With a win guaranteeing a berth in the championship finale, seven of those drivers should be quite concerned about Jeff Gordon and his Martinsville magic.
For two decades, Gordon has been the king of Martinsville. He has eight victories on the half-mile oval, but his success runs deeper. In 43 starts he has 27 top-five finishes and 34-top-10 efforts. His most recent win came in this race a year ago and he was third in last spring’s event.
He actually has two more Martinsville wins than all the remaining Chase drivers combined. Denny Hamlin has four victories while Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman have one each. The rest of the eight, Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards, are winless at Martinsville.
“I love Martinsville. I definitely have confidence this weekend,” Gordon said Tuesday during an Eliminator Round media event in Charlotte. “We tested there and felt the test went well. We have to work on our qualifying procedure. I thought we were off a little bit there during the test. But other than that, I feel very confident this weekend.”
Four of Gordon’s 92 career wins have come this season, with the most recent in the first round of the Chase. Because of this season’s success, and more importantly, his success in the Chase, don’t expect to see any changes in his team’s game plan for the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500.
“Our strategy, other than at Talladega, our strategy has not waivered,” said Gordon. “You go into every race putting your best effort forward to try to win the race, try to qualify on the pole. This (Chase) format intensifies everything, so there is added pressure. But the goals and what you are there to execute haven’t changed.”
The Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 race weekend kicks off on Friday with the Virginia Lottery Pole Day.
Ticket prices for the Goody’s® Headache Relief Shot® 500 begin at just $45.