Thursday, March 31, 2011

TV Schedule April 1-3

The green flag waves at last fall's Sprint Cup race at
Martinsville Speedway. (Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
NASCAR leaves the Hollywood Hills for the heart of Virginia. The Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series head to Martinsville Speedway, known as the "pretty paperclip." The 0.526-mile speedway is the shortest and oldest track on the NASCAR schedule.

Martinsville Speedway opened in 1947 and besides being paved in 1955, its configuration has not changed. There is 12-degree banking in the turns and none on the straightaways. With its tight turns and long straightaways, the demanding nature of the track takes its toll on brakes and tires, and provides a challenge for drivers and teams. Martin Truex and Carl Edwards have said they are still trying to figure out the short track, while Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin have mastered Martinsville - the two have combined to win the last nine Sprint Cup events here. Kevin Harvick Inc. has been dominant here in the Camping World Truck Series.

The Truck Series gets back on track after a two-week break. The Nationwide Series takes a breather and will return next week at Texas.

Last year's winners at Martinsville were:

SPRINT CUP
Spring: Denny Hamlin
Fall: Denny Hamlin

TRUCK SERIES
Spring: Kevin Harvick
Fall: Ron Hornaday

The Kroger 250 truck race is Saturday and the Goody's Fast Relief Sprint Cup is Sunday.

The following is a handy guide to track events and TV coverage at Martinsville. (All times are in Eastern Standard Time. Events without a channel listed will not be televised):

Friday, April 1:
11 a.m. NCWTS Pratice
12:30 p.m. NSCS Practice, SPEED
2 p.m. NCWTS Final Practice, SPEED
3:30 p.m. NSCS Final Practice, SPEED
5 p.m. NASCAR Live, SPEED
7 p.m. Trackside at Martinsville, SPEED. Guest: Denny Hamlin.
8:30 p.m. NSCS Practice, SPEED
10 p.m. NSCS Final Practice, SPEED
11:30 p.m. Trackside at Martinsville, SPEED

Saturday, April 2:
12:30 a.m. NSCS Practice, SPEED
2 a.m. NASCAR Now, ESPN2
2 a.m. NSCS Final Practice, SPEED
10:30 a.m. NCWTS Pole Qualifying, SPEED
11:30 a.m. NASCAR Live, SPEED
12 noon NSCS Pole Qualifying, SPEED
1:30 p.m. NCWTS SetUp, SPEED
2 p.m. NCWTS: Kroger 250, SPEED
8 p.m. NSCS Pole Qualifying, SPEED
9:30 p.m. NASCAR Performance, SPEED

Sunday, April 3:
12 a.m. NCWTS SetUp, SPEED
12:30 a.m. NCWTS: Kroger 250, SPEED
9 a.m. NASCAR Performance, SPEED
9 a.m. NASCAR Now, ESPN2
10:30 a.m. NASCAR RaceDay, SPEED
12:30 p.m. NSCS Pre-Race Show, FOX
1 p.m. NSCS: Goody's Fast Relief 500, FOX. Green flag: 1:15 p.m.
8 p.m. NASCAR Victory Lane, SPEED (reruns at 12 a.m. and 9 a.m. Monday)

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