The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returns to Virginia, as the Round of 8 kicks off with a short-track showdown at Martinsville Speedway in the First Data 500 (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Martinsville Speedway, a .526-mile track, is the shortest track on the Monster Energy Series circuit. Often referred to as ‘the paperclip’ due to its small size, tight corners and unique shape, Martinsville features some of the most electric and close-quarters racing of the year.
Pit road is 46 feet wide with stalls that begin in turn three and wrap all the way around the frontstretch.
The Martinsville race setup will utilize the 2019 rules package used at short tracks throughout the season. Cars will use a tapered-spacer engine that generates a targeted 750 horsepower without being fitted with aero ducts.
Teams will have three sets of Goodyear Eagle Short Track Radials for practice, one set for qualifying/start of race and nine sets for the race (eight race sets plus one transferred from qualifying or practice).
As we move deeper into the fall season, rubbering in the concrete corners may prove to be a challenge. The ability for the track to take on rubber is vital in improving the racing and opening up multiple grooves on the track. With a unique design, Goodyear has developed a right-side tread compound to counter the expected cooler temperatures.
“It’s getting later in the fall and we are likely to have cloudy conditions and temperatures in the 60-degree range at Martinsville this week, so track temps will be low, making it more difficult for the track to take rubber,” said Greg Stucker, Goodyear’s director of racing. “Because of the time of year we run at Martinsville, we’ve worked hard over the past several years to come up with a tread compound that will lay rubber in the concrete corners, even in cool temperatures.
- Brad Keselowski led 446 laps in the Martinsville spring race, sweeping both stages and taking home the checkered flag. The 446 laps led is the most ever in a single race in Keselowski’s career and the fifth most all-time at the track.
- Hendrick Motorsports has dominated Martinsville with 24 wins, securing the most wins by a team on any track.
- Each of the last two NASCAR Playoffs races at Martinsville have ended with a last-lap pass.
- Kyle Busch currently has an eight-race streak of top-five finishes at Martinsville. The streak places him third all-time, only trailing Jeff Gordon (11) and Jimmie Johnson (nine).
Source: Racing Insights
The Monster Energy Series race at Martinsville airs live Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and the NBC Sports App. Listen in to live radio coverage provided by MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. Also, follow along on NASCAR.com for live Lap-by-Lap coverage, the live leaderboard, Drive (featuring in-car cameras) and RaceView (subscription: in-car audio, stats, more). Be sure to set your lineup in Fantasy Live and make your picks in the Props Challenge.
2018 RACE WINNER
Joey Logano led a race-high 309 laps in last season’s playoff race at Martinsville, securing his first career victory at the short track in dominant fashion.
ACTIVE MARTINSVILLE WINNERS
Jimmy Johnson (nine); Denny Hamlin (five); Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch (two wins each); Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Clint Bowyer (one win each).