Track Talk: Martinsville
This week’s Sprint Cup race is at Martinsville Speedway, a .526-mile paper-clip shaped track which is unique in all of NASCAR.
What do the drivers think of it?
“It’s a blast. If you’re hanging on and doing all you can to hang on the bottom and trying not to let people get by, it’s a totally different race. If you’re the aggressor and can show a guy a bumper here and there, stay lower in the corner and get position, you’re just having a blast. You really have to focus on making sure your car is right at Martinsville to have a good time.”
– Casey Mears
“It’s a short track, but it’s not like any other short track you’ve ever been to. It goes against everything your tendencies tell you to do. You have to back the corner up, you have to let the car roll way around the corner before you get back on the gas. Your tendencies are to get in the corner as deep as you can and get back on the throttle as fast as possible. Those are two things that are catastrophic there, so you’ve got to discipline yourself and stay disciplined throughout the race.”
– Clint Bowyer
“Since they’ve resurfaced the race track, I think that’s changed the racing as much as anything. Before, the surface was worn out and the concrete didn’t go as far around the corners. The track’s really smooth but it just creates a track position challenge. It becomes a little bit rough. If your car’s handling good, you can pass. If your car’s mediocre, it’s tough.”
– Kevin Harvick
“At Martinsville it’s just really hard to discipline yourself to wait long enough to get back to the gas. You’re going so slow that it’s just really hard to make yourself wait long enough to push the gas down.”
– Jamie McMurray
“You must have a lot of patience here. Just to run a single lap by yourself, you have to be patient and not overdrive the car. And you certainly need to be more patient when it comes to traffic. From an observer’s vantage point, it’s probably just one constant flow of cars. But for me, it’s just that one, two or three cars ahead of me that I’m focusing on. You get into such a rhythm and such a zone here – it’s amazing on how you block out how much traffic there really is. I don’t even think about there being 40 cars on the track.”
–Jeff GordonNo Comment