Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sawyer's Southern Va. Gem


In a driving career that spanned three decades, Virginian Elton Sawyer made 392 starts in what NASCAR now calls the Nationwide Series. Twenty-five of those starts came at Martinsville Speedway, including his first on Oct. 30, 1983.

Driving the No. 01 Pontiac owned by Emanuel Zervakis out of Richmond, Va., Sawyer started 18th and finished 30th in the Cardinal 250. He had qualified 13th overall, but back then heat races determined the starting order for everyone outside the top 10.

“It was a big deal to go to Martinsville,” said Sawyer, a native of Chesapeake, Va., and Red Bull Racing Team’s director of competition. “You had heard about it for years, and it was neat to go there.”

Sawyer speaks of Martinsville like Hoosiers speak of Indianapolis — only the track is about a fifth of the size. He owns seven top-five and 12 top-10 finishes in Nationwide competition at Martinsville, not to mention two Sprint Cup starts in 1995.

“It’s a great facility,” Sawyer said. “It’s a short track, and that’s where a large number of the guys that are in this garage now — whether it be crew chief roles or crewman roles or management roles — got started. It’s cool to go back there. I love that race track. Fortunately as a driver I had some success there. I won a late model race and ran well there at that time with the Busch cars. Hopefully we’ll have good runs there with our Red Bull cars.”

Race Day at Martinsville: Saturday's two Sprint Cup practice sessions were rained out, so all the Red Bull Toyotas have to go on is Friday's opening practice. At least the weather's supposed to clear out by the time Brian Vickers (14th) and Scott Speed (36th) roll off for the Goody's 500. Sunday's forecast calls for mostly sunny skies with high of 61 degrees.

13 Comments:

Blogger Nomar said...

Um...great work Fox. A car running 8th went to 35th for some reason, and we got not even a mention as to why. I have no idea why we fell at the end. It's disappointing to let one get away like that. I hope we don't look back at this race the weekend of the Chase. If anyone has any information from in-car audio, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Curt said...

My thought exactly.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous bvlovin83 said...

Came in for a tire rub. they found and oil leak.

3:06 PM  
Anonymous 83fanatic said...

BVlovin has it right. They initially came in for a tire rub-which would have been bad enuff. I guess after he left the pits, they saw he was leaking oil and came back...losing the 4 laps. They said it was a leaking crankshaft seal. Typical job by TV not informing on a solid car. Very disappointing and a big pts hit.

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow who's that Allawalladingalingler kid in that 44?

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm losing my patience with this situation, but it's not FOX that I'm upset with. Fox doesn't mention BV because he's a nonperformer. It's an anomoly when he actually finishes further up than he's projected. I have to be honest, I've followed BV for the past 5 years. Whenever I think he's about to break through, it's another race full of shortcomings and excuses. I wish the best for him, but don't expect coverage from the media if you don't perform.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

man he has more "tire rubs" or "tire going down" than anyone. starting to wonder if it's just the driver...

4:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, smoke coming off the tire is a pretty obvious tire rub...

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is an oil leak his fault? Mechanical problems have ruined good finishes and so I am thinking it is more the equipment than the driver.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tsk...Tsk on the person in charge who fired AJ.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want to talk about AJ, I am sure that Petty has a message board. We have moved on...

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with Nomar! Fox never mentioned a thing about the 83 and should have! If you didn't have raceview you would never know what was going on with any driver unless you are a Jr. Fan or one of the Hendrix clan. They talk about everything else…who cares about Hot Dogs!

6:41 PM  
Blogger Curt said...

The NASCAR broadcast nowadays is all about entertainment. I watched the Formula 1 race today and just loved how it's always race-talk and not random topics/interviews that don't relate to the racing on the track.

7:02 PM  

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