Photo: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Up to Speed: Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville

By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer

It’s the first visit of the season to a short track for the next NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race. The Series goes back to its’ roots as it visits Martinsville Speedway. Teams using the NT1 Spec Engine versus those using OEM engines, drivers making their debut, and stage racing are just some of the storylines heading into the fourth race of the season at Martinsville.

Coverage for the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 is scheduled to start Saturday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. ET. Martinsville Speedway is one of two tracks that have been on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule since its’ inception in 1995. In 38 races at the 0.526-mile paperclip, 26 drivers have claimed victory. The last seven races Martinsville have produced seven different winners.

The last time the Truck Series visited Martinsville Speedway, Noah Gragson played the role of Playoff Spoiler, earning his first career victory in exciting fashion. He passed Matt Crafton on the outside on the final restart and cruising to a 1.486 second victory. Seven drivers that finished in the top-10 that day are entered in Saturday’s race. Crafton, Gragson, Johnny Sauter, and Timothy Peters are the only former winners entered in the race.

By the Numbers

What: Alpha Energy Solutions 250, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race Four

Where: Martinsville Speedway – Ridgeway, Virginia (Opened: 1947)

TV/Radio: Fox Sports 1, 2:00 p.m. ET / MRN and SiriusXM Channel 90

Track Size: 0.526-mile ‘Paperclip’ Oval

Banking: 12 degrees in turns, 0 degrees on the straightaways.

Race Length: 250 Laps, 132 Miles (Three Stages, 70/140/250)

2017 Race Winner: Chase Elliott – No. 23 Allegiant Airlines / NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet Silverado (Started on the pole, 92 laps led).

Track Qualifying Record: Joey Logano (19.504 seconds, 97.088 mph – 3/28/2015).

Storylines Heading into the Alpha Energy Solutions 250:

There are several storylines going into this weekend’s race to watch for:

  • Todd Gilliland will make his first start of the season in the No. 4 Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
  • Cory Roper will attempt to make his NCWTS debut in the No. 04 Preferred Industrial Contractors Inc. Chevrolet Silverado for Roper Racing.
  • Reid Wilson will attempt to make his NCWTS debut in the No. 20 OEM2 Powered by TruNorth Chevrolet Silverado for Young’s Motorsports.
  • Travis Kvapil will be in the No. 35 Chevrolet Silverado for NextGen Motorsports.
  • Dawson Cram will attempt to make his NCWTS debut in the No. 50 Chevrolet Silverado for Beaver Motorsports.
  • Harrison Burton will make his first start of the season in the No. 51 Dex Imaging Toyota Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
  • Kyle Benjamin will attempt his NCWTS debut in the No. 54 David Gilliland Racing – CROSLEY Group Toyota Tundra.
  • Jeff Zillweger will attempt his NCWTS debut in the No. 57 Chevrolet Silverado for Norm Benning Racing.
  • Kevin Donahue will attempt his first start of the season in the No. 63 Chevrolet Silverado for MB Motorsports.
  • Timothy Peters returns to the series in the No. 92 BTS Tire & Wheel Ford F-150 for Ricky Benton Racing Enterprises.
  • Tyler Matthews will attempt to make his NCWTS debut in the No. 99 BB&T Scott Stringfellow Chevrolet Silverado for MDM Motorsports.

Weekend Schedule (All Times Eastern)

Friday, March 23

  • NCWTS Practice 1 (11:05 a.m. – 11:55 a.m.)
  • NCWTS Practice 2 (1:05 p.m. – 1:55 p.m. on Fox Sports 1)
  • NCWTS Practice 3 (3:05 p.m. – 3:55 p.m. on Fox Sports 1)

Saturday, March 24

  • NCWTS Qualifying (11:05 a.m. on Fox Sports 1)
  • NCWTS Alpha Energy Solutions 250 (2:00 p.m. – 250 laps, 132 miles – on Fox Sports 1, SiriusXM Channel 90, and the Motor Racing Network)

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Seth Eggert is a college student that has followed NASCAR his entire life. Seth is currently pursuing a writing career and is majoring in Communications and Journalism. He is an avid iRacer and video gamer. Seth also tutors his peers in multiple subjects.