STUART, Va. (September 26, 2000) -- Martinsville is the shortest track on the Winston Cup Series at .526 of a mile. The short track is notorious for passing tactics known to the average street driver as the "bump and run". Martinsville is not only...
STUART, Va. (September 26, 2000) -- Martinsville is the shortest track on the Winston Cup Series at .526 of a mile. The short track is notorious for passing tactics known to the average street driver as the "bump and run". Martinsville is not only short, it's also flat and the speeds are lower than anywhere else on the circuit. The average lap around Martinsville exceeds Virginia Interstate speed limits by about 15 miles per hour, but that doesn't make it less exciting for the fans.
Virginia native Elliott Sadler has been racing at Martinsville since his days of late model stock. Although he has yet to enjoy a strong run in Winston Cup at the short, demanding track he enjoys the visit to the hills of Virginia twice a year.
"It's exciting to race in Martinsville because we race door to door all day," remarked Sadler. "Just because our speeds aren't up to 200 miles per hour like some of the other tracks fans may believe it's easier on the drivers. We only get a chance to catch our breath under caution. Imagine racing down a drag strip wide open and then trying to turn left. That's what we have to endure for 500 laps."
Eddie Wood, co-owner of the CITGO Ford agrees the track is as demanding on the drivers as any track on the Winston Cup schedule. Wood says the key to success at Martinsville is handling and conserving the brakes.
According to Wood, "It would be easy for a driver to over-drive the car and wear the brakes out. He may be a hero for the first 100 laps but the only lap that pays the money is the last lap. We struggled here in the spring and we believe we'll be much more competitive this weekend.
"We're going to race the same car that we ran in Richmond. The car was completely rebuilt after the accident and we're optimistic this weekend will be a good one. Elliott raced well here in his late model days and our plan this weekend is to make him comfortable in the car. If he's comfortable then the results will be good."
1950is Paint Scheme: Elliott Sadleris CITGO Ford will sport the same paint scheme Glen Wood drove in the 1950's this weekend. The retro look marks the fourth of five historical paint schemes for the Wood Brothers during the 2000 season.