Racingone Rewind: Martinsville

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    A look back at Denny Hamlin's fourth career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win in Sunday's Goody's Cool Orange 500 at Martinsville Speedway including news, notes and observations by the RacingOne staff.

    RacingOneCast
    Click Here to watch RacingOne's recap of Sunday's Goody's Cool Orange 500 that includes comments from Hamlin, Jeff Gordon and Jeff Burton. itunes Podcast

    Inside Line
    Denny Hamlin picked up his first win of 2008 and gave Joe Gibbs Racing and Toyota its second Sprint Cup victory of the year.

    Keys to Victory Lane
    Denny Hamlin used pit strategy to get track position and then worked his way around Jeff Burton for the lead with 74 laps to go to win his first race at what he considers his home track in Martinsville.

    Zero to Hero
    Casey Mears finally broke his season-long drought and after starting 39th, came home seventh on Sunday.

    Hero to Zero
    Kyle Busch came into the weekend as the series point leader but after tangling with brother Kurt Busch in the early going, was never a factor all day and finished 38th.

    Rookie of the Race
    Regan Smith was the class of the freshman crop Sunday starting 33rd and wheeling his DEI Chevy home 14th.

    Notables
    Jeff Burton started 24th and came close to winning his second straight race before settling for third. David Ragan recovered from his previous Martinsville disappointments to come home a solid 11th. And, Elliott Sadler battled back problems all weekend but gutted out the 500 laps on Sunday to finish 15th.

    Top 35 Standings
    Jamie McMurray is solidly back in with his eighth place finish vaulting him to 30th in the standings. David Reutimann fell out while Regan Smith slipped in heading to Texas.

    Goody's Cool Orange 500 Loop Data Leaders
  • Average Running Position: Dale Earnhardt - 4.4
  • Fastest Early In a Run: Jeff Gordon - 93.140 mph
  • Fastest Late In a Run: Jeff Gordon - 90.920 mph
  • Fastest Laps Run: Jeff Gordon - 78
  • Fastest on Restarts: Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 91.361 mph
  • Most Passes During Green Flag Conditions: Juan Pablo Montoya - 78
  • Laps In Top 15: David Ragan - 500
  • Quality Passes: Tony Stewart - 45
  • Speed in Traffic: Jeff Gordon - 91.522 mph

    Pit Stops
  • Denny Hamlin captured his fourth career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series win in his 85th career start. Detailed Active Driver Wins
  • Hamlin won the 60th race for car owner Joe Gibbs. Detailed Active Car Owner Wins
  • Hamlin became the 15th driver to win at Martinsville from the second position. He also became the 348th driver overall to win a race from that position. Starting Position Facts
  • Hamlin won the first Cup Series race for Toyota at Martinsville and second overall. All-Time Manufacturer Wins
  • Jeff Gordon (second) posted his 25th top-10 finish in 31 races at Martinsville.
  • Jeff Burton (third) posted his 14th top-10 finish in 28 races at Martinsville.
  • Jimmie Johnson narrowly missed tying Fred Lorenzen for four straight wins at Martinsville with his fourth-place finish. He continued his streak of 12 straight finishes in the top 10, though.
  • Tony Stewart posted his seventh top-five finish at Martinsville in 19 starts.
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. led the most laps in Sunday's race (146) en route to his sixth-place finish.
  • Casey Mears worked his way up the field from a 39th-place starting position to finish seventh, his first top-10 of this season.
  • Jamie McMurray also posted his best finish of the season, eighth, and best finish at Martinsville since joining Roush.
  • With his ninth-place finish, Carl Edwards posted his first Cup top-10 finish at Martinsville.
  • Clint Bowyer (10th) posted his second career top-10 finish at Martinsville, and now has a 15.0 average finish there.
  • The 500-lap race saw 20 lead changes among eight drivers and an average speed of 73.163 mph.
  • Eighteen caution flags were thrown for 89 laps.
  • The Goody's Cool Orange 500 lasted 3 hours, 35 minutes, 41 seconds.

    Lug Nuts
  • Sorry Hendrick haters, the boys are definitely back.
  • It's going to be an interesting affair at this year's Busch Family picnic after Kyle and Kurt's little tango on Sunday.
  • There's a report that in addition to a swaybar, someone also stole Jack Roush's sanity.
  • Ever since Jamie McMurray and David Ragan were considered candidates to be launched when Roush Fenway contracts to four teams, they sure have stepped things up.
  • Enough of this crappy weather already.
  • Michael McDowell needs to use his turn signal apparently.
  • What the heck was Robby Gordon doing racing the leaders for even a second when he was like 30 laps down?
  • Not a bad day for open wheelers Juan Pablo Montoya (13th) and Dario Franchitti (22nd).

    Garage Talk

  • "Even in 2003 when I had to make it on time, I wasn’t really expected to because I was a rookie and it was a brand new team. That was a totally different feeling last weekend." -Jamie McMurray on the Top 35
  • "Every time we made up a little ground, we kept getting wrecked or wrecked, whatever the case turned out to be. We were so far off in the beginning and then I got spun out on pit road and pitted out of the box. That cost us a lap and it took us 200 laps to get that back, and then we really ran pretty good but we just kept getting run into." -Matt Kenseth
  • "I think all the fenders are on it, just none of them are the shape they were at the start of the race." -Dario Franchitti
  • "Finally! The curse is over I hope. We had such bad luck over these last two weeks. It finally feels good to come here and get a win in front of the hometown fans. I can't wait -- this is a sign of things to come, I believe." -Denny Hamlin
  • "You know, when you get out of the car and you feel how cold it is and steam's rolling off your body and, you know, it's visibly raining almost like sleet, you know, and you look up in the grandstands and those folks stuck around. I'm just glad they got to see a good race. That was a really good Martinsville race." -Jeff Gordon
  • "At first I was running not too bad and then I started getting spin out and I was lucky I didn't hit the wall and spun me twice and we kept going. I was 'Man, when is this going to stop [laughs]?' It seemed like it was getting from bad to worse and I was in everybody's way until I understood at the end that I needed to roll the center a lot faster than what I was doing." -Patrick Carpentier

    RacingOne Rating
    On a scale of one to ten, famous Martinsville hot dogs (which we understand were served semi-frozen because of the brutal weather conditions this weekend), we'll give Sunday's Goody's Cool Orange 500 a 7. Any race at Martinsville is a good race to us, and even though we didn't get a classic finish like a year ago when Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson battled to the line, Sunday's show had enough hard racing to keep us entertained. It's sad to know we won't see a short track for a while until Richmond though. Next, it's off to the great state of Texas and next Sunday's Samsung 500.

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