Compton Martinsville II preview

Old Dominion 500 Like A Trip Home For Compton MARTINSVILLE, VA (Sept. 17, 2001) -- Martinsville Speedway has always been like home for Stacy Compton. But it will have to feel even more comfortable for the Dodge driver when he rolls into town for...

Old Dominion 500 Like A Trip Home For Compton

MARTINSVILLE, VA (Sept. 17, 2001) -- Martinsville Speedway has always been like home for Stacy Compton. But it will have to feel even more comfortable for the Dodge driver when he rolls into town for the Old Dominion 500.

It's been an up and down year for Compton and there's nothing like a trip home to cure the blues.

"For some reason we always run good there," said Compton. "It's one of my favorite places to come and that usually helps you run good."

Compton and his Melling Racing Kodiak Dodge team could use a good run right now. He has enjoyed some solid success this season. He's excelled on qualifying day. He's had some fair success on race day.

But there have been bad days, too. He's failed to make two races this season and midway through the year Kodiak announced it would not be returning next season.

With sponsorship up in the air, team owner Mark Melling has told Compton he's free to search for another job for next season, but despite all the outside annoyances, Compton has remained focused.

"Right now we're trying to find a sponsor and trying to do the best job we can do for Kodiak," said the Hurt, Va. driver. "Those guys came with us for two years. The bottom line is we have to go out and perform every week and it doesn't make any difference where we are or what's going on.

"Even if you're looking for a sponsor or you're rock solid for the next three years with a sponsor, you're still trying to go out and win races. You qualify the best you can and finish the best you can."

If Compton is looking for a place that can help smooth over some of the season's rough spots, Martinsville is it.

"It's home to us. I get to sleep in my own bed," said Compton, who grew up about an hour east of Martinsville Speedway and still lives in his hometown of Hurt. "I feel like Martinsville's what got me where I'm at right now. I've always run good there. I ran there good in the Late Models. I ran good in the trucks there and I ran pretty decent in the Cup car there in the spring."

It was at the picturesque but difficult .526-mile oval where Compton got the first inkling he might have a future in Winston Cup race.

In 1996 he mortgaged about everything he owned and attempted to make the Virginia 500. He was straight out of the Late Model ranks, but put his under-financed car into the top 10 for that Virginia 500, out-qualifying many of the best in the business. That performance caught the attention of a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team and a year later he was winning races in that division. And a couple of years after that, he broke into the big time.

Compton's experience at Martinsville always gives him a little extra boost of confidence when he heads to the historic track. And he knows that certainly can't hurt, especially this time around.

"We feel like when we go to Martinsville, a place we've run well in the past, it helps our confidence," said Compton. "It's one of those places we think we have to come to and have a good run."

The NASCAR Winston Cup Series will run the Old Dominion 500 on Sunday, October 14 at 12:30 p.m. On Saturday, October 13, the NASCAR Featherlite Modified Series will run the Advance Auto Parts 200 beginning at 2:45 p.m. Tickets for the Advance Auto Parts 200 are $30 each and children ages 6-12 get in for $5. All seats are unreserved.

Great reserved seats are available in the towers for $40-$65. Tickets can be ordered by calling the speedway ticket office toll free at 1-877-722-3849 or (540) 956-3151. Tickets also can be ordered online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.

-MS-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Stacy Compton