NASCAR at Martinsville is as unique as it gets. Track position means everything, even when your car is starting in the top 10. Winning at this track is just as much about skill as it is luck.
So, if you are Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin or Kyle Busch, who will all start on the inside lane, you are much better off than someone like a Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth or a Joey Logano, who all will start on the outside lane.
It doesn’t matter how good your car is if you are stuck at the top. More than not, those drivers on the outside lane will slide back rather than move forward.
When looking at Johnson, he has won the last two races at the track and has moved past his teammate, Gordon, in wins with eight at Martinsville, which is ranked third all-time at the track. Johnson also has 16 top five’s, 20 top 10′s, and has led 2,328 laps in 23 starts at the track.
Speaking of Gordon, the 24 team has seven wins all time at the track, which is tied for fourth all-time with Rusty Wallace. Gordon in his 41 starts at Martinsville has 33 top 10′s 26 top five’s, and has 3,515 laps led under his belt. Probably the most impressive stat Gordon has at this race is the fact that he has zero DNF’s.
Hamlin is looking to right the ship at the track, as he holds four wins at Martinsville, which came in a span of six races from May of 2008, to October of 2010.
Kevin Harvick is looking to take his second career win in 24 races at the track. Harvick has three top five’s and 10 top 10′s.
Martinsville is a hard track. If the drivers on the outside lane want a shot at the win, they have to force their way to the inside lane.