|Can Denny Hamlin get back to winning Martinsville ways Sunday?|
Neither of those two Stewart-Haas teammates won last week at Fontana as Brad Keselowski stole one after cautions flew on two separate occasions when Busch had one lap to go before victory was his, but it’s still clear these two cars have a major edge over everyone else in the new rules package, and they don‘t seem willing to share their secret with anyone -- not even car owner/teammate Tony Stewart.
Busch finished third for the second consecutive year at Fontana, but he easily had the car to beat over the weekend. He put on a speed display during Friday and Saturday practices that not even Harvick has pulled off this season. Busch had the fastest lap in all three practice sessions as well as the fastest 10-consecutive lap average in both Saturday sessions. He also won the pole.
Harvick no longer had that huge edge we have seen from the end of last season when he won the final two races to win his first Sprint Cup to this season when he won the first two races on the West Coast swing. However, he still managed to finish ahead of Busch in second-place which is his eighth straight top-2 finish.
That is unreal in this era of NASCAR!
This week, the playing field is more even for the drivers at Martinsville. Other than the road courses, Martinsville is the most reliant upon a drivers skills where a car that may not be the fastest can out duel the top power teams just because of the driver being the equalizer. Over the past few years, we’ve seen the top Martinsville performers come from those power teams.
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