The field for Martinsville Speedway’s Kroger 250 might be said to be a study in extremes.
Six entered drivers have gone to Victory Lane at the 0.526-mile oval. Six others are attempting to make their first NASCAR national series appearance.
Forty-two different competitors have made their first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at Martinsville.
Among the group is NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski, who debuted in the Kroger 250 on April 17, 2004. Timothy Peters is the only competitor to claim both first series start (2005) and victory (2009) at Martinsville.
Peters, Johnny Sauter, Ron Hornaday Jr., Kevin Harvick, David Starr and Scott Riggs are Martinsville winners expected to compete in Saturday’s race.
Kyle Busch Motorsports brings a pair of first-timers to the event: NASCAR Drive for Diversity graduate Darrell Wallace Jr. and Erik Jones. Wallace finished third in a 2010 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at the track. He’s 19; Jones is 16.
“I’ve got the same truck that Denny [Hamlin] won with here last year so there’s no reason we shouldn’t be up front,” said Wallace during a recent test day. “It’s going to be key for all of us to learn as much as we can from Kyle [Busch]. If we can pick his brain to get as much as we can, we should be pretty good right off the bat.”
Other debuting are Chase Elliott, 17, son of 1988 NSCS champion Bill Elliott and a NASCAR Next9 driver; Grant Galloway, 18, an Indiana midget racer; Devin Jones, 16, a transplanted Californian racing out of Hickory, N.C., and Jonathan Davenport, a 29-year-old late model dirt touring competitor.