Martinsville Speedway - Martin, Hamlin spotlight

Martin, Hamlin Chasing Kroger 200 Truck Series Win At Martinsville MARTINSVILLE, VA (October 13, 2006) -- The Chase For The NEXTEL Cup will spill over into the Kroger 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway...

Martin, Hamlin Chasing Kroger 200 Truck Series Win At Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, VA (October 13, 2006) -- The Chase For The NEXTEL Cup will spill over into the Kroger 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race at Martinsville Speedway Saturday.

Two chasers, veteran Mark Martin, and Denny Hamlin, the youngster who drives like a veteran, will see double duty at Martinsville next week, racing in the Kroger 200 on Saturday before going back to Chase duties in the SUBWAY 500 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race on Sunday.

Both of the drivers have to be considered among the favorites. Martin has started 10 of the 20 truck series races this year, and has won half of those. He's only the eighth driver to get five truck series wins in a season. Martin also has solid success at Martinsville on the Cup side with a pair of victories.

Hamlin has limited Craftsman Truck Series experience, just five starts in 2004. But he does have tons of laps at Martinsville Speedway. He ran several Late Model Stock races on the tight half-mile and the SUBWAY 500 will mark his third Cup start here. He also raced in the Goody's 250 Busch Series race here in July.

Hamlin will be driving as a teammate to veteran Dennis Setzer in the Morgan-Dollar second entry. The team has enjoyed a great deal of Martinsville success. Setzer has two Martinsville wins for the team while Bobby Labonte picked up a Martinsville win in the spring of 2005 ... in the same truck Hamlin will drive.

The top-10 in the Craftsman Truck Series points race is a who's who of veterans headed into Martinsville. Todd Bodine leads with Johnny Benson 113 points back. He's followed by David Reutimann, Ted Musgrave, Rick Crawford, Ron Hornaday, David Starr, Terry Cook, Setzer and Mike Bliss.

Setzer is the only truck series driver with two career wins at Martinsville. Out of that top 10, only Setzer, Crawford, Starr and Skinner have Martinsville truck victories.

While the Kroger 200 will be full of "oldtimers," there will be a ton of fresh faces, many making their first Martinsville Speedway start.

There will be nine official Raybestos Rookie of the Year candidates in the field, but that doesn't include three drivers making their first Martinsville starts.

Drivers chasing Raybestos Rookie of the Year honors include Erik Darnell, who is leading the rookie chase, Robert Richardson, Chad McCumbee, Kerry Earnhardt, Marcus Ambrose, Bobby East, Boston Reid, Aric Almirola and Erin Crocker

The trio of raw rookies making their first Martinsville start include Mark Day, John Mickel and Bradley Riethmeyer. Each of the three drivers found their own unique way to the series.

Mickel is from England. He has made one series start, but will finish the season with Green Light Racing and run for rookie honors next season.

Day won the Operation Big Chance competition staged by Kevin Harvick Racing and Dollar General Stores. By earning the post points in the Late Model division at the Music City Motorplex in Nashville, Day won the right to drive Harvick's truck in the Kroger 200.

The 22-year-old Riethmeyer won the All-American Driver Challenge to get the opportunity to attempt to make the Kroger 200. The All-American Driver Challenge is a driver developmental program.

Tickets for both the SUBWAY 500 on Sunday, October 22, and the Kroger 200 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race, on Saturday, October 21, are on sale and can be purchased by calling 1.877.RACE.TIX. SUBWAY 500 tickets may also be purchased online at For race information, please visit

Ticket prices for the SUBWAY 500 range from $42 to $77. Tickets for the Kroger 200 are $35 in advance and $40 the day of the event. Kroger 200 tickets for children ages 6 to 12 are $5.

The SUBWAY 500 weekend kicks off on October 20 with time trials for both the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series.

-credit: ms

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Bobby Labonte , Todd Bodine , David Starr , Johnny Benson , Ron Hornaday Jr. , Ted Musgrave , Dennis Setzer , Rick Crawford , Kerry Earnhardt , Mike Bliss , Erin Crocker , Bobby East , Boston Reid , Denny Hamlin , Robert Richardson Jr. , John Mickel , Erik Darnell , Mark Day , Mark Martin