Sunday’s race at Martinsville Speedway marks the start of the Round of 8 semifinal playoff round.
Here’s this week’s edition of Who’s Hot and Who’s Not heading into Martinsville:
No. 78 Martin Truex Jr. (Hot)
- Won at Charlotte, 23rd at Talladega, Won at Kansas.
- Seven wins in 2017, the most by a driver since Matt Kenseth had seven in 2013.
- Finished in the top-five 15 times and the top-10 22 times this season, both are the most.
- Won 19 stages this season, the most.
- 69 Playoff Points this season, the most.
- Has led a series-high 2,068 laps, led the most laps in eight races.
- Three of his seven top-10 finishes at Martinsville came in the last five races.
- Finished 16th at Martinsville in April, spun from seventh on lap 431.
- Best short track finish of 2017 came at Bristol in April finished 8th.
- Look ahead to Texas: Winless at Texas in 24 starts, runner-up in Spring 2013. … Finished top-10 in the last five races at Texas, led in the last four. … Six wins on 1.5-mile tracks in 2017, most ever in a season, won the last four.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin (Hot)
- Finished 4th at Charlotte, 6th at Talladega, 5th at Kansas.
- Finished top six in seven of the last nine races.
- Five wins at Martinsville rank ninth all-time and second among active drivers (Jimmie Johnson has nine).
- Five wins at Martinsville are his most among all tracks.
- Finished 30th or worse in two of the last three races at Martinsville including 30th in April.
- 30th-place finish at Martinsville in April is his only finish worst than 10th this season on a short track.
- Look ahead to Texas: Won both races at Texas in 2010, his only wins there in 23 starts, but has only three top-10 finishes there in the 12 races since with no top-fives. … Finished 25th at Texas in April.
No. 18 Kyle Busch (Hot)
- Finished 29th at Charlotte, hit the wall while running 2nd, 27th at Talladega (accident), 10th at Kansas.
- Four wins this season, all in the last 12 races.
- Led laps in the last 15 races this season, a personal best and the best streak ever among the active drivers.
- Finished top five in the last four races at Martinsville (the longest active streak) including a win in April 2016 (his only at the track).
- Led 42 percent of the laps raced at Martinsville in the last three races (629 of 1500).
- 469 laps led on short tracks in 2017 lead all drivers.
- Look ahead to Texas: Two-time Texas winner, both came in his last eight starts there. … Finished top-15 in his last 10 Texas starts (seven top-fives). … Finished 15th at Texas in April 2
No. 2 Brad Keselowski (Good)
- Finished 15th at Charlotte, won at Talladega after having radio issues, Finished 13th at Kansas after two speeding penalties.
- Advanced to the round of 8 with his win at Talladega.
- Won at Martinsville in April (led 116 laps), his only win there in 15 races.
- Finished top five in the last three races at Martinsville, top 10 in eight of the last 11.
- Only two top-10 finishes on short tracks in 2017.
- Look ahead to Texas: Winless at Texas in 18 starts, best finish of second in this race in 2015 after leading 312 of 334 laps. … Finished top 10 in seven of the last 10 races at Texas (sixth there in April).
No. 4 Kevin Harvick (Decent)
- Finished 3rd at Charlotte after winning the first two stages, 20th at Talladega and eighth at Kansas.
- Only two top-10 finishes in the last five races.
- Only four top-10 finishes in the last 11 races at Martinsville, finished 20th in each of the last two.
- Won at Martinsville in Spring 2011 but as only one top-five finish there since.
- Finished top-10 in three of the five races on short tracks this season.
- Look ahead to Texas: Winless at Texas in 29 starts, two time runner-up. … Finished in the top-10 in the last six races at Texas (fourth in April).
No. 21 Ryan Blaney (Putting it together)
- Finished 8th at Charlotte, 18th at Talladega, accident after leading 27 laps, third at Kansas.
- Finished top 10 in three of the last five races of 2017.
- Best finish at Martinsville is 19th (two times)
- Finished 25th at Martinsville in April.
- Finished 10th at Bristol in August 2017, only top 10 ever on a short track.
- Look ahead to Texas: Five Texas starts with a best finish of 12th in each of the last two races there. … Led 148 laps at Texas in April but finished 12th after sliding through his box from eighth on his last stop.
No. 24 Chase Elliott (His time is coming)
- Finished 2nd at Charlotte, sixth career runner-up finish, 16th at Talladega, fourth at Kansas.
- Four top-five finishes in the playoffs rank second to Martin Truex Jr. (five).
- Worst finish in the last eight races is 16th at Talladega.
- Finished third at Martinsville in April, only top-10 finish there in four starts.
- Made his Cup debut at Martinsville in March 2015 (finished 38th).
- Three of his four Cup top-10 finishes on short tracks came in 2017.
- Look ahead to Texas: Finished top-10 in all three of his Texas starts with a best of fourth in October 2016. … Got his first Xfinity win at Texas in April 2014.
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Warming up)
- Finished seventh in each of the last two races.
- Finished top 12 in the last four races, best streak this season, including three top 10s.
- Won at Martinsville in Fall 2014.
- Finished top 10 in four of his last seven Martinsville starts.
No. 42 Kyle Larson (Hot in 2017 but unlucky at Kansas)
- Finished 10th at Charlotte, 13th at Talladega, involved in accident, 39th at Kansas, engine.
- Eight runner-up finishes this season.
- Four wins in 2017, had one entering this season.
- Finished third at Martinsville in April 2016, only finish better than 14th in seven starts there.
- Finished 17th at Martinsville in April, dropped from top-10 late due to power issues.
- Finished top-10 in three of the five short-track races this season with a win at Richmond in September.
WHO’S NOT HOT
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson (Just doesn’t seem to have it lately)
- Finished 7th at Charlotte, 24th at Talladega, accident, 11th at Kansas after two accidents.
- Top 10 finishes in four of the last seven races.
- Four top five finishes this season, three were wins.
- Nine-time winner at Martinsville including this race last year, nine wins are tied for third most all-time and the most by an active driver.
- Finished 15th at Martinsville in April.
- Only two top-10 finishes in his last six races at Martinsville.
- Win at Bristol in April is his only top-five finish on a short track this season.
- Look ahead to Texas: Seven time winner at Texas, most of all drivers. … Won six of the last 10 Texas races including the race there in April.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray (Not)
- Finished 5th at Charlotte, 37th accident at Talladega, 34th accident at Kansas.
- 16 top-10 finishes this season, six more than this point last year.
- Five DNFs because of accidents in 2017.
- Finished top 10 in three of the last five races at Martinsville.
- Two-time runner-up at Martinsville.
- Finished 38th at Martinsville in April, damage to the left rear fender while battling for 6th with Johnson on lap 100 led to an accident on lap 107.
- Finished sixth at Richmond in April, only short track top-10 finish this season.
No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (Not)
- Finished 13th at Charlotte, 26th accident at Talladega, 29th accident at Kansas.
- Best finish of 10th at Martinsville in April, his only top-10 finish there in nine starts.
- Finished top 10 in three of the five races on short tracks this season.
No. 20 Matt Kenseth (Unlucky)
- Finished 11th at Charlotte, 14th at Talladega, 37th at Kansas.
- No top-10 finishes in the last four races, tied for his longest streak of the season.
- Martinsville is one of only five active tracks he has not won on, best finish of second twice in 35 starts.
- Finished ninth at Martinsville in April.
- Six top-10 finishes in the last eight races at Martinsville.
- Finished top 10 in three of the five races on short tracks this season with a best of fourth at both Bristol races.
No. 3 Austin Dillon (Not hot)
- Finished 14th Kansas, best finish in the last seven races.
- Only three top-15 finishes in the last 13 races.
- Only four top-10 finishes this season, had 13 at this point last year.
- Won on fuel mileage at Charlotte earlier this year.
- Finished top-five in two of the last three races at Martinsville including a fifth in April 4.
No. 5 Kasey Kahne (Not hot)
- Finished 15th at Kansas ending his streak of top-10 finishes at two.
- Only three top 10 finishes in the last 22 races.
- Six DNFs due to accidents this season.
- Won at Indianapolis ending a 102-race winless streak, took a super lucky timed caution and turned it into a win.
- Only one top-10 finish in the last eight races at Martinsville.
No. 31 Ryan Newman (Not good lately)
- Finished second at Talladega, only top-10 finish in the last six races.
- DNF because of accident in two of the last three races (40th at Charlotte, 33rd at Kansas).
- Finished top-10 in four of the last six races at Martinsville including an eighth in April.
No. 41 Kurt Busch (Not Hot)
- Finished second at Kansas but it is his only finish better than 19th in the last six races.
- Two-time Martinsville winner but his win in Spring 2014 is his only top-10 finish in the last 23 races there.
No. 14 Clint Bowyer (Disappointing 2017)
- Finished 19th at Kansas, best finish in the last three races.
- Finished runner-up three times in 2017.
- Only two top-10 finishes in the last 10 races of 2017.
- Finished seventh at Martinsville in April, only top-10 finish in the last five races.
No. 22 Joey Logano (Disappointing season)
- Finished 4th at Talladega, only his fourth top-five finish since his Richmond win and his only top-10 finish in the last four races.
- 12 finishes outside the top 20 in the last 23 races.
- Won at Richmond after starting in the rear due to a transmission change, but win was ruled encumbered due to illegal suspension.
- First time he missed the playoffs with Team Penske.
- Finished top-10 in five of the last seven races at Martinsville, fourth there in April.
No. 77 Erik Jones (Lost his momentum)
- DNF due accident in the last two races of 2017.
- Top-10 finishes in seven of the last 12 races this season but only one in the last six.
- Started 15th, finished 12th at Martinsville in April in his only Cup start there.
- Finished top-10 in each of the last two short track races, including a career-best 2nd at Bristol.