Rick Carelli continues climb at Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (April 7, 2000) Rick Carelli has a habit of proving people wrong, and it's been a difficult habit to shed. Last May, Carelli hit the wall at Memphis Motorsports Park and suffered multiple injuries, including a skull fracture and...

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (April 7, 2000) Rick Carelli has a habit of proving people wrong, and it's been a difficult habit to shed. Last May, Carelli hit the wall at Memphis Motorsports Park and suffered multiple injuries, including a skull fracture and major arterial damage -- a setback that many thought would end his career.

However, Carelli has made quite a recovery. This past November, he jumped in the No. 66 Carlin Burners Ford for a test at Phoenix, a truck he would later sign on to drive during the NASCAR 2000 season.

Then, in February, he won his first race back in Copper Classic Featherlite Southwest Series at the same race track. He's done extremely well in the No. 66 Ford as well, and continued that effort Friday in Bud Pole Qualifying at Martinsville Speedway.

He will start a season-best third in Saturday's NAPA 250 at the .526-mile oval, but knows the good fortune could quickly turn bad.

"It doesn't take much to go from the front to the back here pretty quick," Carelli said. "You just try and get it into the show and go as quick as you can, but if you drive it in too deep you're going to lose a bunch of time. I'm really glad to be here and to be here and running fairly well."

Carelli fared extremely well in the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway, qualifying seventh and finishing a season-best ninth. Since then, he's struggled a bit, finishing outside the top-20 in each of the next three events. However, he could very well turn that around Saturday, having finished a career-best ninth last season here.

"We have finally had some time to work hard on the truck and we think we found something this week, so we hope to do well for the rest of the season," he said.

-nascar.com-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Truck
Drivers Rick Carelli
Teams Carlin