It wouldn’t be a Martinsville weekend if there weren’t rain somewhere along the way. After getting practice in on Friday, qualifying was cancelled when Mother Nature made her appearance. Saturday was a beautiful day though; practice did take place, as did the Camping World Truck Series race.
Except it would all be a tease, the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 wouldn’t take the green flag until shortly after Noon on Monday. When the race eventually got underway it was well worth it as one of the best races of the year, and at Martinsville took place.
From side-by-side action and many lead changes the spoiler came back in grand fashion. As did Richard Childress Racing’s Jeff Burton who is on the rebound from a horrible 2009. His fast laps in practice sessions carried over to Monday as he led numerous times throughout the day at his home track. A flat right front tire would ruin his chance at the victory.
Martinsville is also a home track for Denny Hamlin who hasn’t had the start of the season that he was looking for. Coming into Martinsville as the tracks 2009 fall winner, Hamlin was looking to take home another Grandfather clock and a big jump in the point standings.
He too had one of the dominant cars with Burton.
Usually one dominant car at Martinsville is Jimmie Johnson, who has won five of the last events coming into the Monday race. But Johnson had a very uncharacteristic day when he never led a lap. The No. 48 team bounced between fifth and tenth all day long before finishing in the ninth position after a wild last lap.
That was led by Hamlin, yes the same Hamlin that pitted and came out in the 15th position. He drove through the field, making it three and four wide to take the lead on the white flag and win his third Grandfather clock. Behind him Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon got together to allow Hamlin’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Joey Logano to come home in the second spot.
As for our Creatures, they had just a wild a day as the drivers did on the track. The good news is that we're back on a winning streak as Denny Hamlin was correctly chosen to take the checkered flag. But for others, 500 laps at Martinsville brought home some surprising results for those that expected much better.
Here's how they'll stand as the Sprint Cup Series heads into another off-weekend.
Kara Martin (867) Tony Stewart finished 26th (1)
Billy Fellin (841) Denny Hamlin won (1)
Kelly Crandall (837) Jimmie Johnson finished ninth (0)
Dustin Parks (820) Jimmie Johnson finished ninth (1)
Christopher Leone (818) Jimmie Johnson finished ninth (1)
James Broomhead (770) Jimmie Johnson finished ninth (1)
Rob Tiongson (736) Jeff Gordon finished third (0)
David Yeazell (736) Jeff Gordon finished third (0)
Sal Sigala Jr. (721) Jimmie Johnson finished ninth (0)
Misan Akuya (692) Jimmie Johnson finished ninth (0)
Patti Rodisch (589) Tony Stewart finished 26th (0)
Adam Heasley (578) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 15th (0)
The Sprint Cup Series takes its second off week before heading out West to the jewel in the desert. The Phoenix International Raceway will play host to the seventh race of the 2010 season and it will now have 63 more laps than it did last year.
Creatures have your picks in for the Subway Fit Fresh 600 by April 8th at 7 p.m. ET.