WHERE HE STANDS: Kyle Busch moved up two spots in the standings, from fifth to a tie for third place with Kevin Harvick. The pair trail new points leader Jimmie Johnson by 26 points and are 22 points behind second-ranked Matt Kenseth. They lead fifth-ranked Jeff Gordon by eight points.
MARTINSVILLE RECORD: 17 career starts, 0 wins, 8 top-fives, 9 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: Second in fall 2012. Finished a career-best second in this race last year and was fifth in this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: It's hard to believe, but the younger Busch brother still has yet to win at Martinsville in his Sprint Cup career. He hopes to change that Sunday: "I certainly hope so. We were so close last fall and right on Jimmie's (Johnson) bumper for the win and we had a good car in the spring, too. I've led a bunch of laps there, but we just haven't been able to hold it for the end of the 500 laps. It's certainly a racetrack where you can be leading the race and think you've got a shot to win the thing in the last 30 laps, and then get beat on from behind and moved out of the way. It's certainly a racetrack where it's indicative that, if you're just a little bit off, then the guys are going to be right on your rear bumper and trying to get by you. For us, it's been a challenge, but we're getting better at it and learning some more as we go along. I'd like to think we're really close."
LOOKING BACK: Busch had a good run at Talladega, leading nine laps en route to a fifth-place for the second consecutive week.
ETC.: Busch has completed 95.9 percent (8,184) of the 8,534 total laps contested in 17 career starts at Martinsville. His average start is 13.7, while his average finish is 16.1. He has one DNF there.
24 JEFF GORDON, Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: After sitting in fourth place for the two previous weeks, Jeff Gordon dropped one spot to fifth following Talladega. Gordon trails new series leader and Hendrick Motorsports teammate Jimmie Johnson by 34 points, is eight points behind the third-place tie of Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch and leads sixth-ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 18 points.
MARTINSVILLE RECORD: 41 career starts, 7 wins, 26 top-fives, 33 top-10s, 7 poles. Best career finish: First in fall 1996, spring 1997, fall 1999, spring 2003, fall 2003, spring 2005 and fall 2005. Was seventh in this race last year and third in this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Martinsville likely make or break Gordon's remaining hopes to win a fifth Sprint Cup championship. While he has an outstanding record there, he also has to contend with the likes of teammate Jimmie Johnson, who has dominated during his career at the short half-mile bull ring. Here's Gordon's thoughts on Sunday's race: "It took me a while to figure out how to get around (Martinsville). During a test early in my career, we were just doing lap after lap after lap and finally it just clicked for me. We started having success after that. With all the experience and success that we've had here, that can carry over from race to race and even season to season. Because of that, we always seem to enter a Martinsville race weekend with confidence."
LOOKING BACK: Gordon led three laps but faded in the latter stages of the race at Talladega, finishing 14th.
ETC.: Gordon has completed an uncanny 99.4 percent (20,269) of 20,390 total laps contested in 41 career starts at Martinsville. His average start is an outstanding 7.2 and average finish is an equally outstanding 7.0. Remarkably, he has zero DNFs there.
88 DALE EARNHARDT JR., Chevrolet
Team: Hendrick Motorsports
WHERE HE STANDS: Dale Earnhardt Jr. made the biggest jump upward in the Chase standings after Talladega, moving from ninth to sixth place. He trails points leader Jimmie Johnson by 52 points, is 18 points behind fifth-ranked Jeff Gordon and leads seventh-ranked Greg Biffle by one point.
MARTINSVILLE RECORD: 27 career starts, 0 wins, 10 top-fives, 14 top-10s and 0 poles. Best career finish: Second in fall 2008 and spring 2011. Finished 21st in this race last year and was 24th in this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Earnhardt hasn't given up, he still wants to finish as high as he can in the Chase. He comes into Martinsville still seeking his first career Sprint Cup win there. Here's his thoughts on Sunday's race: "Martinsville isn't quite the momentum racetrack you think. If you get some clear room and a bit of space between you and your competitors, you can get into a rhythm where you're doing things repetitively from corner to corner that are working and that give your car speed. So it's not really about momentum as it is about repetition. You'll find a line that you like and just continue to repeat that or do little tweaks on it each time you go through the corner and find things that work and don't work."
LOOKING BACK: Earnhardt led 36 laps at Talladega and for a while there, looked like he might earn his first win since June 2012. Unfortunately, Jamie McMurray proved too strong and Earnhardt settled for his second runner-up finish in this season's last three races.
ETC.: Earnhardt has completed 98.8 percent (13,377) of the 13,534 total laps contested in 27 career starts at Martinsville. His average start is 13.8, while his average finish is 13.4. He has two DNFs there.
16 GREG BIFFLE, Ford
Team: Roush Fenway Racing
WHERE HE STANDS: After being ranked sixth for the previous three weeks, Greg Biffle fell one spot to seventh place after Talladega. He trails points leader Jimmie Johnson by 53 points, is one point behind sixth-ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr. and leads eighth-ranked Clint Bowyer by four points.
MARTINSVILLE RECORD: 21 career starts, 0 wins, 0 top-fives, 4 top-10s, 0 poles. Best career finish: Seventh in fall 2007. Was 10th in this race last year and ninth in this year's spring race there.
LOOKING AHEAD: Without question, Martinsville Speedway is Biffle's all-time worst track. That's odd, however, because Biffle cut his racing teeth on short bull rings like Martinsville earlier in his career. While his last two races have ended with top 10 finishes, he's never been able to finish higher than seventh. Here's his thoughts on Sunday's race: "Martinsville hasn't been my strongest track, but we have definitely gotten much stronger there. We've finished in the top 10 our last two starts and learned some stuff testing there a few weeks ago. I'm looking for a strong run to head into the final few races."
LOOKING BACK: Biffle led five laps and finished just outside the top 10 at Talladega, winding up with an 11th-place showing.