NOTES: * This Week's Race Car at Martinsville Speedway is Chassis No. 100. It has run at almost every short track on the NASCAR Cup schedule, including Bristol, Richmond, Dover, Martinsville, Loudon and Rockingham. The chassis was...
* This Week's Race Car at Martinsville Speedway is Chassis No. 100. It has run at almost every short track on the NASCAR Cup schedule, including Bristol, Richmond, Dover, Martinsville, Loudon and Rockingham. The chassis was first run as the No. 29 Chevrolet at Bristol Motor Speedway in August 2002 when Kevin Harvick posted his second-best NASCAR Cup finish on the short track, finishing fourth after starting 23rd. In February, the car was having a strong run as the No. 31 Cingular Chevrolet at Rockingham before getting caught up in a wreck toward the latter part of the race (started 34th, finished 36th). This will be the chassis' second visit to Martinsville this year, having run there in April, as well (started 21st, finished 30th).
* Martin in Martinsville, too ... Gil Martin will be teaming up with the No. 31 Cingular Wireless racing team again this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Martin came on board with Team Cingular last week to work as a co-crew chief with Gordon's current crew chief, Chris Andrews. Martin has spent the majority of 2004 working with the No. 29 GM Goodwrench team and serving as crew chief of RCR's special teams programs. Martin is one of a select few crew chiefs to win in NASCAR's Cup, Busch and Truck Series. He and Gordon are no strangers, having worked together in 2001 and 2002 when Gordon first joined RCR, the duo scored their first NASCAR Cup Series win together at New Hampshire International Speedway in November 2001.
* Check it out ... The Subway 500 NASCAR Cup race is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday, Oct. 24, and will broadcast LIVE on NBC, MRN and XM Radio. Qualifying for the Subway 500 is scheduled to start at 3:10 p.m. EDT Friday, Oct. 24, and will broadcast LIVE on SPEED, MRN and XM Radio.
Team Cingular Quotes:
R. Gordon on racing at Martinsville Speedway:
"It's tight racing at Martinsville it can really take on the look of a junkyard when we go there. It kind of took on that appearance when we raced there around this time last year. Your luck can change at the drop of a hat. One minute you can be running up front and smell a victory, and then the next thing you know cars are colliding in front of you and if you look at Martinsville, there's not a lot of room to run away from trouble once you encounter it. I know I was strong there in October last year, but the day came to an abrupt halt when some cars got together right in front of me. There was nowhere for me to go, resulting in a severely smashed nose on the Cingular Chevy. After all of that, I was still able to finish. It just wasn't the way, or where, I had hoped to end the day.
"Earlier this year, we banged fenders early on and cut down a tire. At first, we didn't know the cut tire tore up the sway bar assembly. Unfortunately, we lost several laps on the track by the time Chris (Andrews) and the guys got it fixed, but after that we were turning in lap times as fast as, if not faster than, the leaders.
"That whole early incident was tough because we had solid practices leading up to the race. Right off the truck, we were in the top 10 and I qualified just outside the top 20 later in the day. I think our final practice looked a lot like this past weekend's happy hour at Lowe's, because we had one of the top-10 lap times on the chart by the time it was over. We're taking the same car back to Martinsville, too. The way we struggled during the race there in the spring was no indication of how good the Cingular Chevy was all weekend. We had a little hiccup during qualifying, but other than that, we had one of the fastest cars at Martinsville and plan to find the same speed this weekend. Chassis 100 is a great short-track car. It just hasn't had the best luck this year, because two of the times we've ran it, we've gotten caught up in an incident that has crippled us for the remainder of the race. It happened to us at Rockingham and Martinsville."