MARTINSVILLE, Va. — The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Martinsville Speedway this weekend amid a short track swing as part of the 2022 season schedule.
From last week’s 0.75-mile asphalt paved Richmond Raceway, to Saturday night’s historic Martinsville Speedway that stretches 0.526-mile in length with asphalt paved straights and concrete corners, to next weekend’s 0.5-mile Bristol Motor Speedway dirt track, the challenge through this portion of the schedule will be immense for the Next Gen cars.
Martinsville Speedway is the longest continuously running track on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule, and the only currently active track that was a part of the inaugural NASCAR Cup Series season in 1949.
In total, there have been 146 NASCAR Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway, one in the inaugural year and two races per year since 1950. The first 500-lap event at Martinsville Speedway was in 1956 and the concrete corners were added atop asphalt in 1976.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Denny Hamlin’s win in Richmond last weekend gave Toyota its first win of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season and in the process kept the streak of different winners to start the season alive. The Virginia native now heads to Martinsville Speedway, one of his most successful tracks.
Among active drivers, Hamlin is one of the most prolific active short track competitors in the series. He is ranked second in short track Cup wins with 11 victories.
At Martinsville, Hamlin has made 32 series starts posting four poles, five wins, 16 top fives and 22 top 10s.
If the 2022 season sees an eighth different victor this weekend it will become just the third different season in the NASCAR Cup Series Modern Era to start with eight different winners in the first eight races; joining 2003 and 2000.
Seven of the 10 active NASCAR Cup Series short track winners entered this weekend are looking for their first victory of 2022, and all seven are former winners at Martinsville – Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott and the track’s defending spring race winner Martin Truex Jr.
This weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway will take place Saturday at 6:30 p.m. CT.