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March 24, 2009 11:22 AM

Straight from the 2008 RFR Fan of the Year: Jon's Martinsville Preview

Hey Roush Fenway Racing fans! 

"I hope everyone is doing well and gearing up for another weekend of short track racing.  I know I am, especially after Bristol.   Well, I'm sure many of you were as "bummed out" as I was about last weekend's racing at Bristol.  Team RFR didn't have the results we were all expecting and hoping for on the Cup side of the weekend, but at least the Nationwide side was a bit better.  Matt filled in for Greg and did a wonderful job, and Carl finished second, giving him the overall points lead heading into Texas in a week or so.  That's great news!  Let's all hope that the Cup teams can rebound and have a strong showing this weekend at Martinsville.  I'm confident they will, and I am sure the rest of "Roush Fenway Nation" will be also. 

"Martinsville (a.k.a. "the clip") is the shortest track on the circuit that the teams visit twice a year.  It is a demanding track on the drivers, crew members, and the guys back at the shops for sure (especially after the cars and trucks are brought back in the condition they will be in at the race's end).  If I've learned anything about this track in the years I've been watching NASCAR races, it's that you have to have a good handling car and you have to take care of your brakes big time!  With the racing so tight and the front and back stretches being so short in length, it looks pretty easy to get into the corners real hot, thus causing the guys to use up those brakes in a hurry.  So let's hope our heroes can take real good care of those brakes throughout the entire race.  Another thing that will be critical, in my opinion, is a good qualifying run which in turn will mean a good pit stall selection.  Pit road is a tight place at Martinsville, and getting in and out of the pits without an incident will be key to keeping the cars up front and out of trouble if they're in the middle or back of the racing pack on the track. 

"Boy, wouldn't it be great if one of the Roush Fenway Racing drivers could bring home one of those nice, big grandfather clock trophies?  It's been a while since that has happened at Roush (Jeff Burton and Mark Martin), but maybe this will be the weekend we'll do it!  With that being said, it's time to (optimistically) predict our Roush Fenway Racing race winners for this weekend.  Amanda (pictured above), one of my awesome fifth grade students, wanted to predict her winner this time around.  She states, "I think the #99 Aflac Ford Fusion of Carl Edwards is going to win it this weekend."  "He is a tough driver who has done fairly well at Martinsville in the recent past, and I believe he is going to take the trophy."  There's a great vote of confidence for Carl from a young, admiring fan.  Personally speaking, I wish all of the Roush drivers could win this weekend (and every weekend for that matter), but I know there can only be one, so I am going with the # 26 Irwin Industrial Tools Ford Fusion of Jamie McMurray on Sunday.  This guy is so due for a win, and he does fairly well at this track.  He might not have the wins or overall results to back up my statement, but if you have closely watched Jamie race here in the past, he seems to have great runs going, only to have some stroke of bad luck hit him, whether that is in the form of mechanical or tire issues, or some other driver spinning him out.  It's time that upside down horseshoe gets turned right side up!  

"At any rate, I look for the #26, and Amanda looks for the #99, to wind up in victory lane on Sunday.  If they can't do it, then we'll hope Greg, Matt, or David can be the ones!  Let's not forget about Colin Braun in the Camping World Truck Series this weekend either.  Bring one home, Colin!  As always, best of luck to all of the Roush Fenway Racing teams at Martinsville, and let's get it done!

"Have an awesome weekend everyone!"

Your 2008 RFR Fan of the Year,

Jon Ritt

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