Martinsville Speedway news 2008=03=17

Who Is Hot Headed Into Goody's Cool Orange 500 At Martinsville? MARTINSVILLE, VA (March 17, 2008) -- With the first Sprint Cup short-track stop of the season in the books, who has the hot hand headed into the second, the Goody's Cool...

Who Is Hot Headed Into Goody's Cool Orange 500 At Martinsville?

MARTINSVILLE, VA (March 17, 2008) -- With the first Sprint Cup short-track stop of the season in the books, who has the hot hand headed into the second, the Goody's Cool Orange 500 at Martinsville Speedway?

The natural pick would be the winner of Sunday's race at Bristol, Jeff Burton, and it would certainly be a good pick. Burton, born and reared in nearby South Boston, has a NASCAR Sprint Cup win on the difficult .526-mile oval, along with nine top five and 13 top-10 finishes.

The absolute king of active drivers at Martinsville is Jeff Gordon, and even though he's presently mired back in 14th in the points, he has to be a favorite headed into the Goody's Cool Orange 500. His Martinsville stats are staggering. He has seven wins, 18 top five and 24 top 10 finishes along with six pole wins. He's led 22 of the 30 races he's run at Martinsville for a total of 2,466 laps led.

His teammate Jimmie Johnson, also off to a sluggish 2008 start, has ruled Martinsville the past couple of years. He has won the last three Martinsville races, has a total of four Martinsville wins and has led half of the 12 races he's run on the half-mile track.

Johnson's average finish of 6.2 leads all active drivers, just head of Gordon at 7.2.

Tony Stewart, who led the most laps at Bristol Sunday, has been equally impressive at Martinsville. He has two Martinsville wins to his credit along with six top five and 10 top-10 finishes and three poles. He has led a total of 1,193 laps at Martinsville.

NASCAR Sprint Cup points lead Kyle Busch has fared well at Martinsville in his short career. In six races here, he has three top five and four top-10 finishes.

Dale Earnhardt Jr., fifth in NASCAR Sprint Cup points headed into the Goody's Cool Orange 500, has been solid at Martinsville with seven top fives in 16 starts. He has led in six of those starts for 612 laps.

-credit: ms

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr. , Jeff Burton , Tony Stewart , Jimmie Johnson , Kyle Busch