MARTINSVILLE, VA. (March 28, 2001) -- After three days of testing the hot topic around the infield at Martinsville Speedway was the new garage. The new garage was used for the first time during the three-day test session and the 15 teams...
MARTINSVILLE, VA. (March 28, 2001) -- After three days of testing the hot topic around the infield at Martinsville Speedway was the new garage. The new garage was used for the first time during the three-day test session and the 15 teams testing heaped praise upon the building. "You think you're at a super speedway when you look over at the garage," said Kenny Wallace, driver of the Eel River Pontiac. "It's about the best garage of all the tracks we go to."
The 600-foot long metal garage building is located on the backstretch side of the infield. It is divided into 20 bays that will accommodate the entire starting field. The garage sits atop a concrete pad which extends 60 feet in front of the building. Martinsville Speedway president Clay Campbell made sure the garage was well lighted and had plenty of electrical hookups. And that paid dividends for Andy Houston's McDonalds Ford team Tuesday. Houston smacked the inside wall in a late practice session and his team took advantage of the garage to get the car back to racing form. "We worked on the car until about 8 last night," said Houston. "Without the garage we wouldn't have been able to do that." NEW CREW CHIEF: Rookie driver Kurt Busch found himself listening to a new crew chief on the team radio in testing at Martinsville Speedway this morning. Between the time the team left the track after testing Tuesday and returned this morning, Ben Leslie had been promoted to crew chief for the Roush Racing Taurus Busch drives on the Winston Cup circuit. "We feel Ben's experience with Roush Racing and in Winston Cup racing generally will help advance Kurt and the whole team," said Jack Roush. Leslie gained his experience at Roush Racing by working with several of its teams and drivers, including Mark Martin and most recently as car chief for the 2000 Rookie of the Year Matt Kenseth. "Kurt Busch is a very talented driver and I'm anxious to continue some of the god runs he has had so far this season," Leslie said. BIG QUESTION: Hermie Sadler showed up for both days of testing after announcing he would be running the Virginia 500. Sadler has not had a fulltime ride on either the Busch Grand National or Winston Cup circuits for the past couple of years, but he has put something together for the Virginia 500 and perhaps a couple more races.
He says he will be announcing sponsorship information in the near future, but hasn't divulged just who the sponsor will be. Both of his Chevrolet Monte Carlos were painted primer gray this week with only his name on the sides in big black letters.
RACE INFO: The Virginia 500/Advance Auto Parts 250 weekend kicks off with Bud Pole qualifying for the Craftsman Truck Series at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, April 6 followed by time trials for the Winston Cup Series at 3 p.m. Tickets for qualifying are $15 for adults and children under 12 get in free. Tickets for the Advance Auto Parts 250 Craftsman Truck race are $30 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-12. All seats are unreserved. There still are great seats available for the Virginia 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race for $40-$70 each. To purchase tickets call the speedway ticket office toll free at 877-722-3849 or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.