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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

AT LAST! -- Truck Series returns this weekend at Martinsville

After Daytona the Truck series went into hibernation. That's too bad, because it brings some of the best racing in NASCAR

Thankfully, it’s back this weekend at Martinsville. ThorSport Racing driver Johnny Sauter is the defending spring race winner at Martinsville.

Points leader John King is excited to be back on the track after his miraculous win at Daytona.
"It's pretty cool to be the points leader for five weeks. For five weeks, I've turned on Speed and watched 'Race Hub' and seen my name scroll across the bottom of the screen -- pretty wild. I was ready to go somewhere the next Monday morning. I was ready to load up and go back to the race track somewhere. It's hard to get out of a race truck and you've got all this other stuff to do and you can't really be around racing. We're all just really excited. The win at Daytona is good for the whole organization and gives us a lot of confidence and a lot of momentum going into this next race. We've got some really nice trucks for Martinsville and the rest of these races."

Todd Bodine, driver for the Red Horse Racing teaam is looking forward to Martinsville.
"I have been going to Martinsville since I was eight-years-old,” he said. “I grew up in Rocky Mount, Va., and went to school at Franklin County High School, which is about 30-40 minutes from the race track. My brothers Brett and Geoffrey both have multiple NASCAR wins at the track and also multiple wins in the modified series. I was part of the team and even changed tires back when they were racing modifieds. There is a lot of family history in southern Virginia and it's very much a 'home track' for me."

There will also be a lot of newcomers making their series debut at Martinsville.
— Jeb Burton, 19, Halifax, Va., is the latest competitor to join one of Virginia’s most storied families on the NASCAR national series level. His father, Ward, is the 2002 Daytona 500 winner. Burton’s uncle, Jeff, is a 21-time NASCAR Sprint Cup winner.
— Caleb Holman, 28, Abingdon, Va., made five NNS starts between 2003 and 2007.
— Brennan Newberry, 22, Bakersfield, Calif., has nine K&N Pro Series West starts under his seatbelt with a best finish of fifth in last year’s race at The Bullring at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
— Natalie Sather, 27, Shelby, N.C., finished second in NASCAR Whelen late model points at South Boston (Va.) Speedway. The Drive for Diversity graduate, whose nickname is “Speed,” is a former Knoxville (Iowa) Speedway 360 sprint car rookie of the year.

2012 by the numbers -- five races into the season
0.259 seconds – The closest margin of victory (Phoenix) in the first five races this season.
1 – Point Standings leader throughout the first five races – Sadler
4 – Different drivers to win: Sadler (2; Phoenix and Bristol), Stenhouse (1; Las Vegas), James Buescher (1; Daytona) and Joey Logano (1; Auto Club Speedway).
4 – Different Coors Light pole winners: Logano (2; Bristol and Auto Club), Danica Patrick (1; Daytona), Sadler (1; Las Vegas) and Denny Hamlin (1; Phoenix).
12 – Different drivers have accumulated at least one Bonus Point – led by Sadler with 11.
41 – Number of Leaders: Daytona (16), Phoenix (5), Las Vegas (8), Bristol (5) and Auto Club (7). Forty-one is the sixth largest number of leaders in the first fives races behind 2010, 2007 (46 leaders); 2006 (44); 1997 (43); and 2008 (42).
74 – Number of Lead Changes: Daytona (38), Phoenix (8), Las Vegas (8), Bristol (5) and Auto Club (15). Seventy-four lead changes ties with 2006 for the third most lead changes in the first five races of the season behind 2007 (77 lead changes) and 1997 (76 lead changes).

Roush Fenway Martinsville facts
— In 170 Cup starts at the half-mile paper-clip shaped track, Roush Fenway has turned more laps at Martinsville Speedway than any other venue in the Sprint Cup Series, with 81,982 laps completed. During that span, Roush Fenway has collected four wins, four poles, 25 top-five and 60 top-10 finishes. All-in-all Roush Fenway carries a 17.1 average finish to Martinsville this weekend.
— Roush Fenway has won four Sprint Cup races at Martinsville, with three different drivers. However,the team has not visited victory lane at the track since the fall of 2002. Roush Fenway also boasts two truck wins in 46 starts at Martinsville (fall of ’03 and ’05).
— Roush Fenway had its overall most-successful outing at Martinsville in the spring of 2002 when it placed all four of its cars inside the top 10. In addition, RFR posted a one-two finish at the track in the spring of 2000. Ironically, Roush Fenway has not placed more than one car inside the top five at Martinsville since that finish in 2000.

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