Patience is the key at Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, VA (March 29, 2001) -- Randy Tolsma is a pretty quiet, patient guy and he figures that can't hurt him in the Advance Auto Parts 250 at Martinsville Speedway. Well, at least the patient part is important headed into the...

MARTINSVILLE, VA (March 29, 2001) -- Randy Tolsma is a pretty quiet, patient guy and he figures that can't hurt him in the Advance Auto Parts 250 at Martinsville Speedway.

Well, at least the patient part is important headed into the April 7th running of the Advance Auto Parts 250 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race.

"It's a patience race track," said Tolsma, who has a couple of top-five finishes to his credit at Martinsville Speedway in his four starts here.

"You have to work on somebody, work on somebody, work on somebody. You can't get in a hurry."

Tolsma said his first trip to the tight .526-mile oval proved to him patience was important. A look at the list of Martinsville truck winners proves the same point. There have been six Craftsman Truck Series races at Martinsville. Five have been won by the over-40 crowd and a couple of winners have been members of the 50-something club.

"Martinsville really plays into veterans hands because you have to be so patient," said Tolsma, who will be driving the Team Rensi Chevrolet. "You gotta battle some great veterans like Bobby Hamilton and Ted Musgrave, veterans who have a lot of laps on that track."

Musgrave is certainly atop everybody's list of favorites. He's won two out of the three truck races this season and has a couple top-five Winston Cup finishes at Martinsville.

And Hamilton isn't far behind. He's the defending Advance Auto Parts 250 champion and also has a Winston Cup win at Martinsville. Joe Ruttman, another former Martinsville winner who won the truck season-opener at Daytona International Speedway last month, is also a favorite anytime the series visits a short track.

Hamilton led 179 laps a year ago after starting second, but it was not an easy win. The lead swapped hands eight times among four drivers while there were nine cautions for 51 laps.

The surprise of the season so far has been Scott Riggs of Durham, NC. The youngster hasn't won a race, but he leads the points standings headed into the Advance Auto Parts 250.

Ruttman is second in the 2001 points, followed by rookie sensation Ricky Henrick, son of Winston Cup car owner Rick Hendrick. Musgrave is fourth in the points, just ahead of all-time Craftsman Truck Series winner Jack Srague.

Tolsma, Musgrave, Hamilton, Ruttman and Riggs are among a field of 46 entries for the $398,220 Advance Auto Parts 250.

There has not been a repeat winner in the six-year history of the Advance Auto Parts 250. Ruttman won the inaugural event in 1995, follwed by Mike Skinner, Rich Bickle, Jay Sauter, Jimmy Hensley and Hamilton.

Tickets for the Advance Auto Parts 250 Craftsman Truck race are $30 for adults and $5 for children ages 6-12. All seats are unreserved. The Virginia 500/Advance Auto Parts 250 weekend kicks off with Bud Pole qualifying for the Craftsman Truck Series at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, April 6 followed by time trials for the Winston Cup Series at 3 p.m. Tickets for qualifying are $15 for adults and children under 12 get in free. There still are great seats available for the Virginia 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race for $40-$70 each. To purchase tickets call the speedway ticket office toll free at 877-722-3849 or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.

-MS

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Rich Bickle , Bobby Hamilton , Jay Sauter , Ted Musgrave , Scott Riggs , Joe Ruttman , Randy Tolsma , Jimmy Hensley