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Driver Reports: Previewing the Martinsville race

, NASCAR.com

Editor's note: The following drivers are ranked according to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings.

1. Carl Edwards (No. 99)

Roush Fenway Racing, Ford 

Standing: Edwards leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings with 186 points.
Past five races: 10th at Auto Club, 1st at Bristol, 5th at Las Vegas, 8th at Phoenix, 17th at Daytona.
Season stats: 1 win, 2 top-fives, 4 top-10s.
Track history: At Martinsville, Edwards' average finish is 15.4 and his average running position is 16.2 over the past nine years. In 19 career starts at Martinsville, he has one top-five and five top-10s.
Quick hit: Edwards has never won at Martinsville, although his Loop Data ranks in the top 15 among drivers currently on the circuit. And while the No. 99 team is tops in points, Edwards has finished outside the top 10 in four consecutive races at the paperclip-shaped track.

2. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88)

Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet

Standing: Earnhardt Jr. is second in the standings with 185 points.
Past five races: 12th at Auto Club, 24th at Bristol, 2nd at Las Vegas, 2nd at Phoenix, 1st at Daytona.
Season stats: 1 win, 3 top-fives, 3 top-10s.
Track history: At Martinsville, Earnhardt Jr.'s average finish is 12.1 and his average running position is 11.0 over the past nine years. In 28 career starts at Martinsville, he has 10 top-fives and 15 top-10s.
Quick hit: Junior has two different streaks of four consecutive top-10 finishes at the track, the most recent of which came from 2010-2012. His average finish at the 0.526-mile track is 11.0 in 12 races with Hendrick Motorsports, and he has a pair of teammates in Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon who have mastered Martinsville.

3. Jeff Gordon (No. 24)

Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet 

Standing: Gordon is third in the standings with 184 points.
Past five races: 13th at Auto Club, 7th at Bristol, 9th at Las Vegas, 5th at Phoenix, 4th at Daytona.
Season stats: 2 top-fives, 4 top-10s, 1 pole.
Track history: At Martinsville, Gordon's average finish is 4.7 and his average running position is 6.2 over the past nine years. In 42 career starts at Martinsville, he has eight wins, 27 top-fives, 34 top-10s and seven poles.
Quick hit: Gordon's average finish at Martinsville last year was 2.0, and he won the fall race. Since 2011, he has four top-fives and five top-10s in six races there. He's one of the best Martinsville drivers in the history of the sport, and his team has hit on every setup this year. He's one of the race favorites.

4. Brad Keselowski (No. 2)

Penske Racing, Ford 

Standing: Keselowski is fourth in the standings with 182 points.
Past five races: 26th at Auto Club, 14th at Bristol, 1st at Las Vegas, 3rd at Phoenix, 3rd at Daytona.
Season stats: 1 win, 3 top-fives, 3 top-10s.
Track history: At Martinsville, Keselowski's average finish is 10.4 and his average running position is 13.5 over the past nine years. In eight career starts at Martinsville, he has one top-five and five top-10s.
Quick hit: Keselowski has been among the best in the sport on the short track over the past two years. He kept up with Jimmie Johnson in a critical Chase race en route to his 2012 title and has four consecutive top-10s. The most recent Martinsville race resulted in Keselowski's best finish at the track -- fourth last fall.

5. Matt Kenseth (No. 20)

Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota 

Standing: Kenseth is fifth in the standings with 179 points.
Past five races: 4th at Auto Club, 13th at Bristol, 10th at Las Vegas, 12th at Phoenix, 6th at Daytona.
Season stats: 1 top-five, 3 top-10s, 1 pole.
Track history: At Martinsville, Kenseth's average finish is 14.0 and his average running position is 16.2 over the past nine years. In 28 career starts at Martinsville, he has four top-fives and nine top-10s.
Quick hit: Kenseth's performance at Martinsville has been unpredictable throughout his career. A runner-up showing last fall was his best effort at the track, but he also has seven finishes outside the top 10 in the past five years. Bottom line: His Joe Gibbs Racing teammates are better bets.

6. Jimmie Johnson (No. 48)

Hendrick Motorsports, Chevrolet

Standing: Johnson is sixth in the standings with 165 points.
Past five races:, 24th at Auto Club, 19th at Bristol, 6th at Las Vegas, 6th at Phoenix, 5th at Daytona.
Season stats: 1 top-five, 3 top-10s.
Track history: At Martinsville, Johnson's average finish is 3.9 and his average running position is 5.8 over the past nine years. In 24 career starts at Martinsville, he has eight wins, 17 top-fives, 21 top-10s and three poles.
Quick hit: Johnson's best two tracks on the circuit come back-to-back, with Martinsville following Fontana. With three consecutive top-fives (including two wins), Six-Time seems due to break through for his first win of the season.

7. Kyle Busch (No. 18)

Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota 

Standing: Busch is seventh in the standings with 158 points.
Past five races: 1st at Auto Club, 29th at Bristol, 11th at Las Vegas, 9th at Phoenix, 19th at Daytona
Season stats: 1 win, 1 top-five, 2 top-10s.
Track history: At Martinsville, Busch's average finish is 16.0 and his average running position is 13.2 over the past nine years. In 18 career starts at Martinsville, he has eight top-fives and nine top-10s.
Quick hit: Half of Busch's 18 career starts have resulted in top-10s, but there's the nagging reality that he also has seven finishes outside the top 20. Which way will he lean Sunday? The bet here is that Busch, reinvigorated from his California conquest last week, challenges for a spot in the top five.

8. Ryan Newman (No. 31)

Richard Childress Racing, Chevrolet 

Standing: Newman is eighth in the standings with 150 points.
Past five races: 20th at Auto Club, 16th at Bristol, 7th at Las Vegas, 7th at Phoenix, 22nd at Daytona.
Season stats: 2 top-10s.
Track history: At Martinsville, Newman's average finish is 14.5 and his average running position is 15.2 over the past nine years. In 24 career starts at Martinsville, he has one win, four top-fives, 11 top-10s and three poles.
Quick hit: Newman won at Martinsville in 2012, but he finished outside the top 30 in both races last year. Will he rally in his first year with Richard Childress Racing? Early results indicate yes -- RCR is the only team of three or more drivers to have its entire lineup in the top 16 in the points standings.

9. Austin Dillon (No. 3)

Richard Childress Racing, Chevrolet  

Standing: Dillon is ninth in the standings with 150 points.
Past five races: 11th at Auto Club, 11th at Bristol, 16th at Las Vegas, 24th at Phoenix, 9th at Daytona.
Season stats: 1 top-10, 1 pole.
Track history: Dillon has never started a Sprint Cup Series race at Martinsville.
Quick hit: The Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender will have to lean heavily on his four Camping World Truck Series starts at The Paperclip. The results there are two top-10s in four starts, with the caveat that it came in a vehicle totally unlike the Sprint Cup Series car.

10. Joey Logano (No. 22)

Penske Racing, Ford 

Standing: Logano is 10th in the standings with 141 points.
Past five races: 39th at Auto Club, 20th at Bristol, 4th at Las Vegas, 4th at Phoenix, 11th at Daytona.
Season stats: 2 top-fives, 2 top-10s, 1 pole.
Track history: At Martinsville, Logano's average finish is 15.9 and his average running position is 17.1 over the past nine years. In 20 career starts at Martinsville, he has one top-five and two top-10s.
Quick hit: Logano has typically qualified well at Martinsville -- it's finishing that has been the problem. Logano started fourth and sixth in last year's two races, but finished 23rd and 14th. His lone top-10s both came in 2010 with Joe Gibbs Racing.

11. Denny Hamlin (No. 11)

Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota 

Standing: Hamlin is 11th in the standings with 140 points.
Past five races: DNS at Auto Club, 6th at Bristol, 12th at Las Vegas, 19th at Phoenix, 2nd at Daytona.
Season stats: 1 top-five, 2 top-10s, 1 pole.
Track history: At Martinsville, Hamlin's average finish is 8.1 and his average running position is 8.8 over the past nine years. In 16 career starts at Martinsville, he has four wins, nine top-fives, 13 top-10s and three poles.
Quick hit: Hamlin is a Martinsville maestro and must be considered among the favorites -- even after missing last week's event in Fontana with a vision problem. Hamlin swept the 2010 races at the short track and has plenty of experience here after growing up in Virginia.

12. Jamie McMurray (No. 1)

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Chevrolet  

Standing: McMurray is 12th in the standings with 138 points.
Past five races: 6th at Auto Club, 38th at Bristol, 15th at Las Vegas, 10th at Phoenix, 14th at Daytona.
Season stats: 2 top-10s.
Track history: At Martinsville, McMurray's average finish is 16.7 and his average running position is 15.9 over the past nine years. In 22 career starts at Martinsville, he has one top-five, 12 top-10s and one pole.
Quick hit: Consider McMurray as one of your NASCAR Fantasy Live value plays. His No. 1 Chevrolet has been on point this season, and he recorded top-10s in both Martinsville races last year.

13. Brian Vickers (No. 55)

Michael Waltrip Racing, Toyota 

Standing: Vickers is 13th in the standings with 137 points.
Past five races: 7th at Auto Club, 9th at Bristol, 13th at Las Vegas, 25th at Phoenix, 30th at Daytona.
Season stats: 2 top-10s.
Track history:
At Martinsville, Vickers' average finish is 18.9 and his average running position is 16.9 over the past nine years. In 16 career starts at Martinsville, he has three top-10s.
Quick hit: Vickers only drove in one Martinsville race last year in a part-time role. In that spring event, though, he qualified third and finished 11th. Three consecutive times, he's started sixth or better. And through five races this year, he's improved his finish every week.

14. Paul Menard (No. 27)

Richard Childress Racing, Chevrolet 

Standing: Menard is 14th in the standings with 134 points.
Past five races: 9th at Auto Club, 21st at Bristol, 3rd at Las Vegas, 23rd at Phoenix, 32nd at Daytona.
Season stats: 1 top-five, 2 top-10s.
Track history:
At Martinsville, Menard's average finish is 21.8 and his average running position is 23.1 over the past nine years. In 13 career starts at Martinsville, his best finish is 12th in 2012.
Quick hit: Menard's stay in the top 16 could be short. He's coming off finishes of 19th and 22nd at Martinsville last season. He hasn't completed every lap of both the spring and fall races here since 2010.

15. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (No. 17)

Roush Fenway Racing, Ford

Standing: Stenhouse Jr. is 15th in the standings with 132 points.
Past five races: 34th at Auto Club, 2nd at Bristol, 27th at Las Vegas, 18th at Phoenix, 7th at Daytona.
Season stats: 1 top-five, 2 top-10s.
Track history: At Martinsville, Stenhouse Jr.'s average finish is 28.0 and his average running position is 30.3 over the past nine years. In two career starts at Martinsville, his best finish was 25th in 2013.
Quick hit: Stenhouse Jr. couldn't carry his momentum after a second-place showing in Bristol last week. Then again, the best showing of his career came on a short track after a disappointing effort the previous week.

16. Kyle Larson (No. 42)

Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Chevrolet  

Standing: Larson is 16th in the standings with 131 points.
Past five races: 2nd at Auto Club, 10th at Bristol, 19th at Las Vegas, 20th at Phoenix, 38th at Daytona
Season stats: 1 top-five, 2 top-10s.
Track history: At Martinsville, Larson's average finish is 42.0 and his average running position is 38.2 over the past nine years. In one career start at Martinsville, he finished 42nd in 2013.
Quick hit: Larson's Martinsville history is about as bad as you can get. Considering he skipped a full-time Truck Series ride -- a series that competes regularly on the 0.526-mile oval -- Larson has the least experience on this track out of all the Cup regulars. That may be too much for even his enormous natural talent to overcome.

25. Kevin Harvick (No. 4)

Stewart-Haas Racing, Chevrolet 

Standing: Harvick is 25th in the standings with 97 points.
Past four races: 36th at Auto Club, 39th at Bristol, 41st at Las Vegas, 1st at Phoenix, 13th at Daytona.
Season stats: 1 win, 1 top-five, 1 top-10.
Track history: At Martinsville, Harvick's average finish is 14.8 and his average running position is 13.8 over the past nine years. In 25 career starts at Martinsville, he has one win, three top-fives and 11 top-10s.
Quick hit: Harvick has had the worst luck of any Sprint Cup driver so far this season. He's still in the Chase field thanks to his Phoenix victory, but has three consecutive finishes outside the top 35.