Rusty Wallace''s Martinsville Qualifying Record Could Fall

Martinsville, VA---Martinsville Speedway's Winston Cup track qualifying record could be broken for the second consecutive year in time trials for the Goody's Body Pain 500. Rusty Wallace's fastest time in Tuesday's Martinsville...

Martinsville, VA---Martinsville Speedway's Winston Cup track qualifying record could be broken for the second consecutive year in time trials for the Goody's Body Pain 500. Rusty Wallace's fastest time in Tuesday's Martinsville test session for the Goody's Body Pain 500 on Sunday, April 9 was 19.93 seconds, 95.013 miles per hour. Jerry Nadeau ran a 19.96 seconds lap, 94.870 miles per hour lap during testing. The qualifying record was set one year ago by Tony Stewart at 19.875 seconds, 95.275. Wallace was pretty happy with his time that was just a few hundreds of a second off the record. "Our time would have put me second in the first event last year and third in the second event a year ago," Wallace said. "But it is a new tire. The tire may be better than we know. So we are going to do a couple more qualifying runs in the morning and spend the rest of the day on just race runs. Goodyear held a tire test the first week in March at Martinsville Speedway and developing a new tire for the Goody's Body Pain 500. Wallace running well could be bad news for the competition since he won five of the seven Winston Cup races at Martinsville from the spring of 1993 to the spring of 1996. Wallace said he came to test trying to regain that dominance. "That's why we are here at Martinsville testing right now. Short tracks have always been really, really good for me, but I have slipped the last couple of years. I need to get my edge back," he said. "I went to practice at Bristol a couple of weeks ago and I feel like I am in real good shape. Now, I'm here at Martinsville testing and in two more weeks I'll be at Richmond testing. So I am trying to get my edge back at all the tracks I've done so good at and get some more victories." Wallace owned the competition during that mid-1990s streak with only Ernie Irvan and Dale Earnhardt keeping him out of victory lane. "I want to get back to owning it too. I like it a lot. And like I said, we have done three or four things here this morning that were better than what I've had in the past," he said. "Goodyear has a brand new tire for here that is a little bit different. You have to make the chassis different. We have a new 2000 Ford Taurus, different aerodynamics, new tires and we have to adjust to all that. The days of bringing your old setup back and saying it's going to work hasn't been working. We have to adjust to the new stuff." Wallace feels good about his chances when he returns for the Goody's Body Pain 500. "I feel really good about my chances here, I really do," he said. "My goal today here at Martinsville is to get a bunch of qualifying runs in. Get the car running fast and get it comfortable for qualifying. Then when I come back tomorrow just do race runs all day long and make sure that thing is going to hang in there. We might even do 75 lap runs." Wallace said it's easy to explain why he loves short track racing so much. "I grew up on them. I know what you've got to have here at Martinsville to win. You just have to work like heck to get the car to do like you want it to do." Jeremy Mayfield also tested on Tuesday, but worked solely on race setup. The three drivers will be joined by Elliott Sadler on Wednesday at Martinsville. Great seats still are available for the Goody's Body Pain 500 in the Old Dominion, Clay Earles and Bill France Towers and in the concrete bleacher sections. Tickets for the Goody's Body Pain 500 are $40-$70. For tickets, call the speedway ticket office toll-free at 877-RACE-TIX or at 540 956-3151. The Goody's Body Pain 500/NAPA 250 weekend kicks off on Friday, April 7 with Bud Pole qualifying for the NAPA 250 at 1:40 p.m. followed by Bud Pole time trials for the top 25 Winston Cup starting positions at 3 p.m. Tickets for Bud Pole day are $15 for adults and children under 12 get in free with a paying adult. The NAPA 250 Craftsman Truck Series race starts at 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 8. Adult tickets are $30 and children ages 6-12 can attend for $5. The Goody's Body Pain 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race starts at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 9. For more information on Martinsville Speedway, go to www.martinsvillespeedway.com.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Ernie Irvan , Jeremy Mayfield , Tony Stewart , Rusty Wallace , Jerry Nadeau