RIDGEWAY (WSLS 10 SPORTS) -
Tuesday afternoon Denny Hamlin paid a visit to the Martinsville Speedway- a track that he has come to love.
The JGR driver was instrumental in NASCAR's new stage format racing, which was introduced in the offseason. Now with a few races in the books Hamlin says strategy is the most important these days.
"Stage racing has really brought some excitement back to the strategy aspect of racing", said Hamlin.
"When we come here to Martinsville I can only imagine what will happen as far as when a caution comes. Do you pit or not pit or try to get those stage points."
The Chesterfield native grew up as a fan of the sport and the Martinsville Speedway. He has worked his way up the circuit and now as a cup series driver he's finding his own groove at a track where most struggle at.
"Denny in our current driver from Virginia born and bred in Virginia so I think it's cool he has risen to the level as he has", said track president Clay Campbell.
When asked what has attributed to his success at the track, Hamlin credited both former and current drivers.
"Really I followed some of the best on the race track the Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson, those guys. Once I got to the cup series and kind of learned off of them", said Hamlin.
The STP 500 rolls into Martinsville on April 2nd, as the track celebrates 70 years of racing in Ridgeway.