Iracingone Rewind:/I Martinsville

Inside Line
Jeff Gordon captured his 73rd career NEXTEL Cup Series win, in his 433rd start, and seventh at Martinsville Speedway. This was also his 20th top-10 finish in 26 starts at the .526-mile track. Complete Results | Lap Summary | Photos

Keys to Victory Lane
Gordon stayed out on lap 343 when a caution flag flew and the leaders pitted, assuming the lead and then staying in front for the rest of the way.

Highway to Hell
Rusty Wallace was headed for at least a top-five finish when Jeff Burton turned him around after a late restart dooming the Miller Lite Dodge to a 19th-place finish.

Hero to Zero
The sand has run out of Mark Martin's hourglass. After being forced to a back-up car for losing his primary mount in Saturday's practice, Martin had a miserable day Sunday and finished 34th, effectively ending his quest for this year's NEXTEL Cup championship.

Zero to Hero
Jamie McMurray was mired back in a 30th-place starting position but worked his way up through the field and stayed out on one of the record 19 caution flags to finish seventh.

Chase for the Cup
Stewart and Johnson are still at the top of the standings with only 15 points between them. Newman holds on at 63 behind and Biffle is hanging around 83 back. But the fat lady may be singing for the rest of the "Chasers" with Carl Edwards, fifth, 149 back and Martin, Wallace, Busch and Kenseth mired down in the standings.

Pit Stops
  • Jeff Gordon captured his 73rd career NEXTEL Cup Series win in his 433rd start and seventh at Martinsville Speedway. This was also his 20th top-10 finish in 26 starts at the .526-mile track. Detailed Active Driver Wins
  • Gordon won the 139th race for car owner Rick Hendrick. Detailed Active Car Owner Wins
  • Gordon became the 20th driver to win a race from the 15th starting position. Starting Position Facts
  • Chevrolet now has 16 victories in 2005, and 572 overall. All-Time Manufacturer Wins
  • Gordon led two times for 151 laps.
  • Tony Stewart (second) captured his seventh top-10 finish at Martinsville.
  • Stewart led the most laps (283) for the 11th time in 2005.
  • Jimmie Johnson scored his seventh consecutive top-10 at Matinsville with a third-place finish.
  • Bobby Labonte (fourth) captured his fifth top five at Martinsville in his 26th start.
  • Jeff Burton (fifth) scored his ninth top-five finish in 23 races at Martinsville.
  • Kurt Busch rallied back from a rough driving penalty to finish sixth - his fourth top 10 at Martinsville.
  • Jamie McMurray (seventh) has now finished eighth or better in four of the last five races at Martinsville.
  • Denny Hamlin equaled his career-best NEXTEL Cup finish of eighth in just his third start.
  • Kyle Busch finished ninth in his second start at Martinsville.
  • Ryan Newman notched his fifth consecutive top 10 at Martinsville with a 10th-place finish.
  • Tony Stewart posted the fastest lap of the race (95.444 mph) on lap 5.
  • The 500-lap race saw 15 lead changes among 8 drivers and an average speed of 69.695 mph.
  • A record 19 caution flags were thrown for 113 laps.

    Lug Nuts
  • Johnson and Stewart trash talking before the race, getting into each other during the race and then trash talking after the race. Gonna be an interesting final four events.
  • A record number of cautions for a variety of typical Martinsville short track spins, but how many races have broken caution flag records this year?
  • Mike Wallace was in the way before half a lap was completed.
  • Jeff Green sure didn't look like someone who was staying in his current ride did he?
  • The guy he's replacing - Mike Bliss - didn't have a stellar day. Look for the No. 0 and No. 10 to have some close encounters before the year is over.
  • Denny Hamlin continues to impress with another top-10 run, even after falling back in an early race incident. Wonder what Jason Leffler's thinking these days?
  • Thankfully for Mark Martin fans he'll be back next year because his title hopes in 2005 are over.
  • Rusty Wallace received a famous Martinsville grandfather clock before the race for his seven career wins at the track. But the clock has run out on his title hopes as well.

    Garage Talk
    "They name streets after guys like that - Wrong Way and Dead End."
    -Tony Stewart on Greg Biffle

    "We got 'K-O'-ed by the No. 10 again, two weekends in a row he's ran into us. Took out a couple of leaders, but what can you do?"
    -Mike Bliss on his accident caused by Scott Riggs

    "If I could have got back up there, I would have returned the favor."
    -Jimmie Johnson on Tony Stewart's "chrome horn" move late in the race.

    "This is not interim. Steve is here for, I hope, a long time. I'm so proud that I am a part of him getting his first win and I hope that I can be a part of him getting his first championship too."
    -Jeff Gordon on Crew Chief Steve Letarte

    Fan Forum (What they are saying on the Message Boards)
    "From a real non-Hendrick's fan. Way to go FLASH. I'm glad you had enough sense not to let JJ get his 5 points. Just goes to show that even you thought he was too slow to get there."

    "Tony's comments after the race were priceless. LOL"

    "Absolutely priceless! I cannot wait for next week now! I hope Tony sends a cryin towel with the number 20 on it to both JJ and Chad."
    -Nascar Chick

    "Rudd's day was heartbreaking. He should have been up there challenging for the lead, not driving through the junk all afternoon."

    "Maybe Biffle doesn't respect Stewart. The more Biffle could hold up Stewart at that point...the further the 24 and 48 could get away. That would mean less points for Stewart if he couldn't catch either the 24 or 48. Obviously things changed because of the cautions. And I can't say for sure who Biffle was racing for the lucky dog but he would have been racing someone. Biffle's a wouldn't surprise me if he was trying to get under Stewart's skin and force Stewart into a stupid mistake. It almost worked because Stewart almost abused his car."

    RacingOne Rating
    On a scale of one to ten famous Martinsville hot dogs (a total of 14 consumed by Senior Editor Jeff Wackerlin in Martinsville this weekend), we'll give Sunday's Subway 500 a seven. Pretty typical short track race with a close finish, but too many caution flags to keep us interested all day long. The feud between Stewart and Johnson is getting interesting and will be something to watch over the last four races because, let's be honest, there's only two guys left in the battle for the championship. Next up a trip to the lightning-fast Atlanta Motor Speedway for next Sunday's Bass Pro Shop 500. Hopefully, there will not be a tire issue, but......
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