Martinsville: Casey Atwood preview

Casey Atwood No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepid R/T Martinsville Speedway Virginia 500 1 p.m. (EST) April 14, 2002 500 Laps/263 Miles .526-Mile Paved Speedway What do you have to do to get around Martinsville? "Martinsville can be...

Casey Atwood
No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge Intrepid R/T

Martinsville Speedway
Virginia 500
1 p.m. (EST) April 14, 2002
500 Laps/263 Miles
.526-Mile Paved Speedway

What do you have to do to get around Martinsville?

"Martinsville can be a tough track. We did alright in the Dodge last season. I like short tracks but you've got to be real patient here. You can wear out your breaks going into the corners if you're not careful. It always helps to have been to a track a few times, but I like shorts tracks so the Sirius Dodge should be good."

You've said that you're favorite style of track is the short track. Why is that?

"I feel more comfortable running at short tracks. It wasn't too long ago that I was running them every week. I haven't entirely mastered the intermediate-style tracks like Texas and Atlanta, so I just feel more comfortable at a short track. We ran pretty good at Bristol this season and we're looking forward to getting the Sirius Dodge on the track in Martinsville."

Will Martinsville be a test for the one-engine rule?

"It could be. We turn a lot more RPM there than we do anywhere else. But you're only at a high RPM for a second and then you gotta let off, so it should be ok there." What is the most important thing to surviving Martinsville? "Everyone always told me, 'Save the brakes. Save the brakes.' You gotta have brakes at the end and if you're not easy on them early in the race, you won't have any at the end. You just gotta know how to use the brakes wisely."

STATS & FACTS

* Because Martinsville stopped hosting Busch Grand National Series races in 1994, Atwood has visited the paper-clip shaped oval three times in his career.

* Atwood ran the 1999 Winston Cup NAPA Autocare 500 with team owner Ray Evernham as crew chief. In his Martinsville debut, Atwood's second Winston Cup Series race, he started 22nd and finished 25th.

* During the spring race in 2001, he earned top rookie qualifying honors, starting 14th and finishing 26th.

* During his last visit to Martinsville (October 2001) Atwood started 41st and finished 25th.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Casey Atwood , Ray Evernham