Race Weekend Central

Quotes to Remember: STP Gas Booster 500

“Disappointed for sure. We had a fast car all weekend long and really thought we were maybe going to be walking out of here with a Grandfather Clock. I tore the car up pretty bad over here off of (Turn) 4. I checked up and I got hit from behind, pushed into the 1 (Jamie …

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Never Fear, the Underdogs are Here: Martinsville I Edition

Never Fear, the Underdogs are Here: Martinsville I Edition by Amy Henderson Editor’s Note: This year, we’re going to switch things up a little bit. Instead of just focusing upon one underdog (or underreported) car in the Secret Star section, we will point out three smaller teams that put up good finishes each week. Underdog …

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Tracking the Trucks: Kroger 250

*In a Nutshell:* Johnny Sauter took the lead on the final restart of the race to take home his second win of 2013, his second at Martinsville, and his eighth overall. ThorSport teammate Matt Crafton squeezed by a fading Jeb Burton to finish second. Timothy Peters and Darrell Wallace, Jr. Rounded out the top 5.

*Who Should Have Won: Jeb Burton.* Burton was the class of the field in the Arrowhead Chevrolet from the moment the trucks unloaded in Martinsville, running at the top of the charts in practice, qualifying on the pole, and leading the most laps en route to a third-place finish. It was, perhaps, Burton’s inexperience as much as a loose, fading truck that kept him from Victory Lane; Sauter and Crafton, both series veterans, simply made Burton use his truck up at the end. Still, Burton proved that he’s going to be a factor in this series in 2013.

As One Rivalry Simmers, Another Boils… Forgotten Foes At Martinsville

Rivalries are like a witch’s brew; they tend to be volatile at first, then simmer for a while before coming to a full boil. Some of them then cool off into a harmless mixtures, while others never seem to end. In any case, they’re colorful, exciting, and sometimes a little disconcerting… but definitely attention-grabbing!

The initial mix of one such rivalry happened at Martinsville one year ago, when Clint Bowyer got into Jeff Gordon in the closing laps, putting Gordon in the wall. The DuPont Chevy driver had badly wanted the win that day; it would have been Rick Hendrick’s 200th as a car owner, and Gordon, who is third on the all-time Sprint Cup wins list, owns the lion’s share of those.

It’s Official: Elliott Sadler Racing Fourth Joe Gibbs Racing Cup Car Part-Time In 2013

MARTINSVILLE COVERAGE See pictures, links and more on our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter as well as Amy Henderson, who’s serving as our at-track reporter this weekend. In the end, Elliott Sadler lost out on substituting for Denny Hamlin in the No. 11 Fed Ex Toyota. But the full-time Nationwide Series driver, working for …

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Jeb Burton Wins First Career Pole At Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE COVERAGE See pictures, links and more on our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter as well as Amy Henderson, who’s serving as our at-track reporter this weekend. Martinsville Truck qualifying is over, and an emotional Jeb Burton took the pole. Burton, just 20 years old and the son of former Daytona 500 winner Ward, …

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Frontstretch Foto Funnies: Do the Robot!

_Welcome to the Frontstretch Foto Funnies! Ever see a photo that’s just begging for a caption? We see them all the time! Each week, we’ll pick a few, then let our staff give it their best shot. We’ll post the best ones for you!_

_Want to get in on the fun? Each week, we’ll also designate one of the photos for fan captions. Leave your best ideas in the comments below or on our “Facebook page.”:https://www.facebook.com/Frontstretch We’ll choose our favorite one and reprint the photo next week with its new caption! Then, at the end of each month, we’ll randomly choose one winner from the four winning captions, and that person will receive a free weekend rental from our friends at FanVision during any Sprint Cup race weekend in 2013! What could be better than that? In order to be eligible, comments must include a valid email (nobody can see it but us, and we promise we’ll only use it for notification purposes!) Note while you can post as many captions as you like, you aren’t eligible for the monthly prize if you’ve won a contest from us in the last 90 days._

Nuts for Nationwide: Five Races In, Some Underdogs Showing Promise

Last week, we looked into the highs and lows of the 2013 Nationwide Series season, five races in. In one small segment, the spotlight turned onto the series’s smaller teams and their progress throughout the season.

As we near the completion of the second straight off-week in the series, let’s take a closer look at the little guys and gals.

The current owner points standings in the series are led by Roger Penske’s No. 12, driven by Sam Hornish Jr., the driver points leader. The following 14 spots, all the way down to 15th, are occupied by the sport’s more successful organizations, from the Nationwide programs of Cup teams like Penske and Roush Fenway Racing to series stalwarts such as Turner Motorsports and JR Motorsports.

Jeb Burton Driver Diary: Filling the Down Time and Short Track Excitement

We’ve been stuck in the middle of this long stretch of down time since Daytona, but I’ve done plenty to keep busy while we’re not racing. We tested a couple weeks ago at Martinsville in the truck, and we learned a lot from it. We’ve got a good package and the guys have been working really hard. We feel like we’ve got a good truck to perform well this weekend. Last time we talked, I mentioned that I would be racing my late model at South Boston Speedway. Unfortunately, that race didn’t go exactly as planned. We were good in practice and had a good game plan. But when the race started, around lap three, a guy in front of me broke an oil line or something and dripped some oil out. Of course, I hit it and we hit the wall, and it bent some stuff and we didn’t run too hot.

IndyCar In Depth: Honda Grand Prix Of Alabama

*What’s News?*

The IZOD IndyCar Series heads to Birmingham’s Barber Motorsports Park this weekend for the Honda Grand Prix of Alabama. Coming off a stunning maiden victory two weeks ago in St. Petersburg, points leader James Hinchcliffe enters the event with high hopes and increased expectations. He’ll look to repeat this weekend. In terms of off-track news, it was a relatively quiet Easter break for the stars and cars of IndyCar. Dale Coyne Racing did announce that driver Ana Beatriz will be piloting the #18 machine in an expanded capacity this season, as she will pilot the car all the way through Indianapolis.