RACE PREVIEW: Martinsville Speedway
NASCAR’s West Coast swing is complete, and the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is back on the East Coast to go racing at Martinsville Speedway. After a strong showing and posting a top-15 finish in Phoenix, Ty Dillon and the Germain Racing team will head to the historic Virginia track for the first true short-track race of the season. Finishing in the 15th position at “The Paperclip” last fall after running with the leaders throughout the event, Crew Chief Matt Borland is looking to use this season’s added downforce and restored horsepower to put together another impressive run for the No. 13 GEICO Camaro ZL1.
Stories from Martinsville
Martinsville Speedway is the only track that has hosted Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races every year since the division’s inception in 1949. Two GEICO Racing team members grew up in racing families and have been attending races at Martinsville since they were young children.
“I always went to Martinsville when I was really young. We would sit in the stands there because you could see everything from your seat. I have a ton of memories there, but one of my favorites is when they ran the Xfinity Series race in 2006. Darrell Waltrip had kind of come back, Toyota was just entering the sport, and I believe Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer went 1-2 in the race. I was sitting in the stands right between Turns 1 and 2, ate a couple Martinsville hot dogs and just had fun watching the race. It is such a fun racetrack to visit and enjoy.” – Ty Dillon, Driver
“All of my earliest memories of Martinsville are of going up there and watching Richard Petty win races. We would all sit in the infield to watch; it was just grass back then. They put on the kind of show with the type of racing that made me want to be around race cars and work on them. It was always one of my favorite tracks to go to as a kid, and it still is as an adult.” – Travis Owens, Front-End Mechanic
Dillon Weekend Chatter
What are your thoughts as the GEICO Racing team prepares for Martinsville Speedway?
“Short tracks have always suited my driving style. It seems like we always perform well at those tracks, especially in the past couple of years. As we continue to build up our program, some of our strongest results have come from short tracks and superspeedways. So, we want to go to those places and capitalize every time. We had a good short-track run at Phoenix, and that has given us a lot of momentum and excitement heading to Martinsville. Our GEICO Camaro ZL1 was up in the top 15 all day during our last race at Martinsville, and I think we’re capable of another strong run.”
How tough is the racing at Martinsville?
“Martinsville can be mentally draining. The constant traffic gets frustrating. It can wear on you when you’re so close to people all day long. They are trying to hold a line, and you are trying to move them out of the way to advance. It can get the best of you early in a race, so the challenge is to stay patient and only worry about your race and your car. That will typically get you to the front.”
Tickets and Tune In!
The STP 500 will be run on Sunday, March 24. Tickets to Martinsville Speedway can be purchased at NASCAR.com/tickets.
The race will air live at 2:00 p.m. ET on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.