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Monday August 26, 2013

The start of the Chase for the Sprint Cup is still three weeks away. The Goody'sTM Headache Relief ShotTM 500 Powered by Kroger, the seventh race in the chase, is two months away.

But after Saturday night's race, the Chase field is beginning to shape up and Martinsville Speedway fans have a better idea who will be chasing the championship in the Goody'sTM Headache Relief ShotTM 500 Powered by Kroger on October 27.

Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer have clinched berths in the 12-driver Chase. Matt Kenseth picked up his fifth win of the season Saturday night, and is guaranteed at least a wildcard slot behind the strength of those five wins even though he is sixth in points.

There wasn't any movement up or down in the middle portions of the points standings, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. fans can breathe a sigh of relief after he ended a two-week downward skid and solidified his seventh-place spot. He's 13 Points ahead of Kasey Kahne in eighth, and more importantly 29 points ahead of Joey Logano in 10th with just two races to go before the Chase starts.

The top 10 in points move into the Chase, while positions 11 and 12 are wildcards, determined by number of wins. Right now those positions are filled by Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Newman.

The Goody'sTM Headache Relief ShotTM 500 Powered by Kroger is the only short-track race in the Chase, which makes it a pivotal race down the stretch.
Of the three drivers locked into the Chase, Johnson, Bowyer and Kenseth, only Johnson has a win at Martinsville, even though Bowyer and Kenseth have been knocking on the door the past couple of years.

Kevin Harvick (4th) and Kurt Busch (12th) are the only other two drivers currently in the top 12 positions with Martinsville Speedway wins.

While Earnhardt has never won at Martinsville, he has the highest driver rating of any driver on the half-mile track. In 27 starts, he has 10 top 5s, 14 top 10s and has led almost 1,000 laps. He's finished second twice, third three times and fourth three times.

Advance tickets for the Goody'sTM Headache Relief ShotTM 500 Powered by Kroger are available in all areas of the grandstands. Advance tickets start at just $37.
Advance tickets for the Kroger 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday, Oct. 26 are just $30 with youth 12 and under admitted free. Tickets for Pole Day, Friday, Oct. 25, are $15. Youth 12 and under are admitted free to Pole Day.
To purchase tickets for the Goody'sTM Headache Relief ShotTM 500 Powered by Kroger weekend, call 877.RACE.TIX or visit www.martinsvillespeedway.com.

Tags: Henry County, Insider's Tips, Martinsville Speedway,