Goody's Body Pain 500 Friday Notebook By Dave Rodman MARTINSVILLE, Va. (April 16, 1999) Notes and quotes Friday following Bud Pole Award Qualifying for Sunday's Goody's Body Pain 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Martinsville ...
Goody's Body Pain 500 Friday Notebook By Dave Rodman
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (April 16, 1999) Notes and quotes Friday following Bud Pole Award Qualifying for Sunday's Goody's Body Pain 500 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway:
Three-time NASCAR Winston Cup champion Darrell Waltrip on Saturday morning at Martinsville will unveil a new look for his No. 66 Big Kmart Ford - designed to reflect the retailer's exclusive line of "Route 66" apparel. The event will also introduce the Route 66 television commercial campaign that is scheduled to debut nationally on Sunday - but not on a race broadcast.
Waltrip is particularly excited because the series of commercials - the first of which will be shown Sunday evening -- takes him outside his normal race track milieu and makes him a "straight-up" product spokesman.
Tony Stewart, who was moaning and groaning before his arrival at Martinsville, should be pretty pumped about starting from the Bud Pole. NASCAR Winston Cup races at Martinsville have been won from the pole on 14 occasions, more than from any other starting position. Forty-seven of the 90 race winners at Martinsville, or 52 percent, have started from one of the top-four positions.
As much as testing apparently helped Stewart, it did much the same for Jerry Nadeau, who qualified fourth in the Cartoon Network Ford, at 95.113 mph. "I'm happy for the guys," said Nadeau, realizing where his bread's buttered. "The guys did an awesome job. A top-five run for us - that's an awesome run. I' ve always struggled here in the past. We know we've got a good car, and I think it's actually a better race car than a qualifying car, so I'm pretty happy to be starting in the top-five."
Jeff Burton was pumped before he came to Martinsville, and qualifying third in the No. 99 Exide Batteries Ford didn't change the feelings of the South Boston, Va., native any.
"It's good that we have these short tracks on the schedule," Burton said. "I wouldn't want to compete on just 1.5-mile tracks. Of course Bristol and Martinsville are very different -- especially because of the brakes. Bristol is so banked that the brakes aren't an issue and the track is faster. At Martinsville, you have to fight from wearing out the brakes, or more specifically the brake pads, because it's a much flatter track. Both tracks are tough because the potential for the wreck that takes out a lot of cars is always there. We got through Bristol with a fifth place that we really needed and now I'm looking for a good finish this weekend. We run well there and I've had some big wins during my career at Martinsville. It's also close to home so that makes it exciting too."
The opening round of the True Value International Race of Champions series, won by NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Dale Earnhardt at Daytona International Speedway during Speedweeks in February, will be televised by ESPN on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. EDT, following its broadcast of the Goody's 500 from Martinsville.
Bob Jenkins, the primary commentator of ESPN's award-winning auto racing coverage, serves as host. Joining Jenkins with expert commentary are former IROC race winners Benny Parsons and Darrell Waltrip, along with Dr. Jerry Punch reporting from the pits. This is the 19th appearance for IROC at the famous 2.5-mile, high-banked oval. Providing in-car camera shots will be NASCAR Winston Cup champion Jeff Gordon, defending IROC champion Mark Martin and former NASCAR Winston Cup champion Rusty Wallace.
Source: NASCAR Online