MARTINSVILLE, Va. - Denny Hamlin foiled Jeff Burton's
late-race strategy of staying out while the rest of the leaders
pitted, passing his fellow Virginia native on the 427th of 500 laps
at Martinsville and holding on for his fourth career victory.
Jeff Gordon, who along with Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie
Johnson had combined to win eight of the last 10 races on the
smallest, tightest oval in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, rallied to
finish second, followed by Burton, Johnson and Tony Stewart.
Hamlin also had a chance to win at Bristol two weeks ago, when a
fuel pickup problem on the restart of a two-lap sprint to the
finish caused him to fade to sixth.
The Hendrick cars dominated on the short track, with Johnson,
Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Junior all leading for long stretches,
and Casey Mears running mostly in the top 10.
But Hamlin and Burton outsmarted the Hendrick drivers in the
pits late to finish 1-2.