Team: Joe Gibbs Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 11th, only four points out of the top 10.
MARTINSVILLE RECORD: Finished fourth in the spring race a year ago for his eighth top-10 finish in 26 starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Kenseth said, "Martinsville has typically been one of my weaker tracks, but Joe Gibbs Racing has a great record there, so I'm looking forward to seeing if I can do better with these JGR cars and set-ups. It's been a track where I feel like I was getting better at the last few years, but it's always been a place where it's difficult for me to tell the team what I need in my race car."
LOOKING BACK: Kenseth finished seventh at Auto Club Speedway to gain two spots in the standings.
ETC.: Crew chief Jason Ratcliff feels "we had great cars at Phoenix and Bristol this season already with Matt so I'm hoping to have similar success with our Husky Toyota at Martinsville. Martinsville is unique when it comes to set-ups. It seems like short tracks where aerodynamics aren't that big of a factor, a package that runs well there usually continues to run well even with this year's rules packages."
17 RICKY STENHOUSE JR., Ford
Team: Roush Fenway Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 12th, only six points out of the top 10.
MARTINSVILLE RECORD: Will be making his Cup debut.
LOOKING AHEAD: Stenhouse has heard all the "war stories" about how tough Martinsville is and how hard it is to keep your cool at the flat, half-mile track. And for that reason, Stenhouse just wants "to come out of the weekend with a clean race car and a solid finish. If we can do that, all of us on the 17 team will be happy."
LOOKING BACK: Stenhouse finished 20th at California to give him five top-20 finishes in the first five races of the season. The rookie driver has completed every lap so far.
ETC.: Car owner Jack Roush has been very happy with Stenhouse's performance so far in 2013. "Ricky has been outstanding," said Roush. "He has all the enthusiasm and motivation, but he has managed to temper that against the realities of Sprint Cup racing. He has been patient with me and his team and he is getting the most out of his experience. He's doing what he needs to do and he's making the best investment of his time for what will follow."
78 KURT BUSCH, Chevrolet
Team: Furniture Row Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 13th, eight points out of the top 10.
MARTINSVILLE RECORD: One win and four top-10 finishes in 25 starts.
LOOKING AHEAD: Busch said, "Martinsville Speedway is called a paper clip, but I call it a parking lot. It's tough, it's flat and everybody is beating and banging on each other all day long. You can't get away from the guys pounding on you from behind. Protecting your brakes and the rear tires are essential if you're going to have a good finish there. No question, Martinsville has been one of the toughest tracks on me over the years."
LOOKING BACK: A pit-road speeding penalty put Busch a lap down, but he rallied in the final 50 laps to finish fifth for his second straight top-five finish.
ETC.: The last time Busch had three consecutive top-five finishes were the first three races of the 2005 season. But he hopes to make it three in a row with another top-five finish at Martinsville this weekend. "Our focus right now is to continue our recent success," said Busch. "We tested for Martinsville at Spokane (Wash.) Raceway following the California race and feel we'll be ready for the challenge this weekend in our Furniture Row/Serta Chevrolet SS."
15 CLINT BOWYER, Toyota
Team: Michael Waltrip Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: 14th, eight points out of the top 10.
MARTINSVILLE RECORD: Will be seeking his third straight top-10 finish and fourth in the last five races.
LOOKING AHEAD: Bowyer is sure to be asked a number of questions this week about the spring race a year ago at Martinsville. It was his decision to make it three-wide on the deciding restart that triggered a multi-car accident that allowed fifth-place Ryan Newman to score the win. "I saw an opening and went for it," said Bowyer at the time. "I knew it was my only shot (at winning the race). We had a real good car in both races last year (leading 154 laps in the fall event before finishing fifth), so we are looking forward to this weekend."