Martinsville Speedway’s spring NASCAR Cup Series race has been pared down to 400 laps. Will the shorter distance lead to more short track shenanigans Saturday night?
Time will tell. But fans should keep an eye out for another late-race pass for the win. Six of the season’s first seven races have had a pass for the win within the final 10 laps.
Meanwhile, seven different drivers have won to start the season. But will we see an eighth?
Keep in mind that the first repeat winner of 2021 came in Race No. 8 at Martinsville, when Martin Truex Jr. won after taking the checkered flag at Phoenix roughly a month earlier.
Details for Saturday’s Cup race at Martinsville Speedway
(All Times Eastern)
START: Command to start engines given at 7:49 p.m. … Green flag scheduled to wave at 7:58 p.m.
PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 3:30 p.m. … Driver introductions are at 7 p.m. … God Bless America performed by Jefferson Choral Society at 7:39 p.m. … Invocation given by Jeff Lynch, lead pastor of Compassion Church of Danville, at 7:41 p.m. … National Anthem performed by 29th Division Army Band – Virginia Army National Guard at 7:42 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is 400 laps (210.4 miles) on the .526-mile short track.
STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 100. Stage 2 ends at Lap 200.
TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 7:30 p.m. Pre-race coverage begins at 7 p.m. … Motor Racing Network’s radio coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. and will also stream at MRN.com; SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the MRN broadcast.
FORECAST: Weather Underground – Mostly cloudy skies, high of 46 degrees, 3% chance of rain around the start of the race
INSPECTION ISSUES: A.J. Allmendinger‘s No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet failed three times. As a result, Allmendinger was not permitted to qualify Friday afternoon and must serve a pass-through penalty after taking the green flag in Saturday’s race. No. 16 engineer Michael Brookes has also been ejected.
STARTING LINEUP: Martinsville Cup starting lineup
LAST TIME: Alex Bowman spun Denny Hamlin out of the lead with less than 10 laps to go and went on to win last October’s Cup playoff race at Martinsville in overtime. Hamlin still advanced to the Championship 4 along with Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott and Martin Truex Jr., but that didn’t keep him from confronting Bowman on the front stretch after the checkered flag and then calling Bowman a “hack” in post-race comments. Hours later, Bowman was selling shirts with the phrase on them.
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