|Can Junior win at Martinsville?|
It’s all about momentum and timing.
The Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet driver has been a force to be reckoned with in his last three outings on the half-mile Martinsville oval, with finishes of seventh, second and seventh. Since joining Hendrick Motorsports at the start of the 2008 season, he has finished in the Top-8 six times in eight Martinsville starts, contending for the win virtually every time.
He is off to the strongest start in his 13-year Sprint Cup career, ranking third in championship points with a pair of Top-5 and three Top-10 finishes to date. He and crew chief Steve Letarte are talking openly about the confidence they have in each other, and seem to be communicating on a higher, calmer, more professional level than ever before.
|Hendrick is one win away from history.|
Martinsville has also been the site of great tragedy for the team. In 2004, team owner Rick Hendrick lost his son Ricky, his brother John, two nieces and six other employees in the crash of a company plane that was en route to the speedway. The blow was staggering in a personal sense, but the team never faltered. Jimmie Johnson won the race that day and drove to a Victory Lane drenched with tears instead of champagne.
Today, Hendrick Motorsports is on the brink of becoming the most successful operation in the history of Martinsville Speedway. Earnhardt is poised to put his personal, 134-race winless streak out of its misery for good.
Why not kill two birds with one stone?