Camping World Truck Series:
Sat 10/25: Martinsville Speedway, Kroger 200, 1pm, MRN
Sprint Cup Series:
Sun 10/26: Martinsville Speedway, Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 powered by Kroger, 12:30pm, MRN
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NASCAR News (all content provided by John Singler, MRN Radio)
FROM SUPERSPEEDWAY TO SHORT TRACK
The 2014 Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup moves from the longest track on the schedule – the two-point-six-six-mile Talladega Superspeedway – to the smallest oval, the flat half-mile “paper clip” at Martinsville Speedway, for Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500. It’s the opening race of the three-week Eliminator Round, during which the field of eight remaining drivers will be trimmed to four. Chase participants have won this race in nine of the ten years NASCAR’s “post-season” format has been in place – including five times by Jimmie Johnson. The only year a non-Chase driver claimed the grandfather clock that traditionally serves as the winner’s trophy was in 2005, when Jeff Gordon went to Victory Lane.
VICKERS JOINS 2015 ‘UNLIMITED’ FIELD
Brian Vickers is the latest driver to qualify for next year’s Sprint Unlimited non-points special event that features pole winners from the previous season and traditionally kicks off Budweiser Speedweeks at Daytona International Speedway. Vickers was the Number-1 qualifier for this past weekend’s GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway, where he finished twentieth in the race. He joins Austin Dillon, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Brian Scott, Jimmie Johnson, Jamie McMurray, David Gilliland, Jeff Gordon and Kyle Larson as 2014 Cup Series pole winners now eligible for the 2015 Sprint Unlimited. Hamlin won this year’s race back in February … Harvick has eight poles to lead the series this year. Second place belongs to Keselowski with five. Busch has three. Gordon and Hamlin are tied for fourth place with two apiece … Busch won the pole for the spring race at Martinsville Speedway, site of Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500. He finished fourteenth on race day March 30th.
INSIDE THE ‘CHASE’
► Only half of The Eliminator Eight remaining in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup have won a Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway, site of Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500: Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin and Jeff Gordon – who’s won eight times on the Virginia half-mile. Of the four other drivers still in title contention, Joey Logano had the best finish in this year’s first visit to Martinsville in late March – fourth place. Matt Kenseth placed sixth, Carl Edwards thirteenth and Brad Keselowski thirty-eighth.
► Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 will be the sixth and final short-track race of the season. There have been four different winners thus far: Edwards, Keselowski, Kurt Busch and Logano – who’s won twice, at Richmond and Bristol.
► Chevrolet will take a seven-race Martinsville winning streak into Sunday’s event. The string of success began with Harvick in 2011 and has been extended by Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Jimmie Johnson (twice), Jeff Gordon and then Busch, who was victorious this spring.
Tyler Reddick of Brad Keselowski Racing had the highest finish by a rookie in either of NASCAR’s two top series that competed this past weekend, placing fourth in Saturday’s fred’s 250 Camping World Truck Series race at Talladega Superspeedway.
ON THIS DATE … 35 YEARS AGO
October 21st, 1979: Richard Petty won a Cup Series race in Rockingham, North Carolina – his fifth victory of the season that helped fuel his drive to the championship. “King Richard” would edge Darrell Waltrip by just eleven points in the final standings that season. It was the last of his record seven championships. Petty was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class in 2010.
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