The Paperclip Preview At Martinsville


Chris Trotman/Getty Images

As predicted in last week’s preview, Talladega did not disappoint … the fans anyway. There were a few drivers disappointed with their finishing position at the conclusion of the race. At the end of the day, Jamie McMurray took the Auburn University Chevrolet to victory lane. This weekend we go from the biggest track on the circuit to the smallest track … Martinsville.

No #43 at Martinsville

Richard Petty Motorsports will make special tribute this weekend to the latest Petty family member to be elected into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The team announced that current driver Aric Almirola will race a #41 Ford Fusion this weekend at the Martinsville Speedway, replacing the traditional #43. The #41 Ford will be Petty Blue and feature the likeness of 2014 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Maurice Petty, who raced the number during his driving career. The car was unveiled at the NASCAR Hall of Fame with Maurice Petty, his brother "The King" Richard Petty, Almirola and Martinsville Speedway President Clay Campbell all present. Richard Petty Motorsports will use the #41 this weekend only and collect owner and driver points under the #43. The change of car number was approved by NASCAR.

Carl Edwards in new Sara Evans’ Video

Carl Edwards has teamed up with Platinum recording artist, Sara Evans in her new music video that debuted on Wednesday. The two Columbus, MO. natives teamed up for the video of “Slow Me Down.” This is Edwards’ second appearance in a music video, after first appearing in Justin Moore’s “Bait a Hook.”

Possible Changes to NASCAR Qualifying in 2014

NASCAR held a meeting with its drivers and others on Thursday at the R&D Center in Charlotte to prepare for the 2014 season. A topic of discussion was the possible elimination of single car qualifying sessions for next season. NASCAR has used group qualifying sessions at both road course events this season and could be a weekly scenario beginning next season with the exception of Daytona and Talladega where a 60-minute draft session would be used.

Concussion Test Mandatory for 2014

NASCAR announced that beginning in 2014, the sanctioning body will mandate pre-season neurocognitive baseline testing as part of its comprehensive concussion prevention and management program for all of its national series drivers. At the start of this season, NASCAR recommended that drivers who did not already have a baseline test to secure one, while also indicating that a pre-season baseline mandate could become effective as soon as next year. Baseline testing will be performed through the use of an ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) test, which is a widely used neurocognitive assessment tool.

Race Preview: Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500

There have been 129 races held at the famed Martinsville Speedway, with the first of those being held in NASCAR’s inaugural season of 1948. Since that race, 591 drivers have raced on the half-mile paper-clip. Richard Petty has the most starts at the track with 67.

43 drivers are entered for Sunday’s race and will take to the track today for the first of the weekend’s three practice sessions. Since they raced at Martinsville with the Gen-6 car back in April, teams have a good base setup to roll off of the truck with.

With being such a small, fast track a tenth of a second could be the difference between qualifying on the front row and outside the top 25. The first qualifying lap will be the most important, as on the second lap, the tires are already worn and have lost speed.

Teams will be on the track on Saturday for two practice sessions to prepare their cars under race conditions. While speed will still be important, crew chiefs will be trying to build comfort in their car as well as consistency.

The winning driver on Sunday will have a good handling car that rolls through the center of the corner without a lot of assistance from the brakes. The driver must know how to manage brakes for them to still be there at the end of 500 miles.

Weekend Weather

The temperatures for this weekend will become gradually warmer as the weekend goes on. Today's high is an expected 57 degrees under sunny skies. Saturday is also forecasted to be sunny with a high near 60. Mother Nature appears to be favorable for Sunday as well with sunny skies and a high near 67.

Blake’s Points Picks

The Contenders
  1. Jimmie Johnson
  2. Matt Kenseth -4
  3. Kyle Busch -26
  4. Kevin Harvick -26
  5. Jeff Gordon -34

 The Pretenders

  1. Dale Earnhardt Jr.  -52
  2. Greg Biffle -53
  3. Clint Bowyer -57

The Outsiders

  1. Kurt Busch -61
  2. Carl Edwards -68
  3. Ryan Newman -72
  4. Joey Logano -75

In a League of His Own

  1. Kasey Kahne -101

Blake’s Martinsville Pick:

My pick for Sunday will end the Non-Chase race winners run at two. He finished second back in April to race winner Jimmie Johnson. My pick for Sunday is the #15 of Clint Bowyer!

Getty Images\Todd Warshaw


Moon’s Pick

Moon’s pick for Sunday will continue her pink paint scheme streak. She is the only female driver to ever race at Martinsville Speedway. D-A-N-I-C-A!\Danica Patrick

And, as you may not know Danica is testing her shops in TV. She is teaming up with Trace Adkins to host the American Music Awards from Las Vegas December 10 on FOX (that's appropriate!!). She told People Magazine, "It's going to be a lot of fun. I'm a little nervous, though. I'm told it's going to be really easy, with no issues and no problems, but I keep thinking, 'That can't be true.' But .... we'll be ready!"                  

Tune into Sunday’s Coverage of the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 beginning at 11:30 on WBKR and!