Hot or Not: Martinsville

The boys of NASCAR had their first Monday race of the season, as Mother Nature postponed the March Martinsville race one day. So who managed to get through the 508-lap melee, and who melted under the pressure? We’ve got you covered!

Hot: Joe Gibbs Racing. Denny Hamlin had to postpone his knee surgery, but he got a grandfather clock as a consolation prize. Joey Logano continues to impress, as he broke out of his mini-slump and earned a season-best second place finish. Yes, JGR had a near-perfect day, except…

Not: The Busch Brothers. …Kyle crashed out of the top 10 with two laps to go, courtesy of Paul Menard and Marcos Ambrose. Kurt lead for awhile, but a loose wheel worsened his already-sour mood. At least they finished together.

Hot: Ryan Newman. The Rocketman made the “Not” list the first three weeks of the season. But he’s moving in the right direction now, as his 4th-place effort marked his first top 5 of the season. Plus, he made the “Hot” list this week. Jackpot!

Not: Kevin Harvick. Everything was going right for Happy this weekend. Then came Monday, which saw Harvick spend 100 laps behind the wall courtesy of brake problems. Harvick also lost the points lead to Jimmie Johnson; I don’t think he’s happy anymore.

Hot: Martin Truex Jr. He may not know how to get to the moon. But when he wants to fly, his crew knows what to do. Truex’s 5th-place effort marked his first top 5 finish with Michael Waltrip Racing.

Not: Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing. Same story, different day. Montoya was fast enough to contend for the win before a tire went down and destroyed the right-front. McMurray was fast enough to run in the top 10, and then, well, just a bunch of stuff happened.

Hot: Brian Vickers. The Red Bull driver has come out of nowhere. After a solid 6th-place run at Martinsville, Vickers is now back in the top 12 in points for the first time since Homestead.

Not: Tony Stewart. Smoke’s team never found the handle. Stewart finished in 26th place, 2 laps behind the winner in what was arguably Stewart’s worst overall performance since the Sharpie 500. Tony especially can’t be happy with that after seeing his teammate run in the top 5.

Hot: Greg Biffle. And then there was one. Biffle is the only driver in NASCAR who has finished in the top 10 in every single race this season. His teammate, Matt Kenseth, was also in that category until Jeff Gordon knocked him back to an 18th-place finish at Martinsville.

Not: Jeff Burton. The heartbreak story of the day. The Virginia native had the win within his grasp. And then, with 10 laps to go, down went his tire. Burton lost out on a great points day, finishing a disappointing 20th.

Tags: Brian Vickers Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing Greg Biffle Hot Or Not Jeff Burton Joe Gibbs Racing Kevin Harvick Kurt Busch Kyle Busch Martin Truex Jr. Martinsville Ryan Newman Tony Stewart

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