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The Journal Gazette

Sunday, April 07, 2013 11:40 am

Crafton expects great Martinsville race Sunday

By HANK KURZ Jr.AP Sports Writer

Matt Grafton thinks Sunday's race at Martinsville Speedway will be one for the ages.

Crafton raced in Saturday's truck series event on the 0.526-mile oval and said the tire Goodyear brought to the track this weekend will put lots of control back into the drivers' hands.

"Goodyear brought one helluva race tire for this place," Crafton said after finishing second to Johnny Sauter in the truck race. "I mean, it's just an awesome race tire."

The reason he thinks it will make for great racing? The track normally gets a coating of rubber from the tires, but that wasn't evident in the 250-lap truck race, making the surface harsher on tires.

"If you drive it hard early, it goes away," he said. "If you save your stuff and don't slip the tires, it will come in at the end."

It also lasts, apparently. At the end of the truck race, leaders Sauter and Jeb Burton were racing on tires that were 50 laps older that the ones on the cars chasing, and the older tires held up.

Drivers will probably figure that out early in the race on Sunday.

"It's going to be one of the best races at Martinsville without a doubt that you've seen here in a long time," Crafton said. "I honestly believe that."


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