This Week in NASCAR [Short track Martinsville Edition]
Bobby Waltrip wasn't famous like Darrell and Michael, but he was well known in the racing community. He was a team owner, of the lesser known American Karting Association and World Karting Association series and an announcer in those series (all those Waltrips know how to talk). He died of natural causes on Sunday.
The cars of Michael Waltrip Racing will feature a decal honoring Bobby on their cars this weekend, as they race on Darrell's favorite track.
And Martinsville it is. The paper clip. If you are a NASCAR fan, you know the story behind the odd shaped track, and if not, it's because of a set of train tracks belonging to Norfolk Southern Railway. The tracks were actually moved in 2005, but no adjustments to the track, other than extending pit road around turns 2 and 3, have been made. The track features long straightaways, with sharp corners but at only .526 mile, it remains the shortest track in the Sprint Cup Series.
And short track racing means tempers flare. Oh boy do they flare. Phoenix and Bristol got nothing on Martinsville. Clint Bowyer and Jeff Gordon? That, of course, is the most current altercation, and the one everyone no doubt remembers best. But there have been others throughout the years, and no doubt 2014 will have one of its own.
Kyle Busch claimed the pole position for the Sprint Cup race, after a win at Auto Club Speedway in California. His teammate, Denny Hamlin, doesn't have his first win of the season, and will be hunting down that win from outside row one. And Denny is reportedly healthy this week. Last week he sat out the race, due to a severe sinus infection that affected his eyesight. There has been a lot of criticism regarding this, and NASCAR's ruling that it will not affect his position in the Chase, should he qualify. Dale Jr. asked for clarification from NASCAR regarding the ruling, and he was not alone. But I can tell you, as one who has suffered from a severe sinus infection - the first one I ever had convinced me I was suffering a stroke, the pain and inability to see was so severe - I applaud NASCAR for recognizing the importance of health issues before racing. I'm not a fan of Denny, as many of you know - I can't stand whining - but his health has to come before being in the car.
The watch is on for rain for the Truck race, scheduled to start in about half an hour. There is a lot of rain to the south of the track, but only scattered showers expected at the track, so the race should be completed without difficulty. Bubba Wallace Jr., winner of last year's race, will lead the trucks to the starting line. If you want to see some great racing with some of the legends of the sport, along with some up and comers, tune into the race on FoxSports 1, or SPEED in Canada. Guaranteed you will see sparks fly.