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Martinsville couldn't come earlier for Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, and Jamie McMurray


Jeff Gordon has a win but he is 16th in points.  Denny Hamlin is 21st in points and Jamie McMurray is 28th in points.

Gordon has won but that is his only top ten, Hamlin's best finish is 7th.  McMurrayhas had the most trouble of the three with his best finish being 18th on seven cylinders.

Gordon has his win to possibly fall back if he needs to so he can make the chase, Hamlin and McMurray won 11 races together in 2010 so they could certainly be in a wild card position.

But the season is only fives races in and there are 21 points races to run before the chase starts in the windy city.  21 more chances to make that top ten.

All three of these drivers have shown strong performances.  Let's start again with Jeff Gordon.

Gordon in 36 starts has seven wins, 23 top fives, 29 top tens, 2,942 laps lead, seven poles and an averages finish of 7.06.  These are amazing stats at one of if not NASCAR's most toughest track.  To go further since 2003 Gordon has only finished outside the top ten once and outside the top five three times.  It's almost a give he will be strong.

Denny Hamlin has been the man however in recent Martinsville history.  In 11 starts Hamlin has four wins, eight top fives, ten top tens, 949 laps lead, two poles, and an average finish of 6.09.  Hamlin has won the last three straight races there and if you go back all the way to 2008 he has six straight races no worse then fifth.  He is easily the odds on favorite to win this Sunday.

Jamie McMurray has been one thing at Martinsville and that is consistent.  In 16 starts McMurray has earned one top fives, nine top tens, 86 laps lead, no poles but three front row starts, and an average finish of 16.25.  McMurray has been only a contender for the win late at the paperclip once in the fall of 2004 when he finished second, but a top ten is nearly a sure thing.

Gordon, Hamlin and McMurray all need a strong weekend at Martinsville and you might be able to count on it.



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