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The SportsXchange

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

Distributed by The Sports Xchange

Here's a piece of friendly advice for Kurt Busch, Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series winner at Martinsville:

Keep the comments about the value of Hendrick Motorsports equipment to a minimum.

That, of course, runs contrary to a driver's ingrained tendency to thank everyone who had a hand in his visit to Victory Lane.

In at least three separate post-race interviews, Busch used the "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" mantra in explaining how Hendrick chassis and motors helped him beat Hendrick driver Jimmie Johnson to the finish line in the STP 500.

Busch is the second Stewart-Haas driver to win this year in a "customer car" supplied by Hendrick. Yes, Stewart-Haas does its own preparation and set-up, but the baseline product is the same as that used by Hendrick Prime.

Back in 2010, Jeff Gordon said that the Hendrick relationship with Stewart-Haas wasn't a problem, even if Stewart-Haas was winning, unless "they're winning and we're finishing second." That's what happened on Sunday.

So far this year, Stewart-Hass has two wins with two different drivers (Busch and Kevin Harvick) and, presumably, two spots in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

For Hendrick, only Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been to Victory Lane.

So it might be wise for the Stewart-Haas guys to soft-pedal the Hendrick relationship, publicly at least.

Remember, Rick Hendrick scrapped his engine deal with Joe Gibbs Racing in the mid-1990s when Bobby Labonte started beating Gordon a little too often.

@nascarcasm

---Martinsville -- oft referred to as the hot-dog-eating contest with a race thrown into the middle.

---Kurt Busch was able to pass and hold off Jimmie Johnson for the win, which is good, because one more grandfather clock for Jimmie and we'd have to call "Hoarders."

---Jimmie Johnson is now winless through six whole races. But don't expect him to be winless for the entire regular season. He would have to not win 26 straight. Only the Philadelphia 76ers are capable of such a feat.

---For all who may have called for lights to be installed at Martinsville Speedway, be warned that merely adding lights to a storied venue does not necessarily improve the product. Just ask the Chicago Cubs.

(Follow @nascarcasm on Twitter. His unique views on NASCAR are his own -- but chances are you already knew that.)

NASCAR Numbers

50: The combined number of lead changes during Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup/Camping World Truck Series doubleheader at Martinsville Speedway. There were 33 lead changes in the STP 500 Sprint Cup race and 17 in the Kroger 250 Truck Series event, both record numbers.

296: The number of laps led by Jimmie Johnson in Sunday's STP 500, the third-highest total at Martinsville Speedway for the six-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion. Johnson led 346 laps in winning last year's spring race and 339 laps in winning the Chase race in 2008. But on Sunday, Kurt Busch led the lap that counted.

756: The total number of laps run at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday during the NASCAR Sprint Cup/Camping World Truck Series doubleheader at Martinsville. After rain forced postponement of the Truck race from Saturday, it was a remarkable accomplishment logistically to finish both races within a tight time window --especially since the Truck race went to two overtimes.

12: The number of different winners in the first 12 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Texas Motor Speedway. There wasn't a repeat winner at the 1.5-mile speedway until Jeff Burton, victor in the inaugural race at Texas in 1997, took the checkered flag in the Apr. 15, 2007 Samsung 500.

7: The number of drivers who have won multiple races at Texas Motor Speedway. Juxtaposed with the previous number, that might seem counter-intuitive, but it's fact nonetheless. Jimmie Johnson and Carl Edwards lead the parade with three victories each. Double winners are Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin.

NASCAR ETC.

Kurt Busch, a somewhat surprise winner at Martinsville Speedway, became the sixth different winner in the first six races this season. That's the longest stretch of unique winners to start a season in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup era, and the longest overall since 2003 -- when there were nine different winners to the start the season. The record for consecutive different winners to start a season is 10 in 2000. And for the record, after 26 races in 2000, there were still only 15 different winners. So, historically speaking, this year's winners should still feel comfortable in their chances of making the Chase. ... Kurt's brother Kyle Busch won the Coors Light Pole at Martinsville on Saturday, making it six different pole winners in the first six races. That hasn't happened since 1998. ... The Kyle Busch laps led milestone watch continues. He now stands at 9,960 career laps led, 40 away from becoming the 15th driver in NASCAR national series history to accomplish the feat. In 17 races at Texas Motor Speedway, Busch has led 40 or more laps five times.

Tweets Of The Week

Jeff Gordon

?@JeffGordon

Web Tough 12th place yesterday @MartinsvilleSwy. Can promise #team24 not taking that one lightly.

Brad Keselowski?

@keselowski

Not that it matters to the media, but I never blamed Kurt for the accident. I blamed him for not lifting and making it worse.

Kurt Busch?

@KurtBusch

This last two weeks has been great for my grandma & parents. Busch bros win back to back! My grandma is always 1st to call after a race.

Aric Almirola

?@aric_almirola

Really wanted to #WinforMissLynda but it was still a solid day. Guys gave me a good @STPracing Ford. And we certainly won best in show P8

Joey Logano?

@joeylogano

Great run today. Was a tough martinsville battle. Guys never gave up and we ran top 5 all day long. This team is for real. Bring on Texas.

Brad Keselowski?

@keselowski

One thing's for sure after today, our fans say what they want and don't lack any passion! I promise to keep doing the same.

Kyle Larson?

@KyleLarsonRacin

Up into the top 5 at one point in race. Fell back later then spun and pretty much ruined our day. Made a mistake and feel bad. Onto Texas.

Jimmie Johnson?

@JimmieJohnson

That was some awesome short track racing. I wish we were in victory lane but congrats @KurtBusch & @StewartHaasRcng.

Clint Bowyer?

@ClintBowyer

Win as a team, lose as a team....That was a heart breaker!

Denny Hamlin

?@dennyhamlin

What a absolute mess our car was.. .We needed to pull that baby in the garage for about 2 hrs to fix it. Ouch. Happy for @KurtBusch.

NASCAR

?@NASCAR

Two @MartinsvilleSwy races, two track records for lead changes. Not a bad little day of racing!

Tune-In: NASCAR On Television, Week of March 31-April 6 (all times ET)

Monday, March 31

4 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1

6 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network

6:30 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 2

Tuesday, April 1

3:30 a.m., NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Race at Martinsville re-air, FOX Sports 1

Noon, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1

5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network

6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 2

Wednesday, April 2

2:30 a.m., NASCAR Now, ESPN2

3 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Race at Martinsville re-air, FOX Sports 1

11 a.m., American Pickers: NASCAR Challenges, History Channel

Noon, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1

5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network

6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 2

Thursday, April 3

Noon, NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 1

5 p.m., NASCAR America, NBC Sports Network

6 p.m., NASCAR Race Hub, FOX Sports 2

Friday, April 4

2 a.m., NASCAR's The List: Memorable Moments, NBC Sports Network

2:30 a.m., NASCAR's The List: Fights & Feuds, NBC Sports Network

2:30 a.m., NASCAR Now, ESPN2

Noon, NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race at Irwindale, FOX Sports 1

4 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Series Qualifying, FOX Sports 1

5:30 p.m., NASCAR Live, FOX Sports 1

6 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Practice, FOX Sports 1

8 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Countdown, ESPN2

8:30 p.m., NASCAR Nationwide Race at Texas, ESPN2

Saturday, April 5

2 a.m., NASCAR's The List: Memorable Moments, NBC Sports Network

2:30 a.m., NASCAR Nationwide Race at Texas re-air, ESPN2

2:30 a.m., NASCAR's The List: Fights & Feuds, NBC Sports Network

3 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Practice re-air, FOX Sports 1

4:30 a.m., NASCAR Nationwide Race at Texas, ESPN Deportes

5 a.m., NASCAR K&N Pro Series Race at Irwindale, FOX Sports 1

10:30 a.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Final Practice, FOX Sports 1

3 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Qualifying, FOX Sports 2

Sunday, April 6

1:30 p.m., NASCAR RaceDay, FOX Sports 1

2:30 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Pre-Race Show, FOX

3 p.m., NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at Texas, FOX

8 p.m., NASCAR Victory Lane, FOX Sports 1

THIS WEEK

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES

The Race: Duck Commander 500

The Place: Texas Motor Speedway

The Date/Time: Sunday, April 6, 3 p.m.

TV: FOX

Radio: PRN, Sirius XM Channel 90

NASCAR

NATIONWIDE SERIES

The Race: O'Reilly Auto Parts 300

The Place: Texas Motor Speedway

The Date/Time: Friday, April 4, 8:30 p.m.

TV: ESPN2

Radio: PRN, Sirius XM Channel 90

National Series Standings

This year, wins matter more than in any season in the 65-year history of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Essentially, a win locks a driver into the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.

2014 Winners

Pos Driver Wins

1. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1

2. Kevin Harvick 1

3. Brad Keselowski 1

4. Carl Edwards 1

5. Kyle Busch 1

6. Kurt Busch 1

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series

Pos Driver Points

1 Dale Earnhardt Jr. 227

2 Matt Kenseth 218

3 Carl Edwards 217

4 Jeff Gordon 216

5 Jimmie Johnson 209

6 Kyle Busch 189

7 Brad Keselowski 188

8 Joey Logano 187

9 Austin Dillon # 179

10 Ryan Newman 174

11 Paul Menard 168

12 Denny Hamlin 165

13 Brian Vickers 165

14 Marcos Ambrose 162

15 Tony Stewart 154

16 AJ Allmendinger 152

NASCAR Nationwide Series

Pos Driver Points

1 Regan Smith 185

2 Trevor Bayne 185

3 Ty Dillon # 179

4 Chase Elliott # 177

5 Elliott Sadler 174

6 Brendan Gaughan 160

7 Brian Scott 160

8 D. Kwasniewski # 149

9 James Buescher 145

10 Mike Bliss 125

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Pos Driver Points

1 Timothy Peters 82

2 Johnny Sauter 82

3 Matt Crafton 78

4 Ryan Blaney 78

5 Ron Hornaday Jr. 76

6 Ben Kennedy # 72

7 German Quiroga 72

8 Darrell Wallace Jr. 61

9 Jeb Burton 60

10 Tyler Reddick 60
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