Martinsville Speedway - Earnhardt Jr spotlight

Earnhardt Ready For Another Strong Martinsville Run MARTINSVILLE, VA (April 4, 2005) - Dale Earnhardt Jr. has gained fame with his superspeedway prowess, but don't count him out at the shorter tracks * especially the shortest track on the NASCAR...

Earnhardt Ready For Another Strong Martinsville Run

MARTINSVILLE, VA (April 4, 2005) - Dale Earnhardt Jr. has gained fame with his superspeedway prowess, but don't count him out at the shorter tracks * especially the shortest track on the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup circuit.

Despite a slow start in 2005, Earnhardt heads into Sunday's Advance Auto parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway as one of the drivers to watch.

He has five top-five finishes in the last six races at Martinsville and has led 452 laps during that stretch. He was headed toward another top-five run last fall at Martinsville when he was slowed by a faulty rear-end gear.

"Short track racing is like walking through a minefield. You have to watch every move and be completely aware of what's going on around you," said Earnhardt. "If you give the guy in front of you some room, you'll get booted from behind. You can get bit by a lot of things you didn't have anything to do with starting. We've been good here the last few years, but I want to improve that string of top-five finishes and get a win at this place."

With his success over the past three years at Martinsville and a successful test session last week, Earnhardt has a pretty good idea what it takes to get around the .526-mile oval.

"You have a few choices to make: you can choose to run fast through the middle of the corner and then not get as strong an exit off the turns or you can choose to hustle it into the turns, slow up in the middle and then try to get a straight run off the corners," said Earnhardt, who is coming off a fourth-place finish at Bristol Sunday.

"I like to think it's better on a long run to work on making the car turn in the middle, but you risk having guys trying to be aggressive and dive-bomb you going into the corners."

With his fourth-place run at Bristol, Earnhardt moved to 17th in the NEXTEL Cup points standing, improving nine spots. He now is less than 100 points out of seventh.

Last year Earnhardt scored more points on short tracks than any other driver for the third consecutive year, posting two victories and four top-10s. He has top-5 finishes in five of his last six short-track races. He also as nine top-10s in his last 12 events at venues less than a mile in length.

Tickets for both the Advance Auto Parts 500 on Sunday, April 10, and the Kroger 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, on Saturday, April 9, may be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Tickets for both events also may be purchased online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.

Tickets for Jackson Hewitt Pole Day on April 8 are $15 and will be on sale the day of the event.

Ticket prices for the Advance Auto Parts 500 range from $40 to $75. Tickets for the Kroger 250 are $35. Tickets for children ages 6 to 12 are $5.

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr.