Martinsville: Andy Houston preview

Houston harbors hope for Vokal Ford at Martinsville. MOORESVILLE, NC (April 8, 2003) - As the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series invades one of the circuit's trickiest tracks, Martinsville Speedway, Andy Houston and his VOKAL Clothing sponsored race...

Houston harbors hope for Vokal Ford at Martinsville.

MOORESVILLE, NC (April 8, 2003) - As the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series invades one of the circuit's trickiest tracks, Martinsville Speedway, Andy Houston and his VOKAL Clothing sponsored race team are holding out hope for a fantastic finish that has so far escaped the 33 year-old Hickory, NC native.

"I don't know what it is about Martinsville Speedway but it seems that I always run well there but just don't get the finish that is reflective of how well we ran," Houston said. It is always some little problem that jumps up and denies me a great finish. Hopefully this time we can get a great finish because I really like the racetrack."

Houston and his Billy Ballew Motorsports team are coming off a 12th place finish at Mesa Marin and are sitting just outside the top ten in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points race in 11th place.

"With any luck we could be in the top-five in points," Houston states. "We had a good run going at Darlington but cut a tire down and in the process lost a good finish. Mesa Marin was a decent race for us but we know that we can do a lot better than we showed there. This VOKAL Racing team has not come close to reaching its true potential. I know that sooner or later we will be a factor race in and race out."

Martinsville's unique short track layout provides a demanding challenge for even the most seasoned driver. The speedway's long straightaways and short tight turns put a premium on brakes and a driver's ability to manage them.

"The best way to deal with brakes at Martinsville is to not use them unless you have to," Houston said. "Don't get me wrong you have to use them every lap but if you use them too much you use them up. Sometimes a driver can start to use them as a handling crutch to get the truck to turn. Once that happens you have a tendency to keep your foot on them and that will wear them out. You have to look for a set up combined with a gear ratio that will allow you to stay off the brakes."

Saturday's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway will take the green flag at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The event will be telecast live on The Speed Channel and will be broadcast worldwide on MRN Radio.

-bbm-

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Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Andy Houston