RIDGEWAY (WSLS 10 SPORTS) -
The Martinsville Speedway has certainly had it's host of dominating drivers over the years and here recently it's been all about Joe Gibbs Racing and Hendrick Motorsports.
Dating back to the fall race of 2012, eight of the past ten races have been won by either the JGR or Hendrick teams. With the retirement of Jeff Gordon, it's now clear that the leaders of Martinsville have emerged in Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson. Combined the two drivers have 14 wins at the paperclip.
"I feel like when you understand how to get around here it's something you can keep for a long time regardless of tire generation or car. The test of time. It really stands up here on the small track more than anywhere", said 9 time winner Jimmie Johnson.
Like many drivers Hamlin struggled finding his way at Martinsville early in his career but soon figured out what time it was and has since taken home five clocks.
"Drivers learn how to be fast and how to be good at certain racetracks that certainly was a turning point I think for myself", said 5 time winner Denny Hamlin.
Despite both drivers success at the track neither of them have taken a checkered flag this season, which has some fans anxious for two of the sports dominant drivers. But they say it's a combo of personal mistakes and data sharing.
Hamlin explained, "The gap between the great drivers and good drivers is smaller than ever simply because we share each other's data. So there's really no advantages to be had."
Johnson added, "I made mistakes the team has made mistakes. We've had some pit calls not work out in our favor or strategy at stops so we just have to stop making mistakes and that's really where we're at and I think that we'll have a good run.
The STP 500 goes green Sunday at 2pm.