MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 27, 2015) – Martinsville (Va.) Speedway is a track that divides most drivers. Many enjoy racing at the flat, paperclip-shaped half-mile track, while others have never developed a fondness for it. What every driver can agree on is wanting to win the prestigious Martinsville grandfather clock, one of the most unique trophies in NASCAR. The majority of 17-year-olds would not give much thought to a grandfather clock, but Gray Gaulding certainly does. Making his fourth start at Martinsville in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) in the Kroger 200, the Virginia native would treasure a clock of his own.
In Gaulding’s three previous races at Martinsville, he has an average starting position of 9.7 and an average finish of 16.7, his best finish of 14th coming in last year’s fall event. He has completed 99.9 percent of the laps there (713 of 714), which is an impressive statistic considering the intense racing typical at Martinsville.
Gaulding will be making his fourth NCWTS start this season, his third for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM), in the No. 54 Krispy Kreme Tundra. His best result in 2015 came last month at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, where he finished the race in 10th place with the same Tundra he is racing this weekend. KBM-14 has 11 starts since 2011, three of which were at Martinsville. Its’ best Martinsville finish came in last year’s fall race when Erik Jones drove it from a 15th-place starting position up to a fourth-place finish.
Since this year’s race happens to fall on Halloween, most drivers will be hoping for treats rather than tricks from the Virginia short track. The best treat Gaulding could receive will not fit in a candy bag – a grandfather clock of his own.
Gray Gaulding, Driver of the No. 54 NCWTS Krispy Kreme Tundra:
What have you learned about Martinsville from your previous three starts there in the Truck Series?
“I’ve learned a lot all three times as far as putting myself in position to win late in the race. I’ve been fast there but have no finishes to show for it because of late-race incidents, so that’s the main thing I’ve learned. Hopefully this time there we can still be in a position to win, but avoid the accidents at the end of the race.”
Since you will be racing the same Tundra which you finished 10th with at New Hampshire last month, does that give you more confidence?
“I definitely have a lot of confidence going into this race. I have a great feel for that truck and I’m really looking forward to getting back in it. We had a good run at Loudon in that Tundra, so I hope we can be in a position to win and get a grandfather clock.”
Describe a lap around Martinsville:
“Turns one and two are all about being able to drive in deep, get it pointed and hammer the gas without losing a lot of grip off the corner. Turns three and four are hard in and hard off, and hammer down to be able to pull out to pass getting into one. It’s definitely a unique track and you need to get in a rhythm there to maintain consistent laps.”
Eddie Troconis, Crew Chief of the No. 54 NCWTS Krispy Kreme Tundra:
What is the most challenging aspect of setting up a truck for racing at Martinsville?
“Martinsville is the shortest track we race on with no grip, and the tires go away quickly but you have to try to make them last for 100 laps. The best scenario is to have a truck that is good on the long runs, 80-100 laps. That is a combination of braking, turning in the center and saving the rear tires so you can actually get the bite off the corners. That combination is what is going to give you the best drivability and durability. The most challenging thing is to make sure the truck is going to last to be there at the end of 200 laps.”