Now the biggest question in NASCAR recently has been answered. Denny Hamlin’s seat will be filled by Mark Martin for one race at Martinsville then by Brian Vickers for the rest of the time that Denny is not able to race as determined by Dr. Petty. While this is now settled it doesn’t solve the problem that faces Hamlin and Joe Gibbs Racing.
This team for the next stretch of racing will be crippled without star driver Hamlin. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now heads to many tracks that are some of Hamlin’s best.
Next week we head to Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia where in the past Denny has been absolutely dominant even winning three in a row in 2009-10. While Martin has done well at this track picking up two wins in 1992 and 2000, he has had an up and down record recently. Hamlin’s two teammates also have perhaps less than stellar records at Martinsville. Both have never made it to victory lane at this short track and instead have had quite varying finishes.
Now I’m not saying that you should count out JGR from victory lane this coming Sunday or the next couple after, however, their chances are severely crippled by losing Martinsville aficionado Denny Hamlin.
The silver lining to this cloud may be Kyle Busch‘s position at the moment coming off a win at Fontana and a second at Bristol. He was able to pull a second place finish out last year behind Jimmie Johnson (one of the Kings of Martinsville). Maybe this is the year when he can pick up a win. Busch has always been a great racer at short tracks helped along by his racing style.