FMS: Greg Sacks returns to Martinsville

Sacks Looking For Solid Return To Martinsville MARTINSVILLE, VA (Oct. 9, 2001) -- When Greg Sacks was climbing the ladder to Winston Cup racing, Martinsville Speedway provided a couple of big steps for him. Now he hopes Martinsville Speedway...

Sacks Looking For Solid Return To Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, VA (Oct. 9, 2001) -- When Greg Sacks was climbing the ladder to Winston Cup racing, Martinsville Speedway provided a couple of big steps for him.

Now he hopes Martinsville Speedway can help bounce him back into the Winston Cup ranks.

Sacks will be going back to his roots this weekend when he attempts to make the field for Saturday's Advance Auto Parts 200 NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour race at Martinsville Speedway.

The Advance Auto Parts 200 is part of a big weekend at Martinsville Speedway, which will culminate with the running of the Old Dominion 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race on Sunday.

Sacks racing career began in the NASCAR Modified division in New England. He made a name for himself throughout the Northeast in the late 1970s and early 1980s, but his couple of trips South each year to Martinsville Speedway back then were his biggest races.

"It was always big for us to come down there for the Modified races because the Winston Cup teams were there and we wanted to race in front of them," said Sacks. "I love the speedway, I love the people. (Track president) Clay Campbell always has been great to me. His grandfather was a wonderful man and had a great vision and Clay's carried it forward."

It was at Martinsville where Sacks first caught the eye of Winston Cup team owners when he won the Dogwood Classic in 1982. By 1983 he was in a Winston Cup car. A year later he set the circuit on its ear when he won the Pepsi 400 at Daytona International Raceway.

Sacks' career never took off in a big way after that win, even though he stayed in Winston Cup racing for the next dozen years or so. Then in 1998, while driving for Cale Yarborough Motorsports, Sacks was injured in a hard crash. That was his last fulltime Cup ride.

"Sitting out is real touch, but the racing business has always been tough," said Sacks. "My career has always resembled a roller-coaster ride. This is nothing new. Now I'm looking to get back to the top."

Which brings Sacks back to Martinsville. He's in pretty much the same shape he was two decades ago, hoping to impress a Winston Cup owner.

"It's very important to be at Martinsville on the Winston Cup weekend. It's an opportunity to go out there and shine in front of the drivers,owners and mechanics in the Winston Cup garage," said Sacks. "They all watch the Modified race."

Sacks has certainly been impressive in the past on the .526-mile oval. In addition to his Martinsville win, he still holds the NASCAR Featherlite Tour Modified qualifying record and the absolute track record. He turned a lap of 18.746 seconds during Modified time trials in 1986 which converts to a speed of 101.014, the fastest lap in the history of Martinsville Speedway.

Sacks and the rest of the Modified field will attempt to qualify for the Advance Auto Parts 200 at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The Advance Auto Parts 200 is set for 2:45 p.m. Saturday.

Action kicks off at Martinsville Speedway on Friday with the first NASCAR Winston Cup practice taking the green flag at 11:20 a.m.

Bud Pole qualifying is scheduled for 3:05 p.m. Friday with a 30-lap Anderson Tractor John Deere Allison Legacy Series race to follow.

On Saturday action begins at 8:15 a.m. with a 90 minute Featherlite Modified practice. After Modified time trials at 11 a.m., there will be a 45-minute Winston Cup practice at noon. The final Winston Cup practice session is scheduled for 1:15 p.m. The Advance Auto Parts 200 NASCAR Featherlite Modified Tour race kicks off at 2:45 p.m.

The Old Dominion 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race will take the green flag at 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

-MS-

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About this article
Series NASCAR
Drivers Greg Sacks , Cale Yarborough