Kyle Larson will be the first to admit that Martinsville Speedway isn’t his best track.
In 10 career starts at The Paperclip, he has just one top-5 finish and one pole position.
But Larson, now in his sixth full season in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series, said he puts extra focus into trying to figure out how his Chevrolet Camaro can negotiate the shortest track on the circuit.
He and the rest of the Cup drivers get their latest shot at the venue for this weekend’s STP 500. Truck race competitors arrived at the track on Friday for practice.
The Cup racers will show for practice and qualifying on Saturday.
“For Martinsville, that’s probably my worst racetrack, so I do work hard at trying to get better at that place, studying notes and things like that,” Larson said. “But nothing seems to be working for me there, so I just continue to work hard and try to become a better race car driver there. It’s jut really tough on me.”
Larson has put in extra work this offseason to get in better shape, a focus he said he didn’t have in the past.
While he said he can feel a difference in his body’s endurance, he admits it hasn’t helped much on the track. So far this season he has 12th-place finishes at Atlanta, Phoenix and Las Vegas, a seventh at Daytona and sixth at Phoenix.
“But I think as long as you stay committed and feel like you’re making a gain, which I think health-wise I am, so I think it’s definitely helping,” he said.