Martinsville: Rich Bickle preview

Bickle, FASSCORE Motorsports Ford ready for top Martinsville run. MOORESVILLE, NC (April 7, 2003) - Ask Rich Bickle which NASCAR track is his favorite, and he's quick to tell you Martinsville Speedway is right at the top of the list. Bickle has...

Bickle, FASSCORE Motorsports Ford ready for top Martinsville run.

MOORESVILLE, NC (April 7, 2003) - Ask Rich Bickle which NASCAR track is his favorite, and he's quick to tell you Martinsville Speedway is right at the top of the list. Bickle has had several career highlights at Martinsville, one of NASCAR's most historic venues, including pole positions, a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win, and a personal-best Winston Cup finish. This time around, Bickle returns to Martinsville back in a familiar seat with a new sponsor for the Advance Auto Parts 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event Saturday.

"Some tracks you really click at and Martinsville has always been like that for me," said Bickle, who will pilot the No. 9 FASSCORE Motorsports Ford in Saturday's Martinsville NCTS clash. "Martinsville is all about pace. As a driver, you are always charging, so it's hard sometimes to literally slow down and hit your marks every lap."

Bickle has been on the mark since his first-ever appearance at the .526-mile Virginia oval winning the Bud Pole Position for the 1995 Advance Auto Parts 150 NASCAR All Pro Late Model Stock car race.

The Edgerton, WI native entered the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 1996 behind the wheel of the No. 43 Richard Petty Dodge qualifying third and finishing seventh in the Hanes 250 NCTS Martinsville event that year. Bickle joined forces with Darrell Waltrip's truck team the following season and steered to three NCTS victories - including a Bud Pole and victory in the Hanes 250 at Martinsville.

"Winning the Truck Series race from the pole at Martinsville is still one of my most satisfying moments in racing," said Bickle. "Ernie Irvan had a great truck that day and we had a great race for awhile, but our truck was the class of the field and we got to celebrate."

Bickle also celebrated a top Winston Cup career finish when he rolled to a fourth-place effort in the 1998 NAPA Autocare 400 at Martinsville. That same year, Bickle started third and finished fifth in the NAPA 250 Truck Series race at Martinsville.

Bickle's one NCTS career hiccup at Martinsville came in 1999 when he qualified 12th and finished 36th due to engine problems on Lap 2

"I have always run and finished well at Martinsville," who owns a 4.8 qualifying average and a 12.25 finishing average, including the 1999 last-place effort, in four Martinsville NCTS events. "I've got a ton of laps at Martinsville in Winston Cup and Trucks, and thousands more laps in Late Models at dozens of places like it. The truck we're racing this weekend has proven itself time and again. It kind of like an old friend. It fits me like a glove."

Bickle's Martinsville truck will be fielded by FASSCORE Motorsports and new team owner, Chris Beckington. Beckington is a partner in a highly successful South Florida based Real Estate Company. FASSCORE Motorsports will receive technical assistance from Billy Ballew Motor Sports, Inc., a well-established and respected NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team.

Saturday's Advance Auto Parts 250 at Martinsville Speedway will take the green flag at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The event will be telecast live on The Speed Channel and will be broadcast worldwide on MRN Radio.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Rich Bickle , Darrell Waltrip , Richard Petty