Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski are the only drivers with one of each.
GO GO GO: There’s a sense among drivers already with a victory that the pressure is off because a victory almost assures them of a spot in the 10-race playoffs. Dale Earnhardt Jr. is among the winners, and but said that go-for-broke attitude always prevails at Martinsville Speedway.
“I don’t think I’ve ever raced here walking on egg shells. I think you can get in trouble pretty quickly if you do that,” Earnhardt Jr. said.
BACK FLIPPING: Carl Edwards earned his lone Martinsville victory in October 2011, and otherwise has found the track to be most unforgettable. He’s finished outside the top 10 in his last four starts here, but said he arrived this weekend with no pressure at all. He, like Earnhardt, already has won this year.
“I’m kind of the eternal optimist when it comes to Martinsville, but it doesn’t seem to work out,” Edwards, the points leader through five races, said.
“But I feel like we have an opportunity to try some things because of our position in the points, already having a win,” he said. “… We’re just going to go out and be extremely aggressive. That’s a fun way to be able to come to a race at Martinsville.”
HOW ABOUT THAT MATT? Matt Kenseth’s longtime frustration with Martinsville seemingly ended last October when he finished second to Jeff Gordon on the 0.526-mile oval. His Joe Gibbs Racing teammates, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin, will start on the front row Sunday, with Kenseth starting sixth.
“They used to always pick me to watch because they figured I would be the wreck or the action,” he said.
DRIVEN DANICA: Danica Patrick’s No. 10 starting spot is her best anywhere but Daytona in her Sprint Cup career.
“I’ve got to get better at getting all of it out of the car every time and I have such kind of a negative attitude about qualifying that I said I need to be positive and at least be neutral on it and let these be positive reinforcements,” she said. “It’s so important, especially at a place like this.”
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