Schrader To Start 39Th In Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Ken Schrader had hoped for more out of his M&M’s Global Color Vote car. Schrader and teammate Johnny Benson were just outside the Top 36 qualifiers Friday at Martinsville Speedway, meaning Schrader needs a provisional to start 39th in Sunday’s Virginia 500.

Schrader was driving the Global Color Vote car for the first time. The normally yellow No. 36 Pontiac was highlighted with the three colors consumers can chose from for the new M&M’s color: purple, pink and aqua.

Schrader’s best lap in the lone NASCAR Winston Cup practice session Friday was 92.633 mph, 39th fastest. Schrader struggled with a loose condition, as his car tried to kick sideways off Martinsville’s flat corners.

The Newt Moore-led crew made some changes, and Schrader was faster when he qualified, turning a lap of 92.910 mph.

“We’ve struggled all day,” Schrader said. “It’s just been loose off, major. We made a bunch of changes, and it was a lot better in qualifying. We went substantially faster – like everybody does.”

Schrader hopes to move up from his starting spot in Sunday’s 500-lap race. His history here could bode well, as Schrader has posted 17 top-10 finishes in his 34 races around Martinsville’s .526-mile oval.

“Martinsville isn’t my favorite race track on the circuit, but we seem to have a pretty good track record there, and like any short track race, it’s usually a pretty good show for the fans.” Schrader said. “Martinsville is really rough on the car – and I’m not just talking about the sheet metal. It’s harsh on tires, on brakes, on everything. It’s really important to qualify up front at Martinsville, which I’ve had good luck with in the past. Hopefully, that luck will hold out, and the M&M’s car will have a strong run.”

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