Saturday Martinsville Cup race: Start time, weather, lineup
After digging in the dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Cup Series returns to asphalt Saturday night at Martinsville Speedway.
Bristol Dirt winner Joey Logano and points leader Denny Hamlin start from the front row. Hamlin leads all active drivers with five Martinsville wins but hasn’t won there since the 2015 spring race.
More recently at Martinsville, Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski have become the drivers to beat.
Truex and Keselowski have combined to win three of the last four races there and are both riding hot streaks at the track. Truex has six finishes of eighth or better in his last seven Martinsville races, while Keselowski has earned nine top-five finishes in his last 10 Martinsville races.
Chase Elliott, who won at Martinsville last November, also has been strong there. His victory is part of a run of five finishes of ninth or better in the last six Martinsville races.
Details for Saturday’s Martinsville Cup race:
(All times are Eastern)
START: NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace, Baseball Hall of Famer Johnny Bench, and “I’m Your Grand Marshal” contest winner Kerry Sunvold will give the command to start engines at 7:51 p.m. … The race is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m.
PRERACE: Cup garage opens at 12:30 p.m. … Cup drivers report to their cars at 7:20 p.m. … Driver introductions are at 7:25 p.m. … Pastor Ryan Burris of Baptist Temple Church (Reidsville, Va.) will give the invocation at 7:43 p.m. … Cy Young Award winner and two-time World Series champion Jake Peavy, with his band Jake Peavy and the Outsiders, will perform the national anthem at 7:44 p.m.
DISTANCE: The race is 500 laps (263 miles) on the 0.526-mile speedway.
COMPETITION CAUTION: Lap 60
STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 130. Stage 2 ends at Lap 260.
TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 7:30 p.m. Pre-race coverage begins at 7 p.m. … Motor Racing Network’s radio coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. and also will stream at MRN.com; SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the broadcast.
FORECAST: The wunderground.com forecast calls for thunderstorms, a high of 70 degrees, and a 95% chance of rain at race start.
LAST YEAR: Martin Truex Jr. won the first official Martinsville Cup night race last June. Chase Elliott won last November in the playoffs to make the Championship 4.
TO THE REAR: Daniel Suarez (improper ballast, crew chief ejected), Tyler Reddick (unapproved adjustments), Justin Haley (multiple inspection failures), Corey LaJoie (multiple inspection failures), James Davison (multiple inspection failures)
STARTING LINEUP: Martinsville Cup starting lineup
CATCH UP ON NBC SPORTS’ COVERAGE: