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From the track: the latest news @ Martinsville Speedway

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Friday is Media Day at the track, and so we're bringing you the news and notes from all the day's press conferences at Bristol. Check back often today to keep up with the latest.

• Of the current top 12 drivers, Jeff Gordon has the most wins and poles at Martinsville, with seven apiece. Jimmie Johnson has six wins and one pole, while Tony Stewart has two wins and three poles. Kevin Harvick Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Paul Menard, Kyle Busch and Clint Bowyer have not won a race or a pole at Martinsville.

• 9:18 a.m.: Kevin Harvick discussed the overall opinion in the garage of Jimmie Johnson's success: "For us, it motivates you to keep working ... they haven't won three of the first five by being lucky, they've capitalized on the lucky breaks they've gotten. They have everything going right now. We don't let it frustrate us, we use it as motivation."

• 9:22: Harvick on how the spoiler will affect the standings: "I don't think anybody knows what the effect will be until we start racing ... Texas is the first place we'll see what's going to happen on the high-speed racetracks, which is where we run most of the year." But people hoping for a shakeup in the standings shouldn't expect too much difference: "The good teams are still going to be good."

9:45: Kyle Busch is always one of the more entertaining interviews, provided he's in a good mood. When asked about his thoughts on the addition of more laps to Phoenix, he replied, "It'll just give more laps for Jimmie to lead, I guess."

10:00: Jeff Burton laughed about Dale Earnhardt Jr. being in the top 12: "God almighty, we're parked next to Junior [in the garage]. That means we won't get a moment's peace all weekend."

10:14: It's a fairly sedate media session, focusing more on nuts-and-bolts equipment issues than larger concerns. Burton on whether fuel injection could be more susceptible to cheating, once it arrives: "The potential for cheating is there. It's a lot easier if you want to run in 12th than if you want to win the race. But I don't think you'll be seeing any of that."

10:25: As Clint Bowyer left the podium, he and Jimmie Johnson crossed paths and smiled as they greeted one another. "You see that?" Jimmie said as he sat down. "He just cussed at me. Forget Keselowski-Carl Edwards. We've got a new fight. Jimmie and Clint."

10:35: Johnson is noting that the spoiler may not be the salvation that everyone's expecting it will be. "A lot of times, people would spin and save themselves, and you'd say, 'How did they save that?' The spoiler might create more cautions than the wing because people may not be able to save as much."

10:38: Johnson downplayed the idea that he had a better car than anyone else. "NASCAR is more equal than it's ever been. My teammates have all access to my setups, but the people on this 48 team as a unit work really well together. We haven't been the best car in the three races we've won, but we've taken home the trophy."

10:40: After last week's race, Kurt Busch said, "Anybody but the 48." Johnson loved hearing that. "That made me smile ... just in his comment alone, absolutely we're in his head."

10:55: Matt Kenseth was dazzling and a quote machine! Nah, just kidding, he was as low-key as he always is.

11:00: After Kenseth left, the moderator announced that interviews will resume at 1:00 with Tony Stewart. I swear, somewhere in the background I heard a crash of thunder and scary organ music.

• 1:10: After last week's anti-media screed, Tony Stewart was mildly more personable. Mildly. When asked how one navigates the Phoenix track, he replied, "Easy. You stay inside the concrete wall that's on the outside of the track."

• 1:15: Stewart on Jimmie: "He's the kind of guy it's hard not to like. Every time I won a race last year, Jimmie was one of the first to send me a text message to congratulate me."

• 1:20: The spoiler's on the cars now. Did Stewart feel any difference in the cars while driving in practice today? "No."

1:35: As rain starts to fall outside, Greg Biffle is in a good mood. After one reporter asks a question, he replies, "Have you filled out your census form yet? No? Do that."

1:40: Biffle giftwrapped a quote for Talladega promotion: "When NASCAR took the gloves off, it came at Daytona, and it didn't really matter, because you can't do anything there. But at Talladega, you're going to see a lot of guys pushing each other. I think Talladega's going to be the most exciting race of the season."

1:41: Biffle on Paul Menard: "I think he sucks as a driver -- oh, there you are, Paul. Didn't see you come in." (Yes, it was a joke.)

2:30: Dale Earnhardt Jr. said that Lance McGrew has helped us "imagine a better future for ourselves." Sounds like a campaign commercial.

• 2:40: Junior used to gripe about media appearances, but realized that it's better to be in the media room (and thus in the top 12) than outside it. "I like being in the top 12, so I'll come in here every damn week if I have to."

2:40: Junior takes a shot at his critics: "When I was younger, and even when my daddy was alive, everybody would say I didn't have the willpower, I didn't have the fire. He wore it on his sleeve. I don't do that. Even after he passed, some would say I didn't have the focus. So any time somebody would say I laid down, or insinuated that I might, it pisses me off. I have a right to feel however I want to feel. I'm just a human being." In print, those words sound very whiny, but it wasn't that way at all. Junior's a lot more certain of himself than most people think.

No word yet on whether rain will affect qualifying this afternoon. Drivers are back in their haulers now; more news as events warrant.

• 4:30: Qualifying has been rained out. The starting grid will be set by owner's points, meaning Kevin Harvick and Matt Kenseth will start on the front row.

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