Mms Team Happy To Leave Virginia In One Piece

To leave Martinsville Speedway with no dents and all the fenders on the car is a pipe dream these days. As the cars rolled in after the race, the scene looked more like a demolition derby than a Winston Cup race. The "M&M's"® Pontiac was part of the crowd on Sunday, rolling up to the truck post-race with a dented hood, flapping bumper and the "M" Characters who adorn the car looking like that they had experienced a wild day.

Despite a spin, contact with the wall, a flat tire, lots of sheet metal damage and an extremely hot day, the "M&M's"® Pontiac was able to pull out a 25th-place finish. The entire race was typical for a day at Martinsville. When a spin happens ahead of you on the track, there is simply not enough room for everyone to get around unscathed, which is precisely what happened to Schrader and the "M&M's"® Pontiac on lap 112.

The "M&M's"® Pontiac was steadily gaining positions early in the race and the pit strategy was already shaping up to be a major component in the outcome of the race. Crew chief Newt Moore elected to bring the No. 36 Pontiac into the pits on the first caution of the day on lap 44 for two tires and fuel. That allowed Schrader to stay on the track during the second caution period on lap 57. The "M&M's"® Pontiac lined up second on the restart and held solidly in the top three until the next caution.

The "M&M's"® Pontiac needed to turn just a little better in the corners, so on the third caution the team came in for four tires, fuel and to make some adjustments. Schrader lined up farther back in the pack because some of the other teams elected to take only two tires. The fourth caution came only a handful of laps later and unfortunately the "M&M's"® Pontiac was caught up in the chaos. Traffic bunched up and #36 was spun out. Schrader's car suffered sheet metal damage in the incident.

The "M&M's"® Racing Team spent the remainder of the day tweaking the car and keeping an eye on the sheet metal damage to make sure it didn't cause any problems. Schrader stayed away from trouble the remainder of the day and brought the "M&M's"® Pontiac home in the 25th position.

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Monster Energy NASCAR Cup, 2001

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