NASCAR Track Facts: Martinsville Speedway

“Rowdy Busch took the checkers first for the first short track race of the 2009 NASCAR season last weekend at Bristol. We have another short track race this weekend at the historic Martinsville Speedway and the sixth race of the season.

Here is a quick run down of trivial facts and statistics for this weekend’s Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia.

Martinsville Speedway History

Goodys Fast Relief 500

  • Opened in September 1947 by H. Clay Earles, Martinsville Speedway, originally a dirt track, is one of the oldest continuously-operating racing facilities in the United States.
  • The first NASCAR-sanctioned race at Martinsville was on July 4, 1948.
  • The first NASCAR Sprint Cup race was held on Sept. 25, 1949.
  • The first NASCAR Nationwide Series race was held March 28, 1982.
  • The first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Martinsville was Sept. 25, 1995.
  • The track was paved in 1955.
  • The first 500-lap event at Martinsville was in 1956.
  • Concrete corners were added atop the asphalt track in 1976.

Track Numbers

  • There have been 120 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway.
  • 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 at Martinsville.
  • 55 drivers have posted poles at Martinsville, led by Darrell Waltrip with eight.
  • Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin and Darrell Waltrip share the consecutive pole record, each with three.
  • Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with seven poles.
  • 45 different drivers have won races, led by Richard Petty with 15.
  • Fred Lorenzen holds the consecutive win record with four.
  • Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with seven victories.
  • Petty Enterprises has won 19 races, more than any other organization.
  • 17 races have been won from the pole, but none since Jeff Gordon swept both races from the pole in 2003.
  • Kurt Busch won the 2002 fall race from the 36th starting position, the furthest back a race winner has started.

Hot Fact

Jimmie Johnson has won four of the last five races at Martinsville. Johnson finished 35th in his first Martinsville appearance (April 2002), his only DNF there. Since then, he has posted 13 straight top-10 finishes. Johnson has finished fourth or better in his last seven Martinsville races. He has completed all but 54 laps in his 14 appearances at Martinsville, with all his incomplete laps coming in that first appearance.

Martinsville Speedway Data

  • Race #: 6 of 36 (3-29-09)
  • Track Size: .526 mile
  • Race Length: 500 laps/263 miles
  • Banking/Corners: 12 degrees
  • Banking/Straights: 0 degrees
  • Frontstretch: 800 feet
  • Backstretch: 800 feet

Qualifying/Race Data

  • 2008 pole winner: Jeff Gordon (96.288 mph, 19.666 seconds)
  • 2008 race winner: Denny Hamlin (73.163 mph, 3-30-08)
  • Track qualifying record: Tony Stewart (98.083 mph, 19.306 secs., 10-21-05)
  • Race record: Jeff Gordon (82.223 mph, 9-22-96)
  • Estimated Pit Window: Every 140-150 laps, based on fuel mileage.