WHERE HE STANDS: 24th, 40 points out of the top 10.
MARTINSVILLE RECORD: One win and 16 top-10 finishes including 10 top-five's in 37 starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Burton believes "it is so important to remain focused (at Martinsville). It's harder at Martinsville than anywhere else we go on the schedule. Keep your eye on the ball and try not to let things going on around you dictate what you do. Your goals need to dictate your actions. I think Martinsville is the hardest race track to stay focused on your goals."
LOOKING BACK: Burton finished 17th at Auto Club Speedway.
ETC.: When you put 43 cars on a flat, half-mile speedway like Martinsville, close-quarter racing becomes the norm. And that is why it is so hard to keep your fenders "clean. I think you have to make sure you are patient, but aggressive," adds Burton. "The more people you run into, the more it damages your car and makes it harder to drive."
11 MARK MARTIN, Toyota
Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 25th, 43 points out of the top 10.
MARTINSVILLE RECORD: Two wins and 25 top-10 finishes in 48 starts. Also won three poles.
LOOKING AHEAD: Martin was not scheduled to race this week, but he agreed to drive the 11 car with Denny Hamlin sidelined with a fractured vertebra. Martin will return to his regular ride next week at Texas. "I am glad to help out in any way I can," said Martin. "I got fitted for my driver's seat earlier this week, and I hope to keep the 11 car up front all day at Martinsville. I know that is one of the team's best tracks."
LOOKING BACK: With only 24 laps to go, Martin broke something in the rear end of his Toyota and slammed hard into the wall to end his day in 37th place.
ETC.: What we had last week was a failure to communicate as Joe Gibbs Racing first announced that Martin would substitute for Hamlin in all five races that he is expected to miss. But Michael Waltrip Racing quickly indicated "that wasn't what we had agreed to." A day later, JGR said Martin would only drive the car at Martinsville with Brian Vickers filling in for Hamlin while he is recovering from his injuries. "We were a bit premature in determining Mark's status past Martinsville," said JGR President J. D. Gibbs.
10 DANICA PATRICK, Chevrolet
Team: Stewart-Haas Racing
WHERE SHE STANDS: 29th, 58 points out of the top 10.
MARTINSVILLE RECORD: Will be making her debut.
LOOKING AHEAD: Patrick said she is "actually really excited about Martinsville," the smallest and slowest track on the Sprint Cup Series. "I like the little short tracks," adds Patrick. "They're fun. We went testing out at Little Rock (Rockingham, NC) and got a feel for a track like Martinsville. I thought we actually make some really big gains that day. I had no idea that a woman had not competed at Martinsville (in Cup)."
LOOKING BACK: It was another long afternoon for Patrick as she finished 26th at Auto Club Speedway.
ETC.: On Monday, Patrick participated in the 135th White House Easter Egg Roll and read Dr. Seuss' "Go Dog Go" to a few young children. "It was an amazing experience," said Patrick. "It's such an honor to get to go to The White House and I really enjoyed it. I love kids and they're so much fun to be around, and it's pretty flattering when they tell you that you're their role model or hero. It's really humbling."