Snapshot: Martinsville preview
March 29, 2014, Kenny Bruce, NASCAR.com
What: 65th annual STP 500
Where: Martinsville Speedway, Ridgeway, Va.
When: Sunday, March 30, 2014
TV/Radio: FOX Sports; MRN
Distance: 500 laps; 263 miles
Time: 1 p.m. ET
Pit Road Speed: 30 mph
Caution Car Speed: 35 mph
Six-Pack: Kyle Busch became the sixth different driver to win a pole in this year’s first six races. This year’s pole winners: Austin Dillon, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano, Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Busch.
First to 100: Logano's lap of 100.201 mph during the first qualifying segment established a track record, eclipsing the previous qualifying mark of 99.595 mph established by Hamlin (Oct. 25, 2013)
End (of) Run: After starting on the front row for four consecutive races, Keselowski could only muster the 14th-fastest qualifying lap at Martinsville.
Failed To Qualify: David Reutimann, Front Row Motorsports No. 35 Ford
Fastest In Practice: First Practice: Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing No. 11 Toyota (101.021 mph). Second Practice: Canceled due to rain. Final Practice: Canceled due to rain
Defending STP 500 Champion: Jimmie Johnson, Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 Chevrolet
Former Martinsville Winners In Field: Jeff Gordon (8), Johnson (8), Hamlin (4), Tony Stewart (3), Ryan Newman (1), Kurt Busch (1), Kevin Harvick (1).
Fantasy Sleeper (powered by Rotowire.com): Brian Vickers
The Michael Waltrip Racing short track specialist comes to one of his better venues this weekend. Vickers is a top fantasy racing play in deeper leagues when the series visits short tracks. The last time we saw the journeyman driver in action at Martinsville he was hitting on all cylinders with his third-place qualifying effort and solid 11th-place finish in last April's STP Gas Booster 500. Vickers' brilliant Top 10 performances at Bristol and Fontana the last two weeks for the strong No. 55 Toyota team give us good reason to remain optimistic. He has the short track skill and momentum on his side entering Martinsville weekend. (Click here for more fantasy advice)