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Martinsville Speedway: History

Martinsville Speedway:

History

  • Opened in September 1947 by Clay Earles, Martinsville, originally a dirt track, is one of the oldest continuously-operating race tracks in the United States.
  • The first NASCAR-sanctioned race at Martinsville was on July 4, 1948.
  • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was Sept. 25, 1949.
  • The track was paved in 1955.
  • The first 500-lap event at Martinsville was in 1956.
  • Concrete corners were added atop asphalt in 1976.

Starts

  • There have been 133 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway, one in the inaugural year and two races per year since 1950.
  • 608 drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville; 381 in more than one.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty has the all-time most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Martinsville with 67; Jeff Gordon has the most starts among active drivers with 45.
  • Jeff Gordon leads active drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in average starting position at Martinsville Speedway with a 7.244. Denny Hamlin (9.789) and Ryan Newman (9.370) are the only other active drivers with an average starting position at Martinsville inside the top 10.
  • Chase Elliott (03/29/2015), Mike Bliss (09/27/1998), Travis Kvapil (10/24/2004) and Michael McDowell (3/30/2008) are active drivers that made their first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career starts at Martinsville Speedway.

Poles

  • Curtis Turner won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Martinsville Speedway in 1949.
  • 59 drivers have Coors Light poles at Martinsville, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip with eight; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with seven.

 

Poles

  • 12 drivers have won two or more consecutive Coors Light poles at Martinsville Speedway. Four of the 12 have won three consecutive poles at Martinsville: Glen Wood (Fall of 1959 and 1960 sweep); Darrell Waltrip (1979 sweep and spring 1980); Mark Martin (fall of 1990 and 1991 sweep); Jeff Gordon (2003 sweep and spring 2004).
  • Youngest Martinsville pole winner: Ricky Rudd (4/26/1981 – 24 years, 7 months, 14 days).
  • Oldest Martinsville pole winner: Morgan Shepherd (4/26/1987 – 45 years, 6 months, 14 days).
  • Tony Stewart (4/18/1999) won his first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light poles at Martinsville Speedway.  

Wins

  • 48 different drivers have won at Martinsville Speedway, led by Richard Petty with 15; Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon lead the series among active drivers with eight wins each.
  • 24 drivers have multiple wins at Martinsville Speedway only five active drivers have multiple wins: Jimmie Johnson (eight), Jeff Gordon (eight), Denny Hamlin (four), Tony Stewart (three) and Kurt Busch (two).
  • Hendrick Motorsports leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in wins at Martinsville Speedway with 22.  
  • 21 of 133 races (15.7%) at Martinsville Speedway have been won from the Coors Light pole; seven of those 21 wins came from active drivers: Tony Stewart (2000), Jeff Gordon (2003 twice), Jimmie Johnson (2008, 2012, spring 2013) and Denny Hamlin (2010).
  • The Coors Light pole is the most proficient starting spot in the field at Martinsville producing more wins (21) than any other starting position.
  • 36 of the 133 (27.1%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from the front row: 21 from the pole and 15 from second-place.
  • 95 of the 133 (71.4%) NASCAR Sprint Cup races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position.
  • Seven of the 133 (5.2%) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from a starting position outside the top 20 – including both races last season.
  • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started was 36th, by Kurt Busch in the fall of 2002.
  • Youngest Martinsville winner: Richard Petty (04/10/1960 – 22 years, 9 months, 8 days).
  • Oldest Martinsville winner: Harry Gant (09/22/1991 – 51 years, 8 months, 12 days).
  • 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have posted consecutive wins at Martinsville Speedway. Fred Lorenzen won four NSCS races straight (the most) from the fall of 1963 through the spring of 1965. Jimmie Johnson is the most recent driver to win consecutive races (Fall of 2012 / Spring of 2013) at Martinsville.
  • All eight active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won at Martinsville Speedway participated in at least two or more races before visiting Victory Lane. Tony Stewart won at Martinsville (2000) with the fewest previous appearances (three).

 

Wins

  • Ryan Newman competed at Martinsville Speedway 20 times before winning in the spring of 2012; the longest span of any the eight active NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winners.
  • Two active drivers have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Martinsville Speedway: Kevin Harvick (19) and Ryan Newman (20).
  • Chevrolet leads series in wins at Martinsville Speedway with 54 victories – including the eight of the last nine races.
  • Seven car numbers have produced five or more Martinsville Speedway NSCS wins:

Car Number – Drivers – (Years)

  • 43 – Richard Petty (1960, ’62, ’63, ’67 sweep, ’68, ’69 sweep, ’70, ’71, ’72 sweep, ’73, ’75 and ’79); John Andretti (1999)
  • 11 – Cale Yarborough (1974, ’76, ’77 sweep, ‘78); Darrell Waltrip (1981, ’82, ’83, ’84); Geoff Bodine (1990 sweep); Denny Hamlin (2008, ’09, ’10 sweep, ‘15)
  • No. 28 – Fred Lorenzen (1961, ’63, ’64 sweep, ‘65 and ‘66); Buddy Baker (1979); Ernie Irvan (1993).
  • No. 2 – Dale Earnhardt (1980); Rusty Wallace (1993, ‘94 sweep, ’95, ’96 and ‘04)
  • No. 48 – Jimmie Johnson (2004, ’06, ’07 sweep, ’08, ’09, ’12, ‘13)
  • No. 24 – Jeff Gordon (1996, ’97, ’99, ’03 sweep and ’05 sweep, fall 2013)
  • No. 3 – Ricky Rudd (1983); Dale Earnhardt (1985, ’87, ’88, ’91, ’95)

 

Additional Finishing Positions

  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the series in runner-up finishes at Martinsville Speedway with seven; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with five, followed by his Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson with four.
  • Richard Petty leads the series in top-five finishes at Martinsville Speedway with 30; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 28, followed by Jimmie Johnson with 18.
  • Richard Petty leads the series in top-10 finishes at Martinsville Speedway with 37; Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with 36, followed by Jimmie Johnson with 22.
  • Three active drivers have a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series average finish in the top 10 at Martinsville: Jeff Gordon (6.889), Jimmie Johnson (7.296) and Denny Hamlin (8.316).
  • Jeff Gordon has participated in the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway without a DNF (45).

 

 

Track Event Specific Stats

  • There have been five NSCS green-white-checkered finishes at Martinsville Speedway: fall 2007 (500/506), fall 2008 (500/504), fall 2009 (500/501), spring 2010 (500/508), and spring 2012 (500/515).
  • Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions eight times in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway; the most recent was the fall race of 2011.
  • Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway is the April 1, 2007 race won by Jimmie Johnson with a MOV of 0.065 second.

 

Female Competitor Stats

  • Danica Patrick is the only female driver to compete at Martinsville Speedway in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Below are Patrick’s stats at Martinsville.

 

Driver Starting Position Finishing Position Driver Rating Date
Danica Patrick 16 7 86.9 3/29/2015
Danica Patrick 30 34 61.3 10/26/2014
Danica Patrick 10 32 52.4 3/30/2014
Danica Patrick 41 17 64.7 10/27/2013
Danica Patrick 32 12 72.6 4/7/2013
Averages 25.8 20.4 67.6  

 

 

NASCAR in Virginia

  • There have been 289 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races among nine tracks in the state of Virginia.
Track Name City NSCS
Martinsville Speedway Martinsville 133
Richmond International Raceway Richmond 119
South Boston Speedway South Boston 10
Langley Field Speedway Hampton 9
Old Dominion Speedway Manassas 7
Southside Speedway Richmond 4
Starkey Speedway Roanoke 4
Norfolk Speedway Norfolk 2
Princess Anne Speedway Norfolk 1
  • 174 drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Virginia.
  • Joe Weatherly and Wendell Scott are both from Virginia and have been inducted into 2015 Class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
  • Leonard Wood from Stuart, Va. was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2013 and his brother Glen Wood also from (Stuart) Virginia was inducted in 2012.
  • 19 drivers from Virginia have won at least one race in NASCAR’s three national series. 11 of the 19 Virginia native NASCAR winners have won in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
Driver NSCS NXS NCWTS
Denny Hamlin 26 14 2
Joe Weatherly 25 0 0
Ricky Rudd 23 1 0
Jeff Burton 21 27 0
Curtis Turner 17 0 0
Ward Burton 5 4 0
Glen Wood 4 0 0
Elliott Sadler 3 10 1
Emanuel Zervakis 2 0 0
Lennie Pond 1 0 0
Wendell Scott 1 0 0
Tommy Ellis 0 22 0
Jimmy Hensley 0 9 2
Rick Mast 0 9 0
Hermie Sadler 0 2 0
Elton Sawyer 0 2 0
Stacy Compton 0 0 2
Jon Wood 0 0 2
Jeb Burton 0 0 1

 

 

 

milestones

 

DRIVER HAS NEEDS MILESTONE DESCRIPTION
Jeff Gordon 7 1 Most All-Time (8th) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Poles at Martinsville Gordon can tie NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip (8) for the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coors Light Poles at Martinsville Speedway.
Jimmie Johnson 74 2 76th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win Jimmie Johnson is eighth on the all-time NSCS wins list, two wins behind NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt in seventh (76 wins).
Tony Stewart 48 2 50th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Win Stewart is 12th on the all-time NSCS wins list, two wins behind NASCAR Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett in 10th (50 wins).
Jeff Gordon 324 1 325th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Top-Five Finish Gordon needs just two more top-five finishes in the NSCS to reach 325 NSCS top-five finishes all-time. Gordon is third on the all-time list; 12 top fives behind NASCAR Hall of Famer Bobby Allison (336) in second.
Jeff Gordon 36 1 Most All-Time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Top-10 Finishes at Martinsville Gordon can tie NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty (37) for the most NASCAR Sprint Cup Series top-10 finishes at Martinsville Speedway.
Tony Stewart 299 1 300th NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Top-10 Finish Stewart is 17th on the all-time NSCS top-10 finishes list, two top 10s behind James Hylton in 16th (301 top 10s).
Jeff Gordon 24,881 119 25,000 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Laps Led Gordon can become the sixth driver in NSCS history to lead 25,000 laps; joining Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Cale Yarborough, David Pearson and Bobby Allison.
Kevin Harvick 2,056 180 Most Laps Led in a Single Season During Chase Era (2004-2015) Harvick can lead the most laps in a single season in the NSCS during the Chase Era if he leads 180 or more laps in the final seven races. If he accomplishes the feat he will surpass current record holder Jimmie Johnson (2,238 laps led in a single Chase Era season).
#43 car 199 1 200 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Wins The No. 43 car is second on the all-time NSCS wins list, five wins behind the No. 11 car in first (205). The last win for the No. 43 car came at Daytona (July) last season.
#20 Car 48 2 50 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Wins The No. 20 car is 19th on the NSCS all-time wins list, four wins behind the No. 27 and 18 cars in 17th/18th (with 52 each).

10/28/2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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