Odds & Ends - Martinsville
October 23, 2012
By VI News
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-- Opened in September 1947 by H. 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.
-- There have been 127 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway, one in the inaugural year and two races per year since 1950.
-- Curtis Turner won the pole for the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville in 1949.
-- Red Byron won the first NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
-- 57 drivers have won poles, led by Darrell Waltrip with eight. Jeff Gordon, with seven poles, can tie that mark this weekend.
-- Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and Darrell Waltrip share the consecutive pole record, each with three.
-- 47 different drivers have won, led by Richard Petty's 15.
-- Jeff Gordon leads active drivers with seven wins. Jimmie Johnson hassixand Denny Hamlin has four.
-- 19 races have been won from the pole, the last by Denny Hamlin in October 2010.
-- Petty Enterprises has won 19 races, more than any other organization. Hendrick Motorsports, with 18 wins, can tie that mark this weekend.
-- Kurt Busch won the 2002 fall race from the 36th starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started.
-- Three active drivers average a top-10: Jimmie Johnson (5.7), Denny Hamlin (6.4) and Jeff Gordon (7.0).
-- Youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Martinsville Speedway winner: Richard Petty (4/10/1960 - 22 years, 9 months, 8 days). Oldest NSCS Martinsville Speedway winner: Harry Gant (9/22/1991 - 51 years, 8 months, 12 days).
-- Youngest NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Martinsville Speedway pole winner: Ricky Rudd (4/26/1981 - 24 years, 7 months, 14 days). Oldest NSCS Martinsville Speedway pole winner: Morgan Shepherd (04/26/1987 - 45 years, 6 months, 14 days).
Martinsville Speedway Data
Chase Race #: 7 of 10
Season Race #: 33 of 36 (10-28-12)
Track Size: 0.562-mile
Banking/Turns: 12 degrees
Banking/Straights: 0 degrees
Frontstretch Length: 800 feet
Backstretch Length: 800 feet
Race Length: 500 laps / 263 miles
Top 12 Driver Rating at Martinsville
Jimmie Johnson 121.4
Jeff Gordon 120.8
Denny Hamlin 113.4
Tony Stewart 101.5
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 100.1
Kyle Busch 94.4
Kevin Harvick 93.9
Ryan Newman 90.1
Jeff Burton 88.9
Clint Bowyer 87.9
Jamie McMurray 83.2
Brad Keselowski 82.3
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2012 races (15 total) among active drivers at Martinsville Speedway
2011 pole winner: None Due To Weather
2011 race winner: Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 68.648 mph, (3:49:52), 10-30-11
Track qualifying record: Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 98.083 mph, 19.306 sec., 10-21-05
Track race record: Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 82.223 mph, (3:11:55), 9-22-96
NASCAR in Virginia
-- There have been 277 NASCAR Sprint Cup races in Virginia.
-- 165 drivers in NASCAR's three national series (all-time) have their home state recorded as Virginia.
-- There have been 18 race winners from Virginia in NASCAR's three national series