Idriver Handicaps:/I Martinsville

RacingOne takes its weekly detailed look at some of the field, starting with the top-10, for Sunday's Advance Auto Parts 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

1. Jimmie Johnson (Points: 835): Johnson won his first race at Martinsville last fall. The victory marked his fifth consecutive top-10 finish at the .526-mile oval. Johnson, who is the only driver to score five top-10 finishes in 2005, will race his Martinsville winning car (chassis No. 48-278) this weekend. Johnson has led 171 laps at Martinsville and holds a 9.5 finishing average in six starts. Last year at this time Johnson ranked sixth in the point standings.

Quotable: "There is just such a unique way to drive the track. There are a million options when you end at the turn on your line how you're using your brakes and where to get back in the gas. But there’s only one sweet spot on that track."

2. Greg Biffle (Points: 741): In four starts, Biffle has never finished in the top-15 at Martinsville. He scored his best finish of 17th last fall behind the wheel of the same car (chassis No. 258) he will drive this weekend. Although Biffle has yet to perform at the Virginia short track in the Cup Series, he has posted one pole, one top-five and two top-10's in three Craftsman Truck Series starts. Biffle's No. 16 Ford will change paint schemes again at Martinsville with a Jackson Hewitt Tax Service design.

Quotable: "I feel pretty good about Martinsville. We'll just have to keep our heads in the game and make smart decisions. At Martinsville, we had a decent finish last year and I'm looking forward to getting an even better finish this year."

3. Tony Stewart (Points: 679): Stewart finished third at Bristol and climbed from seventh to third in the point standings, which equals his rank after five races one year ago. Stewart has competed in 12 races at the .526-mile speedway, posting one win (2000, fall) and six top-10 finishes. He tested his Martinsville car (chassis No. 63) at Lakeland, Fla. last Wednesday mainly working on parts and brakes. This car has made two Martinsville starts and finished sixth last fall.

Quotable: "Running well at Martinsville is all about the attitude you have when you walk in the gate Friday morning. That will dictate whether you have a good weekend or a bad weekend. I really think it boils down to that. As soon as you get frustrated, you get behind."

4. Carl Edwards (Points: 678): Edwards has raced at Martinsville one time finishing 24th there last fall. However, he does have four Craftsman Truck Series starts at the track and has captured one pole, two top-five and four top-10 finishes. Edwards, who has completed every lap he has run at the .526-mile oval (1,404/1,404), will race chassis RK-248. This car was tested at Phoenix last week and placed sixth at Richmond and 37th at Phoenix last year. With his 26th-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway, Edwards dropped from third to fourth in the point standings.

Quotable: "Last weekend was so frustrating for me, I want to go to Martinsville and not hit anything."

5. Elliott Sadler (Points: 657): Sadler finished second at Bristol and climbed three positions to fifth in the point standings. The Virginia native has competed in 12 races at Martinsville scoring one top-five finish. He finished 12th in last year's spring race, his only other finish inside the top-15. Sadler holds a 24.3 finishing average at Martinsville.

Quotable: "There is no doubt that this is an important stretch for this team. We had these two races circled on our schedule. Two short tracks in a row, that's cool. We did not run well as a team on short tracks last year, so we really wanted to come to work on that part of our program."

6. Kevin Harvick (Points: 654): Harvick will be shooting for back-to-back short track wins at Martinsville after winning last weekend's event at Bristol. Harvick has two top-10 finishes in seven career Martinsville starts with his best finish of seventh coming in the 2003 fall race. Harvick, who has led a total of 147 laps at Martinsville, tested this weekend's car (chassis No. 139) at Caraway Speedway just hours after capturing the Busch Series win on Monday. This car raced once this year at Atlanta, finishing 21st. Harvick will also be shooting for his third career Craftsman Truck Series win on Saturday behind the wheel of the No. 92 Yard-Man Chevrolet.

Quotable: "You have to make the car roll through the tight corners. Keeping the brakes on the car the entire race is important at Martinsville.

7. Kurt Busch (Points: 635): Busch has competed in nine races at Martinsville posting three top-10 finishes, including a win in the 2000 fall race. His lone victory came from the 36th starting position, the farthest back a race winner has started at Martinsville by 12 positions. Busch will return in the purple and gold Crown Royal colors for the first time since the Budweiser Shootout. He will race the same car (chassis No. 56) that finished 11th at Martinsville in 2004.

Quotable: "The aggressiveness that people didn't use at Bristol is likely to come out at Martinsville."

8. Dale Jarrett (Points: 611): Jarrett made his first career Cup start at Martinsville on April 29, 1984. In the 37 races since then, Jarrett has posted one win, nine top-five and 17 top-10 finishes. Earlier this week Jarrett tested his Martinsville car (chassis No. 26) at Greenville-Pickens Speedway in South Carolina. This car finished ninth at New Hampshire last July. Jarrett has led a total of 144 laps at the .526-mile speedway and owns a career finishing average of 14.3.

Quotable: "You have to go hard at Martinsville because it's a track where there isn't much room for passing and you have to be on your toes ready to capitalize on anything the guy in front of you may do wrong."

9. Rusty Wallace (Points: 611): Last year's event winner Wallace leads all active drivers in wins (seven), top-fives (16), races led (30) and laps led (3,585) at Martinsville. His total laps led ranks third all-time behind Cale Yarborough (3,851) and Darrell Waltrip (3,616). His ninth-place rank in the standings is an improvement of 14 spots from last year's place after five races. Wallace will race the same car (chassis PRS-070) that he won the race with last season. In 42 starts, Wallace holds a 7.5 starting and 11.9 finishing average.

Quotable: "I'll tell you what - if I did, or could, come back and race again after this year, it'd definitely be at a place like Martinsville."

10. Mark Martin (Points: 609): Two-time Martinsville winner Martin looks to turn things around this weekend after falling five positions in the standings with his 31st-place finish at Bristol. Both of his wins and 11 of his 19 top-10 Martinsville finishes came in the spring race. Last spring at Martinsville, Martin put together a solid run before a defective oil line sent him behind the wall. Martin, who will be driving a brand new race car (chassis RK-274), has led 317 laps and compiled a 12.9 finishing average in 38 starts.

Quotable: "Martinsville is a place that I've always hated with a passion, but we've won two or three times there. I've always loved Pocono, but I've never won there, so what does that tell you. It's always been a thorn in my side as far as short tracks."

11. Ryan Newman (Points: 588): Newman is the only driver in 2005 to start every race from a top-10 starting position. This streak is likely to continue in Martinsville, if not rained-out, as he's qualified within the top-10 in all six of his starts. Additionally, he is one of two drivers to win the pole in the last six races at the track. On the short track, Newman has won two poles and finished three times in the top-five. The team will bring chassis PRS-69 to the race. This car debuted last October in Martinsville, where Newman and the team celebrated their best finish of third at the track.

12. Jeff Gordon (Points: 587): In five of his last six appearances at Martinsville, Gordon has started either first (four times) or second. If he wins the Bud Pole this spring, he will break a track record of being the only driver to score five straight event poles. In 24 starts at the track, where he has five wins, 12 top-five's, 18 top-ten's, Gordon has always finished the race. On average, Gordon is the best finisher in race results. He has led 1,854 laps at the short track and held the lead in 17 races.

15. Jamie McMurray (Points: 566): McMurray is new to Martinsville with only four Cup starts under his belt. But within those four starts, he finished once in the top-five and three times in the top-10. He comes to Martinsville this spring as the second-place finisher in the fall 2004 race, where he led 41 of his total 43 laps led at the track. Additionally, McMurray visited Victory Lane last fall the same weekend, in the Craftsman Truck Series race. He is on pace to break into the top-10 in the point standings after this weekend's race as he's only 43 points out. The team has decided to bring a new chassis (No. 503) to the race.

17. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Points: 525): In an improvement of nine positions, Earnhardt, Jr. made the biggest gain in the point standings after Bristol, climbing to 17th. At Martinsville, he has started 10 times, finishing five times in the top-five in his last six races. Junior's best finish at the track is third, achieved twice, most recently in the 2004 spring race. He has led 451 laps on the short track. In 2004, for the third consecutive year, Dale Jr. scored more points (924) on short tracks than any other driver.

23. Jeff Burton (Points: 472): Burton has competed in 21 races at Martinsville scoring one win, eight top-five and 11 top-10 finishes. Burton, who has a career finishing average of 13.8, has missed a top-15 finish four times in the last 15 Martinsville races. He has led 574 laps at the Virginia short track and his lone victory came in 1997. Burton will race chassis No. 129 for the second time in 2005. This car finished 17th at Vegas and 11th at Martinsville and Phoenix last year.

28. Matt Kenseth (Points: 459): Kenseth has competed in 10 races at Martinsville, scoring one top-five and three top-10 finishes. His best finish of second came in the 2002 spring race. Kenseth tested a brand new car (chassis No. 47) at Martinsville last week in preparation for the Advance Auto Parts 500.

Quotable: "We've been inconsistent in our finishes at Martinsville. We've done a lot of testing here in the past, including last week, and we're still trying to get the set-up right."

34. Bobby Labonte (Points: 347): Labonte has 24 starts at the .526 track with one win in 2002 and one pole. Four times he has finished in the top-five and 11 times in the top-10. The primary car for the race is chassis No. 64, a car successful in four races, but one Labonte has not driven in a race since 2003. With this car, he finished second in the spring race at Martinsville in 2003.

37. Ricky Rudd (Points: 310): With 51 starts at Martinsville, Rudd is second in the number of races at the track among active drivers, behind Terry Labonte. Rudd has three wins, 13 top-five's and 19 top-10's at Martinsville, which was the site of his first career pole on April 24, 1981. He has led 1,569 laps (3rd among active drivers) and has led in 17 races. As a result of a late-race crash in Bristol placing him out of a guaranteed starting spot at Martinsville, Rudd has to maintain his Martinsville performance level to ensure a spot in the race. His average start at the track is 11.0.

RacingOne Staff Picks:

Pete Pistone: Jimmie Johnson
Rick Benjamin: Rusty Wallace
Ron Lemasters: Tony Stewart
Jeff Wackerlin: Jeff Gordon

Wins: Jeff (Greg Biffle-California, Kevin Harvick-Bristol)

Advance Auto Parts 500
Martinsville Speedway

TV: FOX, 12:30 p.m. (ET).
Radio: MRN/XM Satellite.
Race length: 500 laps, 263 miles.

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