Quoting Driver Johnny Sauter on Martinsville….
“I’ve always said this is a place that you have to race aggressively to get anywhere. Track position and tire management is more important at the end of the day here than truck mechanics and performance. In my head, I know I have to qualify in the top five to really have a fighting chance at the win this year – with the heavy competition we have. It’s a hard place to control your own destiny, with all the other drivers and strategies and no room to move. It’s exciting, quick and tough in the corners.
“There’s a lot more beating and banging here at a short track, and I live for that. If you know me, you know that! We’re adding a new partner on for Martinsville – Eibach Springs – so we’re hoping to have a great performance this weekend.”
ON HIS SHORT TRACK ROOTS:
“I grew up in a small town in Wisconsin – population 850. My ten brothers and sisters and I lived around our dad’s racing career, and it was all I wanted to do to work in the shop. I didn’t want to hunt and fish. I wanted to race. The tracks there were all short tracks, and it was really a set of tracks to cut your teeth on. Nothing prepared me better than the short track roots I was brought up on around my dad and brothers in Wisconsin. Martinsville reminds me of those roots, so I really like this track. Does that give me an edge? I don’t know, you’ll have to watch!”
ON THE “PAPERCLIP” CHALLENGES:
“The biggest challenge at Martinsville is getting into the corner and being stable. You have to have that perfect combination of driving in, getting on the brake pedal, and trying not to gas too much and be loose off. It’s so easy to overdrive the corners. A veteran driver once told me that Martinsville was like driving on ice – you’ve got to watch spinning those back tires. He was right, and that’s the advice I give to anyone who asks me. Racing the race track is so important here, as well as defense. Without being able to pass much, you’ve got to show your competition where you’re staying and where you’re going.”
“My wife Cortney is due with our second child – our first daughter – on Monday, just after the race weekend. We’re really excited to add to the family, but Cortney was the first person to tell me to get out there and race this weekend. She’s my biggest supporter. I did hear, though, that our friends at SafeAuto Racing were doing a ‘guess the baby’s weight’ contest on their Facebook page. You have to love modern technology – but if you want to have some fun, log on and guess…you could win!”