, Hensley Head Home As Champions, But Want More
*Bodine Goes Pink For A Good Cause At Martinsville
*White To Make 100th Start At Martinsville

Peters, Hensley Head Home As Defending Champions, But Want More

Hometown roots run deep for defending race winner Timothy Peters (No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota) and crew chief Jeff Hensley -- both Martinsville, Va., natives.

Peters led 84 laps en route to his first NASCAR victory last October, capturing an emotional win in front of the hometown crowd.

"Winning at Martinsville last year was really special for me because it was close to home," said Peters. "To win there was the best moment of my career so far."

Before joining Red Horse Racing during the summer of 2009, Peters had just five top-10 finishes on his resume.

Since then he has accumulated two wins -- including the season opener at Daytona, five top-five and 15 top-10 finishes. Not too shabby considering this is only his second full season in the series.

That's progress his crew chief is more than happy with.

"The biggest difference in Timothy since last year is his confidence level," said Hensley. "His start to last season was a rough one with lots of uncertainty, and after coming to Red Horse Racing, he really learned a lot."

Though last year's victory will always be special, Peters is on a mission to do it again and take home the famed Martinsville grandfather clock trophy, being presented to the winner for the first time in series history this October.

"That is a huge deal," said Peters. "I wish it would have started last fall. I would have it sitting in my living room right now. It should give everybody a little more incentive. I know I want that clock."

Four Females Can Make History At Martinsville

Four female drivers will attempt to make the Kroger 200 this weekend at Martinsville Speedway -- including two sisters making their first NASCAR series start.

If all four make Saturday's race, it will be the first time in NASCAR national series history that four females competed in the same event.

Jennifer Jo Cobb (No. 10 DrivenMale.com Ford F-150) is the veteran leader of the group with 24 career starts in the series.

Twin sisters Angela Cope (No. 01 Odyssey Battery-Koma Dodge) and Amber Cope (No. 6 Odyssey Battery-Koma Dodge) will be making their series debut this weekend and become the first sisters to compete in national series competition.

"This is what we have strived for since we started racing go-carts," said Angela . "We successfully ran go-carts for years across the Northwest, then moved to North Carolina over five years ago with a dream to race stock cars or trucks. We will now get the opportunity to earn the respect of our competitors."

Earlier this season at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis, Johanna Long (No. 20 Panhandle Grading &Paving Toyota) was in the same shoes as the Cope twins qualifying for her first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Billy Ballew Motorsports event where she finished 17th in her series debut.

Since then, Long has made three additional series starts and now competes for her family-owned Panhandle Motorsports.

"It's a privilege to be at a race track," said Long. "I stay humble and keep my nose down, try to learn, and try to get a top 15 every time I hit the track. Consistency is the name of the game right now, as well as taking each day as it comes. Every track is different, and I have to slowly but surely adapt to each one of them. The competition and talent in the Truck Series is amazing. There is nothing like it in the world."

Bodine Goes Pink For A Good Cause At Martinsville

After 41 short track starts and six runner-up finishes, series points leader Todd Bodine (No. 30 Germain.com Toyota) is still searching for his first victory on a track less than a mile. Hard to believe considering he has 21 career wins in the series.

So he is changing things up for a good cause in this weekend's race in Martinsville by going pink.

Bodine will be piloting a pink Toyota Tundra in an effort to raise awareness for Breast Cancer research.

"Promoting Breast Cancer Awareness has been an important mission for Germain Racing since our first season in the Truck Series," said Bodine. "All of the Germain Racing race vehicles will have pink ribbons on them through October in honor of National Breast Cancer Awareness month, but the 30 team is taking it a step further. The Germain.com Tundra is going to be very pink. The truck is going to look great. I can't wait to see it."

White To Make 100th Start At Martinsville

Once Jason White takes the green on Saturday, his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career will hit the 100-start marker. That's the equivalent of four full seasons.

But his topsy-turvy tenure must feel much longer than that.

Over his first 99 starts, White has four top fives and nine top 10s -- all of those coming within the last two seasons.

It took White 59 starts to nab his first top-10 finish. So, in other words, he has nine top 10s in his last 41 starts -- a solid 22% clip.

This 2010 season has been his best. With five races remaining, White has a real shot at finishing the season in the top 10 in points. Currently 11th, White trails 10th-place Justin Lofton by a scant four points.

If the momentum -- in the form of four consecutive top 15s -- continues, White could easily move into the top 10 by the weekend. Over the last four races (which includes a fourth at Kentucky), White has an average finish of 10.8, a Driver Rating of 81.2, an Average Running Position of 13.5 and a Laps in the Top 15 percentage of 81.6.

Plus, he's solid at Martinsville. Though still looking for his first top-10 at the short track, White finished 13th in this race last season.

Another rare note: White will run in his fourth different manufacturer this season -- all of them in the last four races.

Dillon Ready For Another Chance at Martinsville

When the series last raced on the paperclip shaped short track known as Martinsville Speedway, Austin Dillon (No. 3 Bass Pro Shops/ Remington/Tracker Boats Chevrolet) was fresh into his rookie year.

And to say he was schooled during his first outing at the speedway is an understatement -- after starting 19th, Dillon spun out twice during the 250 lap event.

However, since then Dillon has made up a lot of ground, capturing two wins, seven top-five finishes and five poles in the season.

"We've progressed so much as a team since the spring race at Martinsville," said Dillon. "We're heading into the race as the defending series winners, and I think the momentum we have following our Las Vegas win and pole, along with other recent successes, will help us at Martinsville."

Most Popular Driver Award

More than 30,000 votes have been cast for the 2010 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series most popular balloting. Fans can visit www.nascar.com and vote for their favorite driver on the NCWTS page.

Fans also may write-in their favorite driver who is not among the nominees by sending an e-mail to fanfeedback@nascar.com to submit their write-in vote. Voting ends on Nov. 12.

The winner will be announced at the NCWTS postseason banquet. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series awards will again take place in South Florida at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel on Monday, Nov. 22.

NCWTS, Etc.

In the previous 23 races at Martinsville Speedway, 19 different winners have visited Victory Lane. Four races have been won from the pole and only one race has been won from a starting position outside the top 20. Mike Skinner (No. 5 International Trucks-Monaco RV Toyota), Kevin Harvick (No. 2 Efans Chevrolet) and Dennis Setzer (No. 92 FleetHQ-BTS Tire-QMi Chevrolet) are multi-truck winners at the .526-mile oval.

The battle for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owners' championship continues to heat up. Steve Germain, owner of the No. 30 Toyota entry, leads Kyle Busch, owner and driver of the No. 18 Toyota entry, by just 39 points. Busch is scheduled to run the final five races of the season.

Justin Lofton (No. 7 visitpit.com Toyota) will attend the Future Farmers of America (FFA) national convention this week in Indianapolis before traveling to Martinsville. Lofton, a former member of FFA, will sign autographs at the Toyota booth.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck officials will go pink this weekend at Martinsville to show their support for the Susan G. Komen for the Cure movement. The officials will wear pink bracelets and pink ribbon patches to show support for Breast Cancer Awareness.

Current NASCAR K&N West Series Champion Jason Bowles (No. 15 BBM Toyota) will pilot the second Billy Ballew Motorsports entry this weekend. Bowles made his truck series debut at Las Vegas last month and finished 16th.

The University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC) recently dedicated its motorsports lab to Alan Kulwicki. The UNCC Motorsports-Automotive Research Center will support Wes Burton (No. 16 University of North Carolina Motorsports Automotive Research Center Chevrolet) this weekend at Martinsville.

NASCAR announced last Saturday all three national series will use Sunoco Green E-15 fuel beginning in 2011. The Sunoco Green E-15 fuel is a 15 percent ethanol blend using American--made ethanol from corn grown by American farmers.

Kevin Harvick has finished in the top 10 in six of the 10 races he has entered at Martinsville in truck series competition. If he finishes in the top 10 this weekend, he will earn his 50th career top-five in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Ricky Carmichael's (No. 4 Monster Energy Chevrolet) Tallahassee, Fla., home is featured in the November issue of Architectural Digest.

Johanna Long will have some extra help this weekend. Two Girl Scouts from the local Girl Scout Skyline Council of Virginia will be honorary pit crew members on the No. 20 team. All Girl Scouts who attend the Kroger 200 at Martinsville Speedway in their uniform will get in free. Long is a supporter of the "Year of the Girl Scout" campaign and their upcoming cookie sales program

Up Next: Talladega Superspeedway

Talk about shifting gears. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series travels from the short corners of Martinsville to the high banks of Talladega Superspeedway for the Mountain Dew 250 fueled by Fred's on Saturday, Oct. 30.

The race will mark the series' fifth visit to the famed 2.66-mile track. Kyle Busch (No. 18 Z-Line Designs Toyota) is the defending winner. Mark Martin won the series' inaugural race in 2006. Todd Bodine (No. 30 Germain.com Toyota) followed with back-to-back victories in 2007 and 2008.

Fast Facts

The Race: Kroger 200
The Place: Martinsville Speedway (.526-mile oval)

The Date: Saturday, Oct. 23
The Time: 1 p.m. ET

Race Distance: 200 laps/105.2 miles

TV: SPEED, 12:30 p.m. ET
Radio: MRN, SIRIUS NASCAR Radio Channel 128 (Listen Locally on WZBB-FM 99.9.)

2009 Polesitter: Mike Skinner
2009 Winner: Timothy Peters

Schedule (All times ET): Friday:
Practice, 10-11:20 a.m., 1:10-2 p.m. Qualifying, 4:40 p.m.

-source: nascar

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Todd Bodine , Mike Skinner , Kevin Harvick , Dennis Setzer , Jason White , Ricky Carmichael , Timothy Peters , Jason Bowles , Justin Lofton , Jennifer Jo Cobb , Austin Dillon , Angela Cope , Johanna Long , Kyle Busch , Alan Kulwicki
Teams Germain Racing , Red Horse Racing