Busch Believes It Will Be a Thriller at Martinsville
October 20, 2009
The "them" in this case refers to the 2004 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champ's outlook on the implementing of "double-file restarts -- shootout style" in this weekend's 500-lap battle on the tight little .526-mile Martinsville Speedway.
"It's always been demanding enough at Martinsville in the past," Busch said of racing on the paper-clip-shaped asphalt layout, the shortest track on the circuit. "We've already seen just how perilous it can get out there on the other tracks with the double-file restarts and this will no doubt be the most treacherous situation yet.
"Short and sweet, you don't want to get caught up on the outside lane," said Busch, currently fifth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings. "As bad as it's been in the past, with the lapped cars in one lane and the lead lappers in the other, this will be the insane end of impossible.
"With all the lead lap cars going at it double-file on the restarts there, the outside lane will be a no man's land and you'll do whatever you can to get the preferred inside groove," offered Busch, who finished 18th at Martinsville in March. "Just think about it. It's such a disadvantage to be caught up in the outside lane, you'll be forced to root and gouge and do whatever it takes to get back down there on the inside.
"I guess that saying things will get a little wild out there would be an understatement," Busch concluded. "The wow factor will be way up there and the TV and radio guys will have plenty to talk about, that's for sure."
When asked about the impending scenario the double-file restarts present for this weekend's Martinsville race, crew chief Pat Tryson did not mince his words.
"There's no doubt about it, it's gonna be a big mess," offered Tryson. "You'll be doing whatever you can to get the inside groove, I can tell you that. It may be the most controversial race of the year and probably will be. If it was ever possible to give up a spot before or during a caution in order to be on the inside for a restart, this would definitely be the place. Of course, that'd be impossible to do because there are so many variables you're up against and things happen so fast there. About the best way to sum it up is just saying that it's bound to be a big mess out there."
Busch's career record at Martinsville sports one win (October 2002), two top-five finishes and four top-10 finishes in 18 races.
This weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup schedule at Martinsville Speedway gets under way with Friday's practice from 12:00 noon till 1:30 p.m. Coors Light Pole Award qualifying to establish the starting grid for Sunday's 500-lap battle is set for Friday at 3:40 p.m. local (live on ESPN2-TV and MRN Radio). Saturday's first practice is scheduled from 10:30 a.m. till 11:15 a.m. The final "happy hour" practice session is scheduled from 11:50 a.m. till 12:50 p.m. (taped-delayed till 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2). Sunday's TUMS Bring It On 500 has a scheduled 2:00 p.m. local (EDT) starting time at the 0.526-mile high-banked facility. ABC-TV and MRN Radio will provide live coverage of all the action.