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Last Updated Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 5:27 pm, EDT

Race Capsule

Martinsville Speedway
  • What:

    Race 32 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, VA

  • When:

    October 19, 2003 12:30 pm EDT

  • Laps:

    500

  • Track Length:

    0.526 miles

  • Race Length:

    263.00 miles

  • Purse:

    $4,242,123

Drivers to Watch

Jeff Gordon Seeking to become first driver since Rusty Wallace in 1994 to sweep both races at Martinsville; scored 15 top-10 finishes in 21 career starts at the short-track, including 14 of the last 17 appearances; started from pole in 2001-02 and among the first 10 on 15 occasions; has been consistent in last four races, finishing fifth in each including Saturday's UAW-GM Quality 500; has 12 top-five finishes this season, second only to Ryan Newman (14); sixth in points for the fifth straight week, but recent run has allowed him to tighten the race between positions 3-6; trails fifth-place Jimmie Johnson by 55 points and is 83 behind third-place Earnhardt Jr.; led for 190 laps in the spring race for his fourth victory at Martinsville.
Kevin Harvick Also continued his push toward the top of the Winston Cup series standings by earning his fourth consecutive top-10 finish with a 10th-place showing at Lowe's; remained second in the standings for the fourth straight week, 267 points behind Matt Kenseth; looks for first career top-10 here; finished out of the top 20 in three of four career starts at the track, with best effort a 16th in April.
Former Winston Cup champion has 54 career victories but none this season; has 36 career poles, including three at Martinsville where he has won six races; one of two drivers among the top 13 without a win this season; good results in last six races, with no finish lower than 13th scored Saturday at Lowe's; previous five events were all in the top 10, with fifth in the Chevy Rock & Roll 400 as best.
Ryan Newman Continued his late-season assault on the points title by posting his fourth runner-up finish in the past six races; was 0.608 seconds behind reigning series champion Tony Stewart at Lowe's; maintained fourth-place in the standings, but is a significant 331 points behind Kenseth with five races left; leads circuit with eight victories and eight poles, and in top-five finishes with 14; his 19 top-10 finishes rank second to Kenseth's 23.
This will be the veteran's 600th career Winston Cup start; recorded 10 victories and 12 poles in his durable career; in 34 starts at Martinsville, has qualified in the top-10 seven times and finished 12th or better in his last five races; started 25th in the spring race Virginia 500 and finished seventh for the highest-positioned Dodge; qualified in the top-10 three out of the last six races.
Kurt Busch An accident at Charlotte last Saturday ended his day early and he ended up placing 41st; it was his third finish of 38th or worse in the last four races; slipped one position to 10th in standings; has been in the top-10 all but one week this season; trails Terry Labonte by five points; defending champion of the Subway 500, coming from his 36th starting position and leading for 111 laps last October; it is one of his two top-10 finishes in six career starts at Martinsville, the other being a 10th in last season's spring race; in the other four starts, however, he has finished 28th or worse; qualifying also has not been his forte at Martinsville, having never started better than 20th with five of his six career starts being 36th or deeper.
Matt Kenseth Ended a two-race skid with an eighth-place finish at Saturday night's UAW-GM Quality 500; it was his series-leading 23rd top-10 finish to rebound from 33rd-place at Talladega and 36th at Kansas; those results cost him 177 points to Kevin Harvick; is now 267 points up on Harvick with five races remaining; finished 19th or worse in five of seven career starts at this track; was 22nd in the spring race here after a second last year.
Tony Stewart Recorded his second victory of the season at the UAW-GM Quality 500; was fourth consecutive top-five effort and the recent run has permitted the defending Winston Cup champion to improve three positions to seventh, one more point than teammate Bobby Labonte; posted five top-10s, including a win from the pole in the fall of 2000 in his last seven starts at Martinsville; led laps in last three starts and four of last six; scored poles in spring 1999 and fall 2000; also started eighth in three of his last four appearances; the pole in 1999 was the first of Winston Cup career.
Jimmie Johnson Third-place finish at Charlotte was sixth top-10 finish in last eight races, which includes victory at New Hampshire; also was ninth top-five effort of season; kept fifth position for the second race week in a row; is 21 points behind fourth-place Ryan Newman and 28 back of Dale Earnhardt Jr.; first start last spring at this venue was 35th place; has been solid in two performances since with top 10 starts and finishes; started seventh both times and finished sixth in this race last year and ninth in April.
Terry Labonte Despite a fifth straight finish outside the top 15, the veteran managed to improve a spot to ninth in the standings; was 18th in Saturday's race; equaled season-best ranking held for three weeks in September, from Richmond through Dover; is 180 points behind brother Bobby and just five up on Kurt Busch; recorded 26 top-10 finishes in 50 career starts at Martinsville, the most among active drivers, but only three have come since 1997; most recent came in last year's spring race in sixth; was 14th in April.