Name: Martinsville Speedway
Race Date: March 28, 2010
Location: Martinsville, Va.
Length: 0.526-mile oval
Banking in the turns: 12 degrees
Banking on the frontstretch: 0 degrees
Banking on the backstretch: 12 degrees
Race Length: 263 miles/500 laps
Active Win Leader: Jeff Gordon with seven
Qualifying Record: Tony Stewart, Chevrolet; 98.063mph, Oct. 21, 2009
Tickets/track info: http://www.martinsvillespeedway.com or 1-877-RACE-TIX
March Winner: Jimmie Johnson
Denny Hamlin led 296 laps before Jimmie Johnson nudged him out of the way with 15 to go to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Hendrick Motorsports’s first cup win, which came at Martinsville in 1974.
1. Jimmie Johnson
2. Denny Hamlin
3. Tony Stewart
4. Jeff Gordon
5. Clint Bowyer
6. Ryan Newman
7. Mark Martin
8. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
9. A.J. Allmendinger
10. Jamie McMurray
October Winner: Denny Hamlin
Denny Hamlin got his revenge on Jimmie Johnson come fall when he led 206 laps to get his second win at the paperclip.
Driver Rating from 2009 Food City 500
NASCAR.com has a driver rating system that is supposed to help in picking who is a good fantasy choice. The formula combines the following categories: wins, finishes, top 15 finishes, average running positions while on lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led, and lead-lap finish. The maximum points one driver can obtain for one race is 150 points. For more specific information and further understanding, please visit NASCAR.com.
Here are the top 10 drivers and their ratings following the 2009 Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500:
1. Denny Hamlin with 141.1
2. Jeff Gordon with 126.6
3. Jimmie Johnson with 121.6
4. Tony Stewart with 117.3
5. Clint Bowyer with 112.7
6. Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 102.8
7. Mark Martin with 98.7
8. Kevin Harvick with 94.3
9. Carl Edwards with 92.6
10. Kurt Busch with 91.2
Jimmie Johnson has taken over as the king of Martinsville as of late, with his stats speaking for themselves. Every year everybody knows he’s going to be a threat for the win as he’s finished in the top 10 in every race he’s run there except one. The only question that remains is if he’ll pull it off for the seventh time. Coming off his first win at Bristol, Johnson looks to carry that momentum forward.
In comparing Johnson to his fellow active drivers at Martinsville, he has the highest average finish (5.1) with a total of six wins, 12 top fives, and 15 top 10s in 16 starts.
When you look at the short tracks overall, Gordon ranks sixth in earning points when all six races are totaled (867) last year with an average finish of 10.2, three top fives, and four top 10s.
The king of Martinsville before Jimmie Johnson was Jeff Gordon, whose stats at Martinsville speak for themselves. Gordon currently leads active drivers in wins there and no matter how the rest of his year had been going any year, he’s always up front at Martinsville. Gordon looks to come out of Martinsville with another good finish to put pressure on his protégé.
In comparing Gordon to his fellow active drivers at Martinsville, he has the second highest average finish (6.8) with a total of seven wins, 22 top fives, and 28 top 10s in 34 starts.
When you look at the short tracks overall, Gordon ranks fifth in earning points when all six races are totaled (896) last year with an average finish of 7.8, four top fives, and five top 10s.
If you’re to bet against Johnson, then go with Denny Hamlin. Hamlin was the only driver who managed to give Johnson the strongest challenge for the year at Martinsville, coming up short in the spring yet winning the fall race. He is also good at all of the short tracks from one end of the schedule to the other, so overall he should be on your short track radar. Hamlin looks to use Martinsville to bounce back from his struggles at Bristol and get into the Chase.
In comparing Hamlin to his fellow active drivers at Martinsville, he has the third highest average finish (7.2) with a total of two wins, six top fives, and eight top 10s in nine starts.
When you look at the short tracks overall, Hamlin ranks first in earning points when all six races are totaled (1,031) last year with an average finish of 4.2, five top fives, and five top 10s.
Stories to Watch
Qualifying – With track position being key at Martinsville, qualifying is key so watch who does well on Friday to help preview Sunday.
Spoiler – Martinsville is the first race of the 2010 season with the spoiler. A lot of drivers said at the Charlotte test that there’s not a big difference and with aerodynamics not being of that much importance at the short track, it shouldn’t be a big factor.