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What to Watch for: Martinsville

Can Johnson End Slump at Martinsville?

Last week, Jimmie Johnson finished 9th at California. Normally, that's not much to talk about with Johnson, but it snapped a career-long 10-race drought without a top-10 finish. His previous longest streak was 6 in a row, done 3 times. Still, Johnson remains on the longest winless streak, and 2nd-longest top-5 drought of his Cup Series career.

Johnson could continue his turnaround this week at Martinsville. Johnson is a 9-time winner at the track, tied for the 3rd-most wins in the 138-race history of the track. He's already 1 of 5 drivers with 10 or more wins at a single track in Cup Series history, and could join Richard Petty and Darrell Waltrip as the only driver to do so at multiple tracks.

Time for Kyle Busch to Get a Win

Kyle Busch has finished 2nd, 2nd and 3rd in the last 3 races, leading 200 of a possible 779 laps (25.7%). But he is yet to get in the win column this season, which is similar to how he started 2017. Last year, he didn't win until the 21st race of the season, but won 5 of the final 16 races of the season.

But Busch led plenty of laps before picking up that first win, especially at Martinsville, last year he led the most laps in both Martinsville races. He finished 2nd in the spring race and won the playoff race.

Busch has had 5 straight top-5 finishes at Martinsville, including his only 2 wins in 25 career starts at the track.

Who's Hot and Who's Not - Martinsville

HOT
• Kyle Busch: 5 straight top-5 finishes at Martinsville; led most laps in last 2 and 3 of last 4 Martinsville races
• Jimmie Johnson: 9-time Martinsville winner; 7.7 Avg finish at Martinsville is 3rd all-time among drivers with 10 starts (behind Lee Petty, Jeff Gordon)
• Team Penske: drivers enter ranked 3rd (Joey Logano), 4th (Brad Keselowski) and 5th (Ryan Blaney) in points
• Brad Keselowski: 4 straight top-5 finishes at Martinsville; defending race winner
• Joey Logano: won 4 of last 6 poles at Martinsville; only 5 drivers have 5 or more poles at track
• Erik Jones: 3 straight top-10 finishes; 3rd top-10 finish last year came in 14th race of season

NOT
• Denny Hamlin: finished 39th and 30th in last 2 Martinsville spring races; 5 career Martinsville wins, but 1 in last 13 races after winning 4 of 6 from 2008-10
• Kyle Larson: 23.6 Avg finish career at Martinsville (17th and 37th in 2 races last year);
• Chase Elliott: finished 12th or worse in 4 of 5 career Martinsville starts (20.0 Avg finish is 2nd-worst at any track series visits twice a year)
• Kevin Harvick: 1 top-5 finish in last 13 Martinsville race (5th last October)
• Kurt Busch: finished 13th or worse in all 7 Martinsville races since winning 2014 spring race (25.4 Avg finish)

--- ESPN Stats and Info ---