Martinsville Speedway’s little .526-mile paper clip shaped short track will host two very big NASCAR races this weekend.
First, the NASCAR Cup Series begins the Round of 8 semifinal round with Sunday’s First Data 500.
The original 16-driver field that began the playoffs at Chicago six races ago has been pared to just eight drivers remaining and with four races left.
Also, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series kicks off the Round of 6 semifinal round with the Texas Roadhouse 200.
Lastly, the NASCAR Xfinity Series enjoys this weekend off. It returns to action next weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, when all three of NASCAR’s premier series will be in action.
NASCAR Cup Series – First Data 500
There are 40 cars entered in Sunday’s race. While the preliminary NASCAR entry list indicates two driver positions being open, a press release was sent out this morning that one of those vacant seats has been filled.
The No. 51 Chevrolet of Rick Ware Racing is listed as having no driver, but the team announced today that 20-year-old Kyle Weatherman will make his NASCAR Cup debut and drive the car in Sunday’s race.
Weatherman will also drive for RWR at Phoenix in the penultimate NASCAR Cup playoff race.
That leaves just one driver’s seat that needs to be filled for Sunday’s race: the No. 83 Toyota of BK Racing.
Jimmie Johnson won this race last year, one big step on his way to winning a seventh NASCAR Cup championship, tying him with NASCAR Hall of Famers Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt for most championships won by a driver.
Johnson has won nine times at Martinsville. If there’s any place for him to begin his push for a record eighth championship, the tiny southern Virginia track is just the place to do so. Meanwhile, Brad Keselowski won at Martinsville this spring.
Click here for the preliminary NASCAR Cup entry list for Sunday’s race at Martinsville.
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Camping World Truck Series – Texas Roadhouse 200
There are 34 trucks on the preliminary entry list for Saturday’s Texas Roadhouse 200 at Martinsville Speedway.
There are two open driver spots and one open owner position.
The No. 0 Chevrolet, owned by Jennifer Jo Cobb, does not have a driver listed yet.
And the No. 111 Chevrolet does not have a driver or a team owner listed on the preliminary entry list. However, there is a crew chief slated: Clinton Cram.
Johnny Sauter won this race last year en route to his first career Truck Series championship.
There are no NASCAR Cup drivers entered in this race.
Click here for the preliminary NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entry list for Saturday’s race at Martinsville.