The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series looks to put the controversial ending to the CampingWorld.com 500 that took place last weekend at Talladega behind them as the field is set to take to Martinsville Speedway (also known as "The Paperclip" due to its shape which resembles that of a paper clip) this weekend.
Here is the full weekend schedule and notebook to get you ready for another round of the 2015 Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Weekend Schedule - (all times Eastern)
Friday, October 30th
- Practice: 11:30 am - 12:55 pm
- Qualifying: 4:20 pm
Saturday, October 31st
- Practice: 9:00 - 9:55 am
- Final practice: 12:00 - 12:50 pm
Sunday, November 1st
- Race: 1:15 pm (500 Laps / 263 Miles)
- Last week's race ended with some controversy as it appeared that Kevin Harvick intentionally caused a crash on the only attempt at a green-white-checkered finish, which gauranteed him a spot in the Eliminator round of the Chase. This theory is understood to be more likely given the fact that Harvick was drastically losing spots, and was in danger of falling out of the Chase.
- When asked about the ending, Harvick said, "I didn't cause the first wreck. I definitely don't believe that I caused the second wreck either, so it's just one of those situations where I did the best I could on the restarts to get going, and I got out of the way. I never really even saw the 6 car until he was by me and doing what he was doing. It was just one of those situations where you can't stop. You have to continue to try to let it play out and it really did play out."
- Joey Logano of Team Penske was awarded the victory when it was all said and done at Talladega, giving him the momentum entering the final four races of the season. In his career at Martinsville, Logano does not have a win, although he does have five top-10 finishes at the track.
- Jeff Gordon will make his final start at Martinsville this weekend. He will miss the track following his eight victories there throughout his career. He will be looking to add a ninth grandfather clock to his collection.
- Kevin Harvick, who barely made it into the Eliminator round, has one career win at Martinsville, with an average finish of 15th position. A win this weekend automatically advances him into the championship race at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
- The only other driver still left in the Chase who has a win at Martinsville is Kurt Busch, who has won twice. He only has two wins this season, which makes it impressive that he is still alive in the new Chase system that focuses heavily on wins.
- Earlier this week, NASCAR released the schedule for the 2016 season, which includes two races at Martinsville. The first will be on April 3, with the second being the Chase race that will be held in October.
- Martinsville Speedway is a half-mile track that is shaped like a paperclip. It has consistent banking of 12 degrees in the turns and no banking on the 800-foot straightaways. The race will go around the track 500 times for a total of 263 miles.
The Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 goes green on Sunday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway. Follow @NASCARonVAVEL on Twitter for full coverage of the race weekend.