Which story would you like…?

The one on Dale Earnhardt, Jr. coming to Martinsville on top of the points, finishing mid-pack and dropping back to number 3…?

The one on Tony Stewart and Joey Logano where an angry Stewart went after Logano post race at Fontana but the temper fizzed by Martinsville…?

How about the one on Danica Patrick…? She qualified at 32, spun early, and still drove to 12th… You want that one…?

Maybe Denny Hamlin out of the #11 with back injuries and Mark Martin, filling in the seat, drives to a top ten finish…?

Or the one on Jimmie Johnson starting on the pole and winning his eighth grandfather clock…?

Did we mention VA Tech football coach Frank Beamer…? (more…)

Qualifying is usually uneventful.

Sometimes there is a spin or a wall scrape. Sometimes things go really off and a car and driver go for an unintentional ride.

At Martinsville it was uneventful.

Except the first time appearance of Danica Patrick… And Mark Martin in Denny Hamlin’s car… And the snow…

First, the snow. It was actually the day and night before. Rain was forecast but the temperatures dropped and 2 to 4 inches of snow fell. It was mostly to the west of Martinsville but flakes fell and it was wet and cold and people were so buzzed up over snow in April. However, the weather changed rapidly with blue skies and temps in the mid 60’s as qualifying began. The practice sessions went on with only a nod to the snow the day before. (more…)

Martinsville Speedway marks the return of NASCAR after taking the previous weekend off for Easter. The week before lit a firestorm that may show some spark at the STP Gas Booster 500…

Denny Hamlin is out for a bit with back injuries following a hard hit on the inside wall after contact with Joey Logano. This, after jabs on Twitter from the race before… And before…

It seems there is a bit of tension with the former team mates. Fans aren’t likely to sit very still with a Virginia favorite out while the other takes the stage. The grandstands are going to rumble.

Throw Tony Stewart in the mix and the return to racing is wound up tight. Stewart, angered by Logano’s diving drive at Fontana, was after the #22 driver with fists up. Stewart is also set for a “Fan Zone” appearance at Martinsville so the fun starts early. (more…)

Tony Stewart.

Sprint Cup, Nextel Cup and Winston Cup champion. He holds an IndyCar championship. He holds Midget and Sprint car championships. He owns his own racing team. He owns race tracks. He has had his share of run-ins with NASCAR, media and other drivers.

Beyond any of that, he is a likeable guy. His composure at Daytona following the Nationwide race was nothing less than humble and genuinely concerned for the fans involved in the front stretch mayhem.

Even at Bristol, where an early race tire and crowded track put his #14 into the wall, he kept cool and drove what he could with no chance to get back up front.

Yes… He has been labeled as moody and cantankerous but to meet and speak with him close in and one on one he is quite the fellow. A sense of humor which borders on the mischievous, self-deprecating one liners and a genuine smile with a glint in his eye like he knows something you don’t characterize the man when out of the racing suit. (more…)

Trucks. Racing them seems weird on the surface of it.

They pull with engines full of torque and low gear power. Speed is not their first function of design.

Yet they are the vehicle of choice for NASCAR for high speed and tight racing as the Camping World Truck Series.

They opened the season at Daytona and with more than a month off return to racing in April at Martinsville. After that, the schedule fills up and the run for points tightens up. It is no small wonder, with an essential season reboot, that teams and drivers took a run at Martinsville in mid-March for a refresher.

Stepping, somewhat, out of the shadows of their fathers are Jeb Burton and Chase Elliott. Their fathers, Ward and Bill, carry some weight but as the sons made clear once the call to start engines is on the race is all in the driver’s seat. The advice and pep talks ride in the back of the mind and it is up to them to apply their own skills to the track. (more…)