Martinsville MarblesBy Chris Knight
Once again, CATCHFENCE.com is on-location, this weekend at the legendary paperclip of Martinsville (Va.) Speedway to cover this weekend’s activities for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
We’ll be here with our “Martinsville Marbles” section which discuss some of the latest ramblings, rumors, storylines and whatever else we can dig ourselves into.
- NASCAR Sprint Cup Series:
Mayfield Back In The Headlines: The buzz around the Media Center and the garage area on Friday morning circled around Jeremy Mayfield whose suspension from NASCAR in 2009 for violating the sanction’s substance abuse policy seems to be a never-ending battle, as far as lawsuits are concerned. But it’s not his legal troubles woes that’s stirring the pot this weekend, it’s the rumor that Mayfield will return to racing in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards at Pocono (Pa.) Raceway on Saturday, June 9. The team rumored to be putting Mayfield in the seat is Carter-2-Motorsports, based out of Mooresville, North Carolina. At this point, both sides are not saying much about the intended partnership, but an official announcement and / or statement from the team could come as early as next week.
Michael Waltrip Racing Increases Schedule For Brian Vickers: During this morning’s press conference at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, Michael Waltrip, owner of Michael Waltrip Racing announced that he is increasing Brian Vickers current NASCAR Sprint Cup Series schedule from six races to eight races including Watkins Glen International and Infineon Raceway based on his performance at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway two weeks ago. Mark Martin turned down the original offer. Waltrip said it was a “no-brainer” to put Vickers in the No. 55 Toyota after Martin opted out.
Bristol On The Mind: With the announcement this week from Bruton Smith that Bristol (Tenn.) Speedway will undergo a surface change in time for this summer’s activities at the half-mile oval, the drivers and car owners are starting to react publicly to the news. Kevin Harvick joyfully said “About time” but commended Smith on his efforts saying “he had great intentions.” Car owner and part-time driver Michael Waltrip said “he can’t wait to see what he (Bruton) does.” Dale Earnhardt Jr. also spoke out and said “’afraid the odds aren’t in their favor of getting it right, but we’re pulling for ‘em.’
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Amped For Martinsville: Dale Earnhardt Jr. is off to his best start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in several years and on Friday morning, his lifted morale was noticeable and he noted “Confidence is good. It’s up real high. Races can’t come fast enough for our team right now.” An interesting note from Jr. when he was asked about appearances on race day, he said “his brain is “locked up” on Sundays and he’s not very good with pre-race conversations and appearances.”
Food For Thought: An interesting statistic this weekend that only 34 full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers have competed in every single event thus far in 2012.
- NASCAR Camping World Truck Series:
Townley Apologies: RAB Racing with Brack Maggard announced earlier this week that they were placing John Wes Townley back in their No. 09 RAB Racing Toyota Tundra this weekend at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway and a remorseful Townley apologized for his actions this (Friday) morning during a press conference at his pit stall. The former ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards driver stated that he’s accepted the “penalties” assessed to him but he was ready to put his mistake in the past and concentrate on his driving responsibilities. “I want to start by apologizing to everyone — to NASCAR, my team and to everybody that made this deal happen. This is something that I feel I’m really serious about as an individual and a driver in NASCAR. What happened that night, I take full responsibility for it. It reflected poorly upon my team, on my sponsors and everyone else and I want to sincerely apologize. It’s up to me moving forward to put this behind me and to make better decisions in the future and to really learn from this. I know that a lot of these words are real easily spoken, but its actions in the future that I’m going to be judged by. And with that I’ll open it up to any questions y’all may have,” said Townley.
Red Horse Racing First To Take Center Stage: Daytona NASCAR Camping World Truck Series winner and current point’s leader John King and Timothy Peters kicked off the Media Center Press Conference schedule on Friday morning and King remains “all-smiles” since capturing the biggest victory of his career. King, a native of Tennessee said that Daytona “changed his life” but he was ready to step out of the glory and get back to racing.
Peters Talks About Rockingham Speedway: Timothy Peters made it very clear that he is pumped about the upcoming Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 presented by Cheerwine at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway. Peters said that race will be “awesome” and “it’s going to be a lot of fun.” Peters in his No. 17 Red Horse Racing Toyota Tundra did the tire test for Goodyear two weeks following the 2012 season-opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Former Champion Present: 2005 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Ted Musgrave is on the grounds of Martinsville (Va.) Speedway this weekend ironically spotting for another champion, Ron Hornaday Jr. in the No. 9 Chevrolet Silverado, which is sponsorless for Joe Denette Motorsports. Musgrave, who last drove in the series in 2010 has 192 starts overall and 13 starts at Martinsville with two poles and a best finish of twice, most recently in 2006 driving for Germain Racing.
Cobb Locked In: After missing the 2012-season opener at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in February, Jennifer Jo Cobb was determined that she wasn’t going to miss Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. In an 11th hour deal, Cobb struck a deal by obtaining the No. 8 owner’s points which were utilized by Kevin Harvick Inc. in 2011 then transferred to Eddie Sharp Racing with driver Mike Skinner for Daytona. Since Sharp has elected for the time-being to drop his third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team, Cobb now has control of the No. 8 points which guarantees her a starting position for the Kroger 250.
Joe Denette To Be Featured: CATCHFENCE.com has learned that Joe Denette Motorsports owner Joe Denette will be featured on 20 / 20 tonight on ABC.
Good News For Peters: Despite blowing an engine in the final practice session for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Friday afternoon, NASCAR announced that Timothy Peters will not have to relinquish his qualifying position (time trials are set for Saturday morning) because the seized engine was sealed.
Weber To Give Up Seat To Crawford: Brian Weber practiced the No. 74 KOMA Unwind Chevrolet Silverado for Mike Harmon Motorsports Friday at Martinsville Speedway, however CATCHFENCE.com has learned that Weber will give up his seat to Rick Crawford for qualifying and the Kroger 250. We did learn that Weber will be at Rockingham (N.C.) Speedway though in a new truck for Harmon where he will practice, qualify and race the Good Sam Roadside Assistance 200 presented by Cheerwine.
Views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Catchfence