Biggest NASCAR Storylines to Watch Ahead of Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville

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Biggest NASCAR Storylines to Watch Ahead of Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville
Jerry Markland/Getty Images

Martinsville Speedway is NASCAR’s oldest active Sprint Cup track, dating back to 1949. It’s also the series’ shortest at 0.526-mile. 

Last weekend it was fast, wide and high-banked in Southern California. This weekend drivers face narrow, close and flat short track racing conditions in the mountains of Southern Virginia. 

This monument to NASCAR’s past was built using a unique paperclip shape once described as “two dragstrips connected by a sharp left-hander on each end.”  The track itself is relatively flat as well, on both the straightaways and the corners.

Expect tires to once again be under the microscope.

Last weekend’s race featured four-wide, 200-miles-per-hour racing on one of NASCAR’s biggest tracks. Goodyear’s tires, although specifically designed for each race track, took a real beating as teams pushed them to the limit using low air pressures and radical camber settings.

This weekend, crew chiefs will again be torturing the Goodyears with radical camber angles and low air pressures. However, speeds at Martinsville are dramatically slower—about 100 miles per hour slower than Fontana.

With Bristol Motor Speedway now offering two- and sometimes three-wide racing, Martinsville remains for the most part a single-lane track. A second lane will be available on the outside once the track rubbers in, but bumping a slower car out of the way is still a part of racing at Martinsville. 

What that means is: If you're a driver and you’ve got a grudge against someone, Martinsville is the ideal place for payback. So, that bump and subsequent spin, which places your adversary 20 spots to the rear of the field, can always be blamed on the closeness of the racing. (Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.)

 

*All quotes in this slideshow are taken from official team and manufacturer media releases unless otherwise stated.

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