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Thursday March 14, 2019

The STP 500 on March 24 will mark the first use of NASCAR’s high-horsepower/high-downforce rules package at Martinsville Speedway. Below are some quotes from drivers about how they think the package will affect the racing in the first short-track race of the season.

DANIEL HEMRIC – RICHARD CHILDRESS RACING
DO YOU THINK A NEW PACKAGE IS EVEN GOING TO AFFECT THE RACING AT MARTINSVILLE?
“I think Martinsville is Martinsville. It may change that loop of how speeds are and what not, but in the grand scheme of things all the drivers just get fired up to go legitimate short track racing. I haven’t had a chance to run there in a couple of years since the Truck Series, so I’m pumped to just kind of dive right back into it in the Cup package and see what I can do.”

CHRIS BUESCHER – JTG DAUGHERTY RACING
OF ALL THE TRACKS ON THE SCHEDULE DO YOU THINK MARTINSVILLE MIGHT BE THE ONLY ONE THAT DOESN’T CHANGE WITH THIS NEW PACKAGE?
“It is still going to change. Aero matters. Little bits matter and we took a pretty large swing at it from the downforce side, so the thing I always heard is people talking about… even going back to Legend car racing, is how aero dynamics don’t matter. Run a windshield or a screen it doesn’t matter, well, take a license plate and stick it out the window against your hand at 45 mph, I promise everything matters. So, Martinsville, we are going over 45 mph, we are going to take all we can get and use that advantage. It won’t change as much as most. I think Bristol is the other one that won’t change quite as much, it will be fast at Bristol, but I think Martinsville is going to be a good time. I like having more power back.”

RYAN PREECE – JTG DAUGHERTY RACING
HOW EXCITED ARE YOU TO GET TO MARTINSVILLE THE FIRST SHORT TRACK OF THE SEASON?
“Well I’ve won at Martinsville, actually my first modified tour win came at Martinsville so I’m excited to get back there. The atmosphere you get when you go to a place like Martinsville, Bristol, Richmond, it’s just such an electrifying feeling you get. To have everybody that close to you and usually pretty full, packed grandstands. I enjoy the heavy on the brake, get on the gas quicker than other guys. It’s going to be one of those places I have circled on my calendar.”

ALEX BOWMAN – HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS
MARTINSVILLE WAS A STRONG TRACK FOR YOU LAST SEASON. ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK THERE? DO YOU THINK THE TRACK WILL CHANGE AT ALL WITH THE NEW PACKAGE?
“It will just be faster with more downforce. It will be interesting. We were really strong there in the spring and just kind of struggled there in the fall. Hopefully, we can figure out where we went wrong and get back to running well there.”

WILLIAM BYRON – HENDRICK MOTORSPORTS
DO YOU THINK THE PACKAGE IS GOING TO CHANGE MARTINSVILLE?
“I don’t think it will. I think it’s still going to be typical Martinsville. You’ve got to get in the corner well and you’ve got to drive off the corner near the curb. I would say it’s going to be a pretty normal Martinsville for us.”


The STP 500 weekend presented by WhosYourDriver.org is March 22-24.

The weekend starts with a practice day for the truck series on Friday, followed by a truck series autograph session and the Hauler Parade.

On Saturday, the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series is in action with the Martinsville 250. Following the race the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will qualify for Sunday’s STP 500.
Sunday, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is in action with the running of the STP 500. The race is the first short-track race of the season and the first race back on the East Coast after the Series’ “West Coast Swing.”

Advance ticket prices for the STP 500 begin at $47 with youth tickets for fans 17-and-under just $25 regardless of location. Youth 17-and-under are admitted free to the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series 250 lap race on Saturday. Friday’s practice day is free to everyone.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or online at www.martinsvillespeedway.com.

Tags: Henry County, Martinsville, Martinsville Speedway, Motorsports, NASCAR, Racing