Race Weekend Central

Matt McLaughlin’s Driver Handicaps: 2007 Martinsville Fall Race Edition

Jeff Gordon – In the last nine Cup races at Martinsville, Gordon has won four times, finished second twice and never finished outside the top 10. In 29 Martinsville career starts, Gordon has won seven times, and is averaging a seventh-place finish.

Jimmie Johnson – This spring, Johnson outraced teammate Gordon off the fourth corner to the checkers to win his second consecutive Martinsville race. He has top-10 finishes in 10 of his 11 Cup starts here, and an average finishing position of seventh.

Clint Bowyer – Bower placed 11th here this spring, but finished 23rd and 22nd in both of last year’s Martinsville races.

Tony Stewart – Stewart has won here twice (most recently in 2006) and has top-10 results in 10 of his 17 Martinsville Cup starts.

Carl Edwards – Edwards hasn’t managed a top-10 result here in six starts, and is averaging a 22nd-place finish.

Kyle Busch – Busch has top-10 finishes in three of his five Martinsville Cup starts.

Kurt Busch – Even with his win here in 2002, Busch is still averaging a 20th-place finish here after 14 starts.

Kevin Harvick – Harvick has been wildly inconsistent at Martinsville. In 12 starts, he has four top-10 finishes, but those are offset by four finishes of 30th or worse. Of course, you can’t say Harvick and Martinsville together without recalling the spring of 2002, when he was forced to sit out the Cup race as punishment for his antics during that Saturday’s truck race. Also of note: Harvick won the Busch Series race held here last season.

Denny Hamlin – Hamlin desperately wants to win at what he considers to be his home track. He’s come close at Martinsville, finishing second in this race last year and third this spring after leading 125 laps.

See also
Fantasy Picks 'N' Pans: 2007 Subway 500 at Martinsville Edition

Jeff Burton – Burton won here all the way back in 1997. Once a consistent top-10 performer at the paperclip oval, Burton has hit a rough patch over the last few years, with a 42nd-place finish last fall derailing any hopes he had for the title. However, he did manage a sixth-place finish here in the spring.

Martin Truex Jr. – The guy with the big fish on his hood has floundered at Martinsville – he’s averaging a 28th-place finish here after three starts.

Matt Kenseth – Kenseth’s 10th-place finish here this spring was just his fourth Martinsville top-10 result in 15 races.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. – Junior’s best results here are a pair of third-place finishes back in 2003 and 2004. Overall, he has top 10 results in seven of his 15 Martinsville Cup starts. But Martinsville is tough on engines, and the RCR/DEI engine program may prove to be his Achilles’ heel.

Casey Mears – Mears’s sixth-place finish in this race last year was his only top-10 result in nine Martinsville Cup starts. He’s averaging a 26th-place finish in those nine races.

Ryan Newman – Here’s an odd stat – Newman has top-10 finishes in five of the last eight Martinsville races, but none in the last three.

Greg Biffle – Martinsville clearly has Biffle baffled. He’s averaging a 26th-place finish here after nine starts, and has never finished better than 17th here.

Bobby Labonte – Labonte won at Martinsville in 2002, and has top-three finishes in three of the last four Martinsville spring races. Quick, where did Labonte score his sole Truck Series win? Right here in Martinsville, back in 2005.

JJ Yeley – Yeley’s best finish is 20th after three Cup starts at this .526-mile oval.

Jamie McMurray – McMurray has top-10 finishes in six of his nine Martinsville starts, and finished second here in 2004. He also won a Truck Series race here three seasons ago.

Kasey Kahne – Despite finishing second here in 2005, Kahne’s averaging a ho-hum 17th-place finish at Martinsville after seven starts.

About the author

Matt joined Frontstretch in 2007 after a decade of race-writing, paired with the first generation of racing internet sites like RaceComm and Racing One. Now semi-retired, he submits occasional special features while his retrospectives on drivers like Alan Kulwicki, Davey Allison, and other fallen NASCAR legends pop up every summer on Frontstretch. A motorcycle nut, look for the closest open road near you and you can catch him on the Harley during those bright, summer days in his beloved Pennsylvania.

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