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The Sprint Cup Series heads to Virginia this weekend to beat and bang at Martinsville Speedway. The Goody’s Cool Orange 500 is the sixth race of the 2008 Sprint Cup season, and will be broadcast live on Sunday, March 30th at 2:00 PM ET on FOX, with radio coverage by MRN affiliates nationwide. Competitors will make 500 circuits for 263 miles around the .526-mile flat short track in their quest for the checkered flag.
Records and Facts
Tony Stewart holds the record for the fastest lap at Martinsville Speedway, posting a qualifying lap with a speed of 98.084 mph to win the pole for the 2005 running of the Subway 500. Darrell Waltrip holds the record for the most poles recorded at Martinsville with eight; Denny Hamlin won the pole for last year’s event.
Jeff Gordon holds the fastest race record time at Martinsville. He attained the record of three hours, 11 minutes, 54 seconds with an average speed of 82.223 mph on September 22, 1996 in the Hanes 500. Richard Petty holds the record for most victories at Martinsville Speedway with 15; Jimmie Johnson won last year’s event.
Track/Race Length: 0.526-mile oval, 500 laps, 263 miles
Pit Road Speed: 45 mph
Corners: Banked 12 degrees
Frontstretch: 800 feet, 0 degrees
Backstretch: 800 feet, 0 degrees
Grandstand Seating: 65,000
Pre-Race Schedule (all times eastern)
Practice – Friday, March 28, 12:00 pm on SPEED
Qualifying – Friday, March 28 at 3:40 pm on SPEED
Practice – Saturday, March 29 at 11:30am
Happy Hour Practice – Saturday, March 2 at 12:50 PM, tape delayed on SPEED at 9 pm
National Anthem: Virginia Tech’s Military Marching Band
Grand Marshal/Give the Command to Start Engines: VT Football Coach Frank Beamer
“I know it’s a long race, and one of the toughest races on the calendar. But I’m excited about it. It’s an awesome place with lots of history. I really enjoy short-track racing. It puts the driver back in the equation a little more than some of the larger tracks. I’m looking forward to that. But it’s a tough race. There are a lot of laps, a lot of hard laps. To make your debut at Martinsville is tough.” – Michael McDowell
“There are certain rhythms at Martinsville that I fortunately found and picked up after my first year of being there. My first race, I did not have the rhythm of the track, and there are a lot of components that go into it. There’s really, in my opinion, a rhythm that’s necessary. I still may struggle, even at the start of practice, to find the rhythm, but once the race starts, it always comes back to me now.” – Jimmie Johnson