The Martinsville Tradition Huntersville, N.C. (April 9, 2002)-- The Martinsville Speedway (Martinsville, Va.) hosts a race favored and coveted by teams competing in the NASCAR Winston Cup Circuit. The event is not about flash and ostentatious...
The Martinsville Tradition
Huntersville, N.C. (April 9, 2002)-- The Martinsville Speedway (Martinsville, Va.) hosts a race favored and coveted by teams competing in the NASCAR Winston Cup Circuit. The event is not about flash and ostentatious grandeur, but instead it is an event dedicated to and solely about the sport of stock car racing. The race in Martinsville is not about penetrating NASCAR's newest, admired markets, but demonstrating and showcasing where the most-watched racing series in America planted its roots.
No. 29 GM Goodwrench Service Chevrolet Monte Carlo Driver Kevin Harvick, Team Owner Richard Childress, and Members of the Team Comment on 'The Martinsville Tradition':
Richard Childress: "Martinsville is part of the true grit and meaning of what this NASCAR racing is all about. It's a small track. There will be contact between drivers. And not only will the strongest driver prevail - one who is strong in his capabilities but also in his tact - but the strongest car too. It's a great place to combine those two aspects of how races are won."
Kevin Harvick: "I want a clock. You get a big old Grandfather Clock as a gift and trophy for winning. They've been doing it forever. I have some cool trophies - my Busch (Series) Trophy from the Texas race in 2001 was a pair of boots all done up in trophy form- but the clock would just be awesome. That's my goal this Sunday, I want the clock."
Moreover, teams covet Martinsville due to its local. Less than an hours' drive from the Richard Childress Racing (RCR) stable, Kevin Harvick and the some members of the No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet Monte Carlo, will jaunt between their homes in North Carolina and Martinsville, Va.
Mike Moore, Car Chief/ Jackman: "You get the option whether to drive home or stay in Martinsville. My wife and I just had a baby this summer (08/09/01, Zachary), so I'll probably stay home. That's why I like Martinsville, you get options. After being here in Texas an extra day and having a long season the way we do, having that kind of option is a nice break. The more time I can spend with Zachary, the happier I am."
Ron Otto, Rear Tire Changer: "My kids race go-karts up near Martinsville, so I'm used to the hour and a half it takes from where we live in Mooresville (N.C.). But, I'll still probably stay up there. But going to Martinsville gives me an extra night at home since I'll probably wait till Friday morning to go up there. It let's me catch up on laundry and the yard, and that's always a good thing.
Kevin Harvick, Driver: "DeLana (wife) and I will stay at home for a little bit - I think. I actually don't know. We'll go up Friday morning, but since I'm racing the truck race I don't know what we'll do the other nights. We'll figure that out later. DeLana is the logistics person."
Convenience and tradition alone are not the only reasons why the NASCAR events at Martinsville hold special grading to both Harvick and Childress. Harvick caught the eye of Childress during a Truck Series race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, in which Harvick palpably beat and banged on RCR's entry driven by Jay Sauter. Childress wanted someone with an edge for his 2000 ACDelco Busch Series entry. That afternoon, he found the kid for the job.
Richard Childress: "He (Harvick) showed a lot of guts that day. I knew when I started the Busch program that I wanted some one with edge, some bite. Kevin showed it that day. He wasn't afraid in the least bit. He's got that spark in his eye, he had it that day too. When you see that in a driver, you don't let it go."
Kevin Harvick: "I was racing in the (Craftsman) truck series. I made a few moves that he thought were pretty gutsy- mostly I was beating up on his own driver (Jay Sauter). I wasn't shooting for it - I was just racing, you know? But it turned his head in my direction. For that, Martinsville will always be a mile point. I didn't know it for a while, but my life completely changed -for the better- at that race."
-When not toilet-papering motor homes (as seen on the FOX Winston Cup Broadcast April 7, 2002), Kevin Harvick will field his No. 6 NASCAR Truck Series entry in Saturday's event at Martinsville Speedway. Amongst other notable drivers, he will take on Darrel Waltrip, FOX television personality and retired NASCAR Winston Cup Three-time Champion. (To which, Harvick says, "It's on Old-timer.")