As we've shown in our Commonwealth Corner series, Virginia's racing roots run deep. Those roots will be on full display during the Month of April with NASCAR rolling through Martinsville and Richmond. "I’m really excited to race at Richmond International Raceway this year, not only because it’s the only Virginia track on the XFINITY circuit but also because (we)always performs well there. Winning in my home state would make me so proud," said Halifax-native Jeb Burton. We're excited too Jeb, we're excited too.
Three of the next four Sprint Cup races will take place on short tracks, kicking off this weekend with the STP 500 in Martinsville. The series moves on to Bristol in two weeks before culminating in Richmond for the TOYOTA OWNERS 400 on Sunday, April 24. "A lot of us grew up on short tracks and Martinsville is where I’ve raced a lot whether it be with the Truck Series or even the XFINITY Series, in which we were fortunate to win the one race we got to run there," said Sprint Cup Series points leader Kevin Harvick.
It's November 2105. Joey Logano is in the midst of a three-race win streak and looks like the odds-on favorite for the 2015 Sprint Cup Championship. Just 50 laps away from making it four in a row, Matt Kenseth, who is nine laps down, puts Logano into Turn 1 and causes the driver of the No. 22 Penske Ford to finish 37th- effectively ending his Championship bid. Six months later, the two return to where it all went down. Expect all eyes to be on these two as they try for their first grandfather clock this weekend.
Three In A Row
Speaking of Logano, he dominated all three rounds of qualifying. Topping the final round at a speed of 97.043 mph, Logano earned his third straight pole at Martinsville, the first driver to do so since Jeff Gordon accomplished that same feat from 2003-2004. Kasey Kahne will start alongside Logano on the front row.
Just seconds before the first Sprint Cup practice wrapped up, Trevor Bayne lost control of his No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford heading down the backstretch into Turn 3. "In qualifying trim I thought our car drove good, it handled good, but I was really lagging in the braking zones," Bayne said. "We were giving up two to three-tenths into both corners and I tried to just push the braking zone a little bit more and it started wheel-hopping really bad. There was nothing I could do about it. Once it started bouncing I tried to save it and once it got backwards stood in the gas and it just backed in." Bayne qualified 32nd in his back-up car.