Nick Woodward expects good things at Martinsville

Martinsville, VA (September 18, 2000) --- Nicholas Woodward won the Atlantic Seaboard Regional title, and on Sunday he'll attempt to claim another coveted title in the Taco Bell 300 at Martinsville Speedway. Woodward of High Point,...

Martinsville, VA (September 18, 2000) --- Nicholas Woodward won the Atlantic Seaboard Regional title, and on Sunday he'll attempt to claim another coveted title in the Taco Bell 300 at Martinsville Speedway. Woodward of High Point, N.C., will collect over $40,000 for his first ever regional championship in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series Atlantic Seaboard Region. Woodward, racing at Southampton Motor Speedway, edged out Mark McFarland of Winchester, Va., for the top spot. Woodward raced to 14 wins, 17 top-five and 18 top-ten finishes in 18 starts at the .400-mile speedway in winning the title. Woodward, 20, didn't stop there because he has clinched a track championship at Southampton and claimed the South Boston Speedway track championship last weekend with a four point win over Rodney Sawyers of Ridgeway, Va. Woodward won a total of 15 races at Southampton, including one after the regional title race was over, and four at South Boston. "I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished this year," Woodward said adding he met his goals and more. "It's been incredible. We set a goal at the beginning of the year to win 10 races and win a championship and never really thought about a regional title. I kind of put it in the back of my mind I guess," Woodward said. "Then we got going and got to the mid-part of the season, and I'm like 'hey we have a shot to win this thing,'" he said of the regional title. Woodward finished second in the NASCAR Weekly Racing Series National Standings behind Gary Webb of Dubuque Fairgrounds Speedway in Iowa. Woodward said it was a little disappointing to be so close but finish second in the nation. "I definitely think it was something of a disappointment, but this being the first year with this team we were way above expectations," he said. Woodward, who has been racing for 12 years, has run Late Model Stock for the past four years and ran well in the Taco Bell 300 a year ago. Woodward qualified 13th and finished 17th despite the fact he was involved in a wreck just eight laps from the finish. "That was incredible to have never been here before. We came here with a brand new car and qualified well and ran good in the race but got caught up in a little mess at the end," Woodward said. "All in all, for never being here before, I think it was a good weekend." Woodward is looking forward to coming back to the Taco Bell 300 on Sunday in the Steve James owned Hills Brothers Coffee Chevrolet. James has built great cars for Martinsville in the past and has a Martinsville win to his credit. Woodward's crew chief is Neil Perkins who worked with Winston Cup driver Stacy Compton when he entered his first Winston Cup race qualifying ninth at Martinsville in 1996. "Going back this year with Steve's and Neil's experience, I am looking for big things," he said. "Neil has also been to Martinsville with Late Models. With his chassis knowledge and the whole package working together, I think we will look for some good things to come in the Taco Bell 300." Woodward came to the Late Model open practice last Wednesday, along with more than 110 other teams, and felt good about his car. "We never put stickers on, but we were pretty good on old tires. We tried a lot of stuff, that's for sure. I felt the car in a lot of different situations. Hopefully when we come back on Friday and Saturday and tweak on it a little bit, we will be pretty good," he said. Woodward said there might be a little extra pressure coming into the Taco Bell 300 as a regional champion. "I guess there is a little bit to perform well on a different race track than where we ran on a weekly basis," he said. "There's pressure even if you come here 10th in the points. I think maybe the pressure has eased a little bit though. If we happen to have a bad qualifying run, we have a provisional. But yet, we don't want to start 41st or 42nd. We want to start up in the top 20." Only the fastest 20 cars will nail down starting positions in the 1 p.m. qualifying this Saturday for the Taco Bell 300. The other 22 starters will be decided in four 25-lap qualifying races to begin the $91,095 Taco Bell 300 at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, September 24. After the starting lineup is set, the 200-lap feature will get underway. The race will be stopped at 100 laps with the leader receiving $5,000 and a trophy from BB&T, and a number of the leading cars will be inverted. At lap 190, the race will be put under caution with the leaders lined up single file for ten green flag laps to the finish. If necessary, the race will be extended to complete the ten green flag laps. Tickets for the Taco Bell 300 are unreserved and are $20.00 for adults and $5.00 for children ages 6-12. Excellent reserved seats still are available in the towers and concrete areas for the NAPA AutoCare 500 NASCAR Winston Cup race on Sunday, October 1 from $40-$65. They may be ordered by calling toll free at 877-722-3849 or 540-956-3151. Tickets also may be ordered online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.

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Series NASCAR
Drivers Stacy Compton , Nick Woodward , Steve J