Gordon gets his revenge

Kenseth pays price after he bumps No. 24 car

March 31, 2010|By Tania Ganguli Tribune newspapers

Every week, it's another manifestation of the boys having at it.

Monday it came from Jeff Gordon, who was so furious at Matt Kenseth for bumping him late in the race, he made it his mission to make sure Kenseth didn't win.

"If somebody hits me, I'm going to hit them," Gordon said. "I'm glad I did what I did on the back straightaway. If a guy gives you a cheap shot like that, he doesn't deserve to win the race."

Yes, that was Jeff Gordon showing that emotion.

Kenseth's response wasn't timid either.

"It's nothing Jeff wouldn't have done or hasn't done to me, excect he's wrecked me all the way out, so it was just an aggressive race for the end," Kenseth said of making contact with Gordon on the last restart. "He decided to run me down as low as he could because he knew I'd wreck when I got to the corner. That's the way it turned out."

Shhh, look who's No. 1: Either Jimmie Johnson or Denny Hamlin has won the past eight races at Martinsville, with Johnson winning five and Hamlin three.

Johnson didn't have a great Martinsville race by his standards with a ninth-place finish. But he got what he needed.

While all of that drama unfolded, Johnson squeezed back atop the Sprint Cup standings.

Ten things we learned this week: Every time Joey Logano returns to a track, he gets better and better. It was never more apparent than in his second-place finish Monday that Logano is going to be a star.

•Those spoilers do look nice.

•Logano (13th), Gordon (7th), Hamlin (15th) and Ryan Newman (22nd) each made a jump of four positions in the standings, the most of any driver.

•After a late wreck, Kyle Busch fell six spots to 16th place. He took the biggest tumble of any driver in standings.

•Newman is still hung up on that whole moon landing thing. The Purdue graduate told Landmark Newspapers' Dustin Long he's "pretty sure" it was fake.

•Gordon shouldn't feel bad he didn't win at Martinsville. His name had to be Jimmie or Denny for that to happen.

If Monday's wild finish proved anything, it's that there's definitely some magic helping those two along.

•Jack Roush was right when he said his team had fixed its problems from last season. Just behind Johnson in the standings are Greg Biffle and Kenseth.

•Apparently a torn ACL does hurt while driving a racecar.

•JR Motorsports is making the most of its high-profile female population (driver Danica Patrick, owner Kelley Earnhardt). Lifetime is partnering with NASCAR and JR Motorsports to promote its show "Army Wives."

•The 5-88 shop at Hendrick Motorsports is running into the same problem it faced the past few years. When one car runs well, the other does not. Mark Martin fell one spot to 17th place on Monday. The week off might do him some good before heading to Phoenix, where he won last year.

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