Martinsville, Virginia


New Generation Sprint Cup Car to Debut

The racing world is abuzz over the new 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup cars, the so-called Gen6 models.

And while everyone is focused on their debut in Daytona in a few weeks, these new, racy cars with the showroom looks, Martinsville Speedway fans should be getting revved up about them, too.

The new cars will officially debut here in the Virginia 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup race on April 7, but expect many of the teams to roll out their new rides earlier as open testing has returned to the Sprint Cup series for the first time in half of a decade.

Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell, a enthusiastic race fan himself, can't wait to see the 2013 Cup cars hit the half-mile oval.

"I'm excited about the 2013 car and I really believe NASCAR is doing the right thing by making the race cars look like the cars you buy off the showroom floor," said Campbell. "That's what we used to have years ago and the fans would not only pull for the drivers, they'd also pull for a particular brand of car. To get that rivalry and excitement back is huge for our sport."

Before a testing ban was put in place several years ago, the weeks leading into event weeks at Martinsville Speedway saw tons of activity at the track with many teams involved in several days of testing over a two or three-week period. With that ban lifted, teams are anxious to get back to testing at all tracks to help improve race-day performance.

Throw into that mix an influx of Cup drivers this season who have never raced at Martinsville Speedway and the Martinsville testing schedule could get even more interesting. Those drivers would include Danica Patrick, beginning her first full season of Cup race for Stewart Haas and Nationwide Series champion Ricky Stenhouse, who has moved fulltime to Cup with Roush Fenway.

"We fully expect Martinsville Speedway to be a busy place this year with testing," said Campbell. "Considering some of the talent now in the Sprint Cup ranks have never turned a lap at Martinsville, it's almost a must for those teams to test here.

"Although it's a short track, this is still one of the most difficult tracks on the circuit to figure out. There are guys who have been coming here for years that still haven't! We've already been getting inquiries from teams about dates, so I would expect in the next few weeks we'll see the schedule start coming together.

The test schedules will be announced as they become available. Test sessions are open to the public at no charge.

The Virginia 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race is scheduled for Sunday, April 7, the day after the Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. Pole Day is Friday, April 5.

Ticket prices for the Virginia 500 start as low as $37 with $10 youth tickets available. Tickets for the Virginia 500, the Kroger 250 and Martinsville Pole Day may be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or by visiting online.

Martinsville Speedway's phone hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 am. To 7 p.m.

Martinsville Speedway's ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.