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Last Updated Monday, Oct 27, 2008 12:35 am, EDT

TUMS QuikPak 500

Status: Final Martinsville Speedway

Race Capsule

Martinsville Speedway
  • What:

    Race 32 of 36 on Sprint Cup circuit

  • Where:

    Martinsville Speedway, Martinsville, VA

  • When:

    October 19, 2008 1:45 pm EDT

  • Laps:


  • Track Length:

    0.526 miles

  • Race Length:

    263.00 miles

  • Purse:


Drivers to Watch

Jimmie Johnson Chase Points: 5,878 (1st) Two-time reigning series champion has a 69-point lead atop the standings midway through the Chase; barely missed out on third straight win after being passed by Greg Biffle in the closing laps at New Hampshire, settling for second; followed with fifth at Dover and a win at Kansas to take over first place in the Chase; played it safe at Talladega and finished ninth, then ran sixth at Lowe's; entered the Chase with momentum after winning the past two races at California and Richmond; also has wins at Phoenix and the Brickyard; in 31 starts has 12 top fives and 23 top 10s to go along with four poles and just a single DNF; battled teammate Jeff Gordon for the top spot in the Chase early last season, then took off - winning four straight races over the second half of the Chase; in 2006 he came back from ninth early in the Chase to win the championship with six top 10s which included a win at Martinsville and four second-place finishes; finished fifth in the 2005 standings and second in 2004, eight points behind Kurt Busch; won this race the past two Octobers.
Carl Edwards Chase Points: 5,710 (4th) Dropped from the top spot in the Chase after running second at Kansas; opened the Chase with thirds at New Hampshire and Dover; caused the big one at Talladega and finished 29th, then dropped to fourth in the standings after 33rd-place finish at Lowe's; has 14 top fives and 22 top 10s; finished second to Jimmie Johnson at the Brickyard and has five runner-ups this season; was also second to Kyle Busch at Darlington, Dover and the second Daytona race; was docked 100 points and fell from the top spot in the standings after being penalized after his win at Las Vegas; victory at Texas was his 10th career Cup win; had the dominant car again at Atlanta, but blew an engine and finished 42nd; ran 19th in the Daytona 500; qualified for the Chase last year and won at Dover after placing 12th at New Hampshire, but failed post-race inspection and was docked 25 points; penalty dropped him from third to sixth in the standings and he never recovered as he eventually wound up ninth; won the 2007 NASCAR Busch Series championship and is in contention to win the title again this year; ran 11th here last year.
Greg Biffle Chase Points: 5,792 (3rd) Snapped 33-race winless skid by winning at New Hampshire to start the Chase, then won again at Dover; winning streak ended with a third at Kansas then was wrecked by teammate Carl Edwards at Talladega and finished 24th; remains third in the standings, 86 points behind Jimmie Johnson after finishing seventh at Lowe's; through first 31 starts has 11 top fives and 15 top 10s; claimed two poles this season at Darlington and Dover; also has a pair of DNFs on the year, at Darlington and the second Daytona race; has been in the top-12 in the standings since the season-opening Daytona 500, where he finished 10th; finished second in the 2005 series standings, earning six victories; he is the only driver to win Nationwide and Craftsman Truck series titles; did not qualify for the Chase last season and wound up 14th in the standings; finished seventh in this race last season.
Kevin Harvick Chase Points: 5,671 (6th) Had finished in the top-10 in nine straight races until running 20th at Talladega and 13th at Lowe's; started the Chase by finishing 10th at New Hampshire, sixth at Dover and sixth at Kansas; posted six top fives and 15 top 10s this season; has no poles and no DNFs on the year; entered the top-12 in the standings after Pocono in the beginning of August; last year finished 10th in the Chase with four top-10 finishes; in 2006 finished fourth in the Chase with six top-10 finishes including wins at New Hampshire and Phoenix; took an early lead in the 2006 Chase after winning at New Hampshire from the pole, but a 32nd-place finish at Dover knocked him out of the top spot; ran 10th in this race last year.
Clint Bowyer Chase Points: 5,693 (5th) Finished 12th at Richmond to lock up final Chase berth, then ran 12th at New Hampshire, eighth at Dover and 12th at Kansas; sits fifth in the standings after running 12th at Lowe's; pulled off a shocking victory in the Chase opener last season from the pole last year en route to finishing a surprising third in the standings on the strength of five top-10 finishes over the Chase; has one win on the year, coming at the first Richmond race in May; in 31 starts this season has five top fives and 13 top 10s; has not earned a pole, but also has no DNFs on the year; is running double duty this season and currently tops the Nationwide Series standings by almost 200 points; finished ninth here last October.
Jeff Burton Chase Points: 5,619 (4th) Won at Lowe's to jump up to second in the standings, 69 points behind Jimmie Johnson; opened the Chase by running fourth at New Hampshire, ninth at Dover, seventh at Kansas and fourth at Talladega; one of the circuit's most consistent drivers struggled entering the Chase; ran in the top 15 through the first 17 races, but had an average finish of 20th over last nine starts before the Chase - including just two top 10s which came at the Brickyard and Richmond; won first Bristol race for other victory of the season; has no poles this season and a pair of DNFs; finished eighth in last season's standings, one year after placing seventh; finished in the top 10 in half of the races last season, including nine top fives; lone win of the 2007 season came in April at Texas; finished the season strong with five top 10s over the final six races; best overall finish was third in the 2000 standings; ran 12th in this race last season.
Jeff Gordon Chase Points: 5,633 (8th) Opened Chase by running 14th at New Hampshire and seventh at Dover; followed up with a fourth at Kansas, 38th at Talladega and eighth at Lowe's; has yet to win this season but has 10 top-fives and 15 top 10s; has five DNFs this season after posting just one last year; rebounded to finish fifth at Atlanta after being involved in a scary late-race crash at Las Vegas where he finished 35th; bounced back with a third at California after opening 2008 season with a disappointing 39th in the Daytona 500; only a dominant finish by teammate Jimmie Johnson kept him from capturing a fifth championship last season; finished with 10 top-10 finishes in the final 11 races - the other finish in that span was an 11th at Dover; totaled a remarkable 30 top-10 finishes and 21 top fives in 36 races last year; had six checkered flags last season and 81 career, just two shy of tying Cale Yarborough for fifth place all-time; ran third in this race last year.
Denny Hamlin Chase Points: 5,498 (12th) Spent a night in the hospital after hard crash at Talladega which relegated him to a 39th-place finish; bounced back with a 16th at Lowe's; started the Chase by running ninth at Loudon, 38th at Dover and 11th at Kansas; won once this season at Martinsville in March; through 31 starts has nine top fives and 15 top 10s along with one pole at the first Richmond race; has only three DNFs on the year; has been in the top-12 in the standings since win at Martinsville; struggled to a 12th-place finish in the Chase last season with only three top-10s; in 2006 became the first - and thus far - only rookie to make the Chase, going on to finish third in the standings; posted seven top-10s in the 10 races that make up the Chase; ran sixth in this race last season.
Tony Stewart Chase Points: 5,650 (7th) Snapped a 42-race winless streak by winning at Talladega; followed that up by running 11th at Lowe's; has 10 top fives and 15 top 10s, along with no poles and three DNFs on the year; finished fifth at Chicago in first race since announcing he will leave JGR at the end of the season to drive for his own Stewart-Haas Racing team next season; finished second to teammate Kyle Busch at Atlanta, but was vocal about the poor Goodyear tire quality; suffered a hard crash at Las Vegas, injured his ankle and finished last; had another disappointment in the Daytona 500, finishing third despite having the lead with one lap to go; also clashed with his team after finishing second to Jimmie Johnson at Richmond; finished sixth in the Chase last season, one year after not qualifying; won the 2005 championship for his second career title; finished 13th in this race last year.
Kyle Busch Chase Points: 5,552 (9th) Championship hopes all but vanished after more engine troubles at Kansas relegated him to a 28th-place finish; blew an engine at Dover and finished 43rd to fall to last place in the Chase; began the Chase with a broken sway bar at New Hampshire that dropped him to a 34th-place finish; first season at Joe Gibbs Racing has seen him win eight races and post 15 top fives and 17 top 10s; had held on to the top spot for 17 consecutive weeks; win at Watkins Glen gave him a sweep of the road courses following victory at Sonoma in June; prior to win at the Glen had "slumped" with a 15th at the Brickyard and 36th at Pocono; also ran dead last at the first Pocono race; has wins at Atlanta, Talladega, Darlington, Dover and the second Daytona race; runner-up finish at Richmond was marred by a late-race incident with Dale Earnhardt Jr.; had the dominant car and led the most laps at the Daytona 500; is building off a solid run at Hendrick Motorsports in his move to JGR and Toyota; finished fifth in the final 2007 standings after qualifying for the Chase for the second consecutive season; ran fourth in this race last season.
Matt Kenseth Chase Points: 5,518 (11th) Does not have a win this season but finished fifth at Kansas after a second at Dover; was collected in the big one at Talladega and finished 26th, then placed 41st at Lowe's; started the Chase by running 40th at New Hampshire; has eight top fives and 16 top 10s with no poles and one DNF on the year; last season had a late-Chase surge with a win at the season-ending race at Homestead, following a third at Phoenix and second at Texas; finished fourth in the final standings; won the series championship in 2003 despite capturing only one checkered flag, prompting NASCAR to change to its current Chase format; is running this season without long-time crew chief Robbie Reiser who has been replaced atop the box by Chip Bolin; ran fifth in this race last year.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. Chase Points: 5,524 (10th) The circuit's most popular driver started the Chase by running fifth at New Hampshire; fell to 24th at Dover and 13th at Kansas; was collected in the big one at Talladega and wound up 28th; is now 10th after 26th at Lowe's; has been more consistent than spectacular with nine top fives and 14 top 10s, posting just a single DNF and claiming one pole; snapped a 76-race winless stretch by winning first Michigan race on fumes; in 11 remaining races before the Chase had an average finish of 16 and just two top 10s; was involved in a late-race incident with Kyle Busch at Richmond while racing for the win and wound up 15th; was the top finishing Hendrick car at the Daytona 500 with a ninth-place showing; made the move from his father's Dale Earnhardt Inc., where he won 17 Cup events, to Hendrick Motorsports; got off to a good start with his new team by winning the Bud Shootout; suffered through a tough final season at DEI, finishing 16th in the standings; had 12 top 10s last season, but also posted 11 finishes of 25th or worse; finished 23rd in this race last season.