MARTINSVILLE, Va. (March 23, 2012) – What should be expected in next Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway? The same thing fans have been enjoying for the past 64 years … plenty of action, plenty of excitement on the historic oval.
As Martinsville Speedway kicks off its 65th season, there is one thing that has never changed: tons of intense action all day long. That’s certainly the way it was last spring when there were a record 31 lead changes, the final coming when Kevin Harvick passed Dale Earnhardt Jr. with a few laps remaining to pick up the win. The pair battled closely for several laps, but in the end, Harvick prevented Earnhardt from ending his long winless streak.
“To race with Dale Junior and win the race at Martinsville is something that’s pretty cool,” said Harvick. “I know the fans want to see him win. I want to see him win. It would be great for the sport. We all need him to win, but I’m not going to back down.”
Even though Earnhardt has never won at Martinsville, statistically it is his best race track on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit. He’s led almost a thousand laps here and has eight top-five finishes and 12 top 10s.
“I like Martinsville a lot. There’s something about trying to get around the corner of that place that’s a lot of fun, and it’s just an interesting racetrack,” said Earnhardt. “Martinsville is a good short track, and there is a little bit of roughness to it.”
Race week at Martinsville Speedway will kick off Friday morning when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series drivers take to the track at 11 with the first practice session for the Kroger 250. The first practice session for the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 will start at 12:30 p.m. The trucks will be back on track for a second practice at 2:10 p.m. followed by the final Sprint Cup practice session.
There will be a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series autograph session at 4 p.m. on Friday in front of the speedway’s main ticket office. Drivers confirmed to attend the free session include: Ron Hornaday, Johnny Sauter, Parker Kligerman, Jennifer Jo Cobb, Paulie Harraka, Ward Burton, Jeb Burton, J.R. Fitzpatrick, John King, Timothy Peters, Bryan Silas, Nelson Piquet Jr., Justin Lofton, Dakoda Armstrong, Ross Chastain, Jason White and Todd Bodine.
Saturday’s action kicks off at 10:05 with qualifying for the Kroger 250 followed by qualifying for the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at 11:40. The Kroger 250 is scheduled to take the green flag at 1:30 p.m.
The start of Sunday’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 is set for 1 p.m
Tickets for all three days of action remain available at low prices, including great family and children’s prices and package deals. All tickets and ticket packages can be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.