Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Stewart Already Looking Forward To Martinsville

Stewart is a former Martinsville winner
When Tony Stewart first set foot inside Martinsville Speedway 14 years ago, he was amazed. Not necessarily, however, for all the right reasons.

“I looked at it and couldn’t believe they raced stock cars here,” said Stewart Wednesday during a stop at the track to help promote the upcoming STP Gas Booster 500. “I had seen it on TV, but the first time you come here, it’s like ‘this is really small,’ and you realize what close quarters it is.”
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ shortest track wasn’t an immediate hit with Stewart. But today, with three Martinsville Speedway victories and three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series championships to his credit, the Indiana native is one of the track’s biggest fans.
“Even on the bad days, it’s fun here,” he said. “But when you have a good day here, it’s great. They have one of the cooler trophies (the famous Martinsville grandfather clock) in our sport. Normally, 20-year old kids don’t get too excited about grandfather clocks, but you realize it’s more than that here at Martinsville. There’s a lot of pride and a lot of history with this sport here.”

Stewart first won at Martinsville in 2000 and followed with victories in 2006 and 2011. The 2011 win in Martinsville’s fall Chase race helped propel him to the 2011 Sprint Cup championship. Over the years as Stewart has grown to appreciate the track, his appreciation for the area has also increased.
“When you come to a town like this, it’s the kind of town that has the most dedicated fans… dedicated to what’s going on with the race track,” said Stewart. “You get to the bigger towns (and) there are a lot of different things going on, things outside of the race track.
Fans love the short-track atmosphere
“When we come to Martinsville, this is the biggest thing going on the whole weekend, so everybody -- all the people in the town -- are excited about it. The race fans that come into town are excited about it. It makes for a pretty cool atmosphere. Even though it’s a small town, it feels big when you come here for a race weekend.”
Stewart knows from first-hand knowledge that fans are never disappointed with the level of action and excitement Martinsville provides.  
“There is no lack of excitement here,” said Stewart. “I don’t care how flawlessly your day goes, you are going to bump into somebody at some point, even on a perfect day. You put 43 cars on this half-mile track and it’s always going to be exciting.
“You will never have a race here where you don’t have some sort of drama during the day. I think every driver will say they will have some drama at some point in the day. So when you have 43 drivers with 43 dramatic moments during the day, that’s a lot of action going on.”
Tickets remain for all of the STP Gas Booster 500 weekend, beginning with NASCAR Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series practice and qualifying on Friday, April 5, followed by the Kroger 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, April 6. The STP Gas Booster 500 is scheduled for Sunday, April 7. Adult tickets start at just $37. Tickets for youth 12 and under are just $10 in the Clay Earles Tower, rows 15-52. Teen tickets (ages 13-17) in the same area are $25. Youth and teen ticket prices are good with the purchase of an adult ticket.
Tickets for all of the weekend’s events may be purchased by calling 877.RACE.TIX or by visiting


  1. g55rumpy4:15 PM

    looking forward to wreck joey, no doubt

  2. Smoke has a week off to do some dirt racing.Slam down some brews . And let what happen at Fontana just roll off his shoulder. ( I Hope he he he :)