Â· GETTING AROUND THIS FLAT TRACK Mike Cope, driver of the No. 86 RC Dodge in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series visits a familiar track this weekend when the trucks unload at Martinsville Speedway. Cope, the two-time NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro ...
· GETTING AROUND THIS FLAT TRACK
Mike Cope, driver of the No. 86 RC Dodge in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series visits a familiar track this weekend when the trucks unload at Martinsville Speedway. Cope, the two-time NASCAR Slim Jim All Pro champion competed in four All Pro events at the half-mile oval and tested a Busch car here in 1998. "I love this track," said Cope. "Short track racing is where I cut my teeth and I am anxious to get in the truck on Friday for the first practice." Team RC tested at Greenville-Pickens Speedway on Tuesday to prepare for Saturday's race.
· TWO DRAGSTRIPS WITH FOUR CORNERS
Martinsville's .526-mile configuration presents somewhat of a challenge for both driver and machine. "It (the track) is tough on brakes," said crew chief Bryan Berry. "The key to getting around this place is rolling through the middle. If we can get the truck free off the corners with a loose setup, Mike should have a good chance at a win on Saturday." Many competitors compare the short track to two dragstrips (800-foot frontstretch/backstretch) with corners.
· RACING IN MY BACKYARD
Impact Motorsports team manager Cal Lawson travels back home this weekend for the NAPA 250 truck race at Martinsville Speedway. Lawson, a native of neighboring Bassett, Virginia, has been involved in NASCAR racing since the late 1980's. He was the team manager for Alan Kulwicki, when the No. 7 Hooter's Ford captured the Winston Cup championship in 1992 and has been with Impact Motorsports since the end of the 1996 NCTS season. Among other duties the 41 year-old is the spotter for Mike Cope and the No. 86 RC Dodge in the truck series. "It sends chills up my spine to race here," said Lawson. "This is my home track."