October 8, 2001
Nations Rent Taurus Driver Kevin Lepage Notes, Quotes:
Martinsville's Old Dominion 500
You can't treat Martinsville like an Anger Management Seminar'
Coming off a very strong weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte - a weekend that saw Kevin
Lepage make his debut in the car - he and the #7 NationsRent Taurus team head to the .526-mile
Martinsville (Va.) Speedway this week for Sunday's Old Dominion 500.
Lepage has finished in the top 16 in four of the last six NASCAR Winston Cup races, missing out the other
two because of problems with the car. His first race in the NationsRent Taurus this past week, Lepage
notched his third 13th-place finish in the last six races as well.
The 39-year-old native of Shelburne, Vt., has long been considered one of the top talents in stock car racing. Rising from the Busch Grand National North Series and then the Busch Grand National Series, Lepage is
known for making the best of his situation and giving his car owners strong runs.
The NationsRent Taurus is fielded by Ultra Motorsports, led by winning car owner Jim Smith. Smith was
one of the main keys to the founding of NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series, where he has been incredibly successful, and began building his Winston Cup legacy just over a year ago when he purchased this team.
The thoughts of NationsRent Taurus driver Kevin Lepage heading into Martinsville:
"Yeah, I guess we kind
of got hung up on that 'Lucky 13,' but I'm hoping to improve things with the NationsRent bunch this week.
"We got off to a pretty good start. Charlotte was a good week for us. We worked well together. (Crew chiefs)
Buddy Barnes and Scott Lepage and the NationsRent guys had a good car for me. We qualified well, really
well. We raced well. We ran into some problems right at the end of the (Charlotte) race that cost us a little
bit but, all in all, we had a good day. We ran in the top 10 most of the day and probably would have finished
there. "Obviously, we want to continue that this weekend at Martinsville. I feel sure the guys are going to
give me a great car and we're going to have a pretty good weekend.
"Brakes are the key to Martinsville. I think that almost goes without saying. If you can hang onto those
most of the day, you're going to be in a lot better shape. Lose them too early, and you might as well
pack things up. Lose them halfway through and there is no way you are going to finish. Lose them in
the last quarter of the race, maybe you have a chance to at least finish. Hold on to them until the very
end of the day, and you are going to have a pretty great finish.
"I'm pretty good with brakes. When we were at Martinsville in April, my crew chief came to me the Monday
after the race and wanted to know how we had run so well. I had a lot of brakes left. We still had just less
than half the brake pad on the race car. He said it was the first time he had ever seen a guy bring that much
"I grew up on short track racing and, probably because of that, I'm pretty easy on the brakes. A good crew
chief will remind you, almost constantly. He will watch you charge the corner and start reminding you. In
Winston Cup at Martinsville, you can charge the corners for about two laps on new tires before you had
better start backing up. If you don't, your brake pads are going to go away pretty fast.
"Keep the brakes and keep the fenders. You need them both for those last 100 laps. Always keep in mind
that Martinsville is not an Anger Management Seminar. In fact, it might do you some good to attend one
of those before the race. You want those fenders still on the car when it's over, or at least hold onto them
to as close to the end as you can. Beating them off yourself because you are mad at somebody or having
them beat off because somebody is mad at you doesn't do anybody any good.
"You just can't afford to run out of brakes, fenders or patience at Martinsville. Hang onto all of those, and
it could be a pretty good day. So we're looking to make it a good day for this whole NationsRent Taurus