It was a good day for Virginia natives at the little paper clip-shaped Martinsville Speedway. Denny Hamlin earned his first win at the half-mile track, just beating Jeff Gordon to the checkers. Jeff Burton, also from Virginia, was third after battling Hamlin for the lead late in the race. With the top-three finish, Burton took over the Sprint Cup points lead heading into the Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway, where he earned his only victory last season. Jimmie Johnson was fourth and Tony Stewart rounded out the top five. Full results can be found here. Unofficial points standings can be found here.
Sadler finishes despite back injury
Somewhat lost in the Hendrick Motorsports vs. Joe Gibbs Racing vs. Richard Childress Racing hype on Sunday was Elliott Sadler's bad back. Sadler, also a Virginia native (notice a trend here?), mysteriously injured his back recently and had Dennis Setzer standing by in case he needed to exit his No. 19 Dodge. Sadler endured, however, and finished 15th and on the lead lap. In fact, ESad finished ahead of his non-ailing Gillett Evernham Motorsports teammates Kasey Kahne (17th) and Patrick Carpentier (29th).
Top 35 shuffle
Jamie McMurray was in an uncomfortable spot on Friday, having to qualify his No. 26 Ford on time because he had slipped outside the top 35 in points after a 43rd-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway. McMurray qualified comfortably in fifth and finished eighth Sunday to climb to 30th in the standings and out of danger. The plot took a turn for the worse, however, for Sam Hornish Jr. and David Reutimann, who dropped to 36th and 37th in owner's points following Sunday's race. Hornish finished 28th and three laps down, and Reutimann was 39th after retiring his car with gear problems.
-- Michele Vincze