Martinsville

NASCAR Returns to Rough 'n' Tumble Short Track

Geoffrey Miller's Five Things to Watch at Martinsville Speedway
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<p> Five storylines to follow as the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit heads to Martinsville Speedway for the STP Gas Booster 500.</p>

1. Back to the scene of the (original) crime
With the he-said, he-said war of words and fenders that Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin have participated in during the last three weeks, it's been easy to forget that the final laps of Martinsville's spring race one year ago was the ultimate catalyst for last season's most-talked about rivalry.

Fantasy NASCAR Picks for the STP Gas Booster 500 at Martinsville Speedway

Dustin Long predicts the best fantasy drivers in Martinsville so you don't have to.
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<p> Dustin Long ranks each driver on the NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit for this weekend's STP Gas Booster 500 at Martinsville Speedway.</p>

The 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup circuit treks back east to quaint little Martinsville for the STP Gas Booster 500. To help guide you through the 2013 Fantasy NASCAR season, Athlon Sports contributor Dustin Long will be offering his best predictions for each race. And because Yahoo's Fantasy Auto Racing game is arguably the most popular, he’ll break down the picks according to its NASCAR driver classes — A-List, B-List, C-List.

Confident Earnhardt leads Sprint Cup Series into Martinsville

Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads NASCAR point standings, enjoying momentum
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<p> Dale Earnhardt Jr. leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings and is a favorite to win this weekend at Martinsville Speedway.</p>

It’s said that Dale Earnhardt Jr. is off to the best start of his 14-year NASCAR Sprint Cup career.

The 38-year-old has recorded top-10 finishes in each of the first five events, averaging a 4.4-place finish, and leads the point standings heading to the circuit’s sixth stop, in Martinsville, Va., on Sunday.

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

Keselowski, Earnhardt Jr. setting blistering pace
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<p> Dale Earnhardt Jr. has assumed the top spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings, but it's defending champion Brad Keselowski who finds himself atop the Athlon Sports Horsepower Rankings.</p>

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has assumed the top spot in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings, but it's defending champion Brad Keselowski who finds himself atop the Athlon Sports Horsepower Rankings.


1. Brad Keselowski
If not for an overheating issue late in Fontana (while running fifth), Keselowski would most likely be five-for-five in the top-5 finishes category. The defending champ has come out swinging.

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

NASCAR's new start times, title favorites and grading Martinsville
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<p> Dustin Long's Backseat Drivers Fan Council discuss new start times in the Chase, who the chmapionship favorite is with three races remaining in the season and the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville.</p>
2012

Times are a-changin’ in NASCAR but will fans see a change in who has been the champion most often in recent years? With starting times for the remaining races pushed back, members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council were asked if they liked the move, along with who now is their pick to win the title with three races left and what they thought of the Martinsville race. Here’s what they had to say about those issues and more:

Dale Earnhardt Jr. cleared to race

Earnhardt to make NASCAR Sprint Cup return in Martinsville
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<p> Dale Earnhardt Jr. will make his return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this weekend at the Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway.</p>
2012

Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been medically cleared to race this weekend at Martinsville Speedway, Hendrick Motorsports announced Tuesday.

Earnhardt missed the past two races after suffering a concussion Oct. 7 in a last-lap crash at Talladega Superspeedway. It was his second concussion within six weeks. He suffered a concussion in a crash during an Aug. 29 tire test at Kansas Speedway.

Backseat Drivers Fan Council

Weighing in on Reutimann, Martinsville vs. Bristol and the Truck Series
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<p> The Backseat Drivers Fan Council weighs in on David Reutimann, Martinville vs. Bristol and watching thge Truck Series.</p>
2012

by Dustin Long

Members of the Backseat Drivers Fan Council had much to talk about in regards to Martinsville. From their thoughts on David Reutimann trying to make it to the end but causing a late-race caution to the racing in both the Sprint Cup and Camping World Truck Series races, Fan Council members didn’t hold back in what they had to say.

Pennell’s Picks: Fantasy NASCAR Trends at Martinsville

Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's race at Martinsville
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<p> Athlon Sports contributor Jay Pennell looks at favorites and darkhorses for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway.</p>
2012

by Jay Pennell

Few sports crisscross the United States quite like NASCAR, and with that, the Sprint Cup Series returns to the East Coast this weekend for the Goody’s Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

NASCAR Horsepower Rankings

A Two Man Show? Not Just Yet.

by Matt Taliaferro

1. Carl Edwards
Talladega and Martinsville were the wild card tracks, and the two Edwards and crew were most apprehensive about. They went into ’Dega with a five-point lead and left Martinsville up eight.

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<p> Is it a two-man battle? Not yet, but Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart have certainly separated from the pack in the Chase standings and in Athlon Sports' weekly Horsepower Rankings.</p>

8. Jeff Gordon
It’s been a disappointing Chase for Gordon and the gang thus far. In fact, his third-place run at Martinsville was the best showing he’s had since a fourth in Loudon, five weeks ago.

9. Clint Bowyer
Will Bowyer’s hiring at Michael Waltrip Racing come at the expense of David Reutimann’s full-season effort? It just might ...

10. Kyle Busch
Has been wholly unspectacular throughout the Chase, which begs the question, “Why is he rated so high on this list?” Answer: Because he still has the ability to win on any given weekend.

11. Kasey Kahne
A strong six-race run comes to an end in Martinsville, which has never been a great “Kasey track.”

12. Kurt Busch
Sliding the wrong way since the win at Dover five weeks ago.

13. Jeff Burton
Follows runner-up showing at Talladega with a sixth at Martinsville.

14. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
In lieu of a top-5 finish, it was at least good to hear Junior having fun in Martinsville.

15. Greg Biffle
Averaging a rather pedestrian 13th-place run over the last month.

Just off the lead pack: AJ Allmendinger, Marcos Ambrose, Mark Martin, Ryan Newman, Martin Truex Jr.
 

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Tony Stewart Wins Martinsville

Stewart wins third Chase race, narrows point gap

by Matt Taliaferro

Prior to NASCAR’s Chase for the Championship, Tony Stewart stated that his inclusion in the playoffs may simply be wasting a spot in lieu of another, more worthy contender. Three victories later, the two-time Cup champion finds himself in the thick of the title hunt after a win in the Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

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<p> Tony Stewart passed Jimmie Johnson with two laps remaining to win the Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway.</p>

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