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NOCO 400 Preview: NASCAR takes on Martinsville

Jay Arnold previews the NOCO 400 at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia. NASCAR’s best are set to take on a 3rd straight short track.

NASCAR drivers taking on turns 1 and 2 at Martinsville. The NOCO 400 is this weekend at Martinsville.
NASCAR returns to the pavement at Martinsville for the NOCO 400. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

After taking on the dirt-lined surface of Bristol, NASCAR is headed back to the pavement when they travel to Martinsville for the NOCO 400. It was Christopher Bell who made the journey to victory lane last week and he’ll look to build on that momentum.

The last time we raced on the paperclip 0.5-mile in southwest Virginia, we witnessed one of the most incredible things I have ever seen in all of sports.

By holding the throttle wide open against the wall, Ross Chastain was able to carry an insane amount of momentum around turns three and four and punch his ticket to the championship race.

NASCAR has since banned the desperation move that some termed the “Hail Melon” so we won’t be seeing it again except on replays (of which I’m sure there will be thousands over the weekend).

We also will see the return of Chase Elliott to the race track this weekend. The former championship winner has been out with an injury. Elliott will look to have success at the NOCO 400 in his first race back.

Check out the entry list including Chase Elliott at the link below.

NOCO 400 Entry List

Once again, NASCAR will use the low downforce package that we saw at Phoenix, Circuit of the Americas, and Richmond. While the Phoenix race didn’t see much improvement both Richmond and CotA were exciting races which gives me high hopes for Martinsville.

Expect contact and tempers to run high given the close-quarters nature of the racing. The Hendrick camp has historically been good at Martinsville but Joe Gibbs Racing has also had success. Last week’s race winner, Christopher Bell won the aforementioned “Hail Melon” race in the fall. The spring race winner from 2022 was William Byron. Either of the two would be a great option if you are trying to guess the winner but I’m leaning toward Virginia native Denny Hamlin.

For this week’s on-track action, be sure to follow the schedule below. It’s an action-packed weekend with things coming to life today at Martinsville.

Friday 04/14

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Qualifying – 2:35 p.m. CT on FS1

NASCAR Xfinity Series Qualifying – 4:35 p.m. CT on FS1

Long John Silver’s 200 (NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series) – 6:30 p.m. CT on FS1

Saturday 04/15

NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying – 4:20 p.m. CT on FS1 Before You Dig. 250 (NASCAR Xfinity Series) – 6:30 p.m. CT on FS1

Sunday 04/16

NOCO 400 (NASCAR Cup Series) – 2:00 p.m. CT on FS1

Stay locked into Apollo for more NASCAR and F1 Coverage throughout the racing season! Follow @CoachJayArnold and @ApolloHOU on Twitter to stay up to date on the latest!

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