Race Weekend Central

Sights and Sounds: STP 500/Kroger 250

Take in the sights and sounds of Martinsville Speedway with this special look at the 2014 STP 500 weekend.

“I’m a winner, but I’m a loser too because I lost the next race so you’re automatically back in the losers bracket too. That’s the tough thing about this sport. We’re looking to get back on that list and go for two in a row here at Martinsville.” – Darrell Wallace, Jr., polesitter for Kroger 250 Photo: Mike Neff

“It feels good to put the M&M’s Camry on the pole here at Martinsville, is something that doesn’t happen very often — at least with me behind the wheel.” – Kyle Busch, after winning the pole for the STP 500 Photo: Mike Neff

“I’m going to win it this weekend, I promise.” – Denny Hamlin on whether he had room for another Martinsville grandfather clock

“I wasn’t very good in practice and I was laughing telling everyone it was one of my crew guys Jay that said put the fear of God in me to wreck this car. He’s like ‘it’s a new car don’t wreck this car.’ So I was a little cautious but at the end of the day I don’t think we started off very well, but we made good improvements and when the car went into qualifying trim it was much better than it felt in race trim.” – Danica Patrick, starts 10th

“I’m kind of the eternal optimist when it comes to Martinsville, but it doesn’t seem to work out.” – _Carl Edwards, starts 8th

“We’ll be close enough to the front to at least be able to see when it goes green. It’s our best qualifying effort of the year. When you miss (getting in) by one-hundreth, it’s kind of tough to swallow. But ultimately we’re making our Bush’s Beans Chevy strong each weekend. To have our first top-10 finish last weekend. We’re steadily improving. We started out practice not so good but we got better as it went on.” – AJ Allmendinger, starts 15th Photo: Mike Neff

“It’s such a special weekend. STP has been in the sport for over 40 years now and to have that history and everything that car represents, it’s truly an honor to get to drive it. I don’t think there’s one person in Martinsville, Virginia that looks at that race car and doesn’t reminisce about RP” – Aric Almirola on running a retro STP paint scheme at Martinsville

“Today, I flew up. It’s overcast. It’s cloudy. The whole week leading into Martinsville, I’ve been excited about coming here to race and feel like we have a great chance to win. I wake up this morning and it’s overcast, and I can’t help but think of the airplane incident. It just kind of depends on what triggers the thought process. Generally speaking, race time here, there’s a lot of very good positive vibes flowing around. I’ve had great fortune to honor and remember our friends in victory lane. Certainly, the day that it happened, I look back on that day a lot and think about how things went down. NASCAR called all four cars to pit lane. We get to pit lane, and there are police officers standing around our cars, and I’m like ‘What in the world has happened?’ Normally there are NASCAR Officials not police officers. I walk through that from time to time. I hope to never ever go through anything like that again.” – Jimmie Johnson on remembering the Hendrick Motorsports airplane that crashed en route to Martinsville in 2004 Photo: Yvonne Leonard

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About the author

Amy is an 20-year veteran NASCAR writer and a six-time National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) writing award winner, including first place awards for both columns and race coverage. As well as serving as Photo Editor, Amy writes The Big 6 (Mondays) after every NASCAR Cup Series race. She can also be found working on her bi-weekly columns Holding A Pretty Wheel (Tuesdays) and Only Yesterday (Wednesdays). A New Hampshire native whose heart is in North Carolina, Amy’s work credits have extended everywhere from driver Kenny Wallace’s website to Athlon Sports. She can also be heard weekly as a panelist on the Hard Left Turn podcast that can be found on AccessWDUN.com's Around the Track page.

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