MARTINSVILLE, Va. (AP) - Denny Hamlin created a stir at Martinsville Speedway in the spring, restarting ninth with four laps to go and bullrushing his way to the front.
New tires helped make it possible, and raised questions about strategy for Sunday.
Tony Stewart said Friday it's too early to tell what his plan will be on race day.
``I think we'll know more tomorrow in practice and seeing how they fall off and seeing how our cars handle,'' he said, noting that crew chiefs will study lap times during practice.
``They'll know what the pace is and when they start falling off,'' he said.
Hamlin said the victory was the best of his career, but he's not sure he'd do it again.
``Even on new tires, I had to put myself in three-wide positions and things like that to win the race,'' he said. ``Not sure that taking tires this time around is what I would do, but it just really depends on how many laps to go. ... We definitely kind of overcame a lot.''
No kidding.
First, he hugged the inside into the first turn, forcing three-wide racing, and plowed his way into fourth before teammate Kyle Busch spun out, bringing out a very timely caution.
Ahead of him, Jeff Gordon was poised to cross the start-finish line and take the white flag, but when the yellow flew before Gordon got to the line, a two-lap sprint was required.
Hamlin had one more power move to make, pushing Ryan Newman out of the way on the restart, then watched as Matt Kenseth and Gordon dueled. Both eventually slid up the track on older tires, creating room for Hamlin to sneak by on his new rubber for the stirring win.
---
MY GUYS, YOUR GUYS: Clint Bowyer said he's being a team player in letting Richard Childress Racing teammate Kevin Harvick use his pit crew while he's in title contention.
Bowyer's team is thought to be the strongest in the three-car RCR stable.
``We owe it to everybody involved - all the employees - to try to bring that championship back home,'' Bowyer said, adding that he broke the news to his team himself on Tuesday.
He will be using Harvick's team, and is sensitive to their feelings.
``The ones that it is hard for is the guys that have been with (Harvick) all year long and with five races to go you turn your back on them - that's who it is hard for,'' he said.
But he has big plans for the displaced crew now working for him.
``They're the guys that I plan on winning this race with,'' he said.
---
WELL WISHES: Kasey Kahne was introduced as the newest driver for Red Bull Racing on Friday, less than 48 hours after he and Richard Petty Motorsports agreed to part ways.
Kahne said he hopes rumors that RPM is in trouble prove untrue.
``It's just speculation,'' he said. ``I think it's a lot of talk. For me, I certainly hope that RPM keeps rolling. I hope that they finish out this season and put together another great season next year. That's what I want them to do.''
Kahne will drive the No. 83 car Sunday and compete for Red Bull for the last five races of this season and all of next year. He will move to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012.
Red Bull General Manager Jay Frye said bringing Kahne aboard five races ahead of schedule amounts to a headstart on getting the team ready to compete for the 2011 championship.
Frye said Red Bull plans to have two cars next year, and disputed talk that the team has already decided to release driver Scott Speed, who is 28th in points this season. Red Bull also employs Brian Vickers, who had heart surgery to remove blood clots in July.
Frye said the team is monitoring Vickers' health and Speed's performance.
---
END QUOTE: ``If I had to throw down a choice on this year's Chase, am I sentimentally rooting for the Shell-Pennzoil car? Maybe I am.'' - Penske driver Kurt Busch, whose Miller Lite car will sponsored by Shell next season.

Recent NASCAR Discussions

Auto Club 400 Contest From Man Crates on Wed, Mar 2017 by BamaHater
Auto Club 400 Betting News and Notes on Wed, Mar 2017 by Blade
Camping World 500 Contest From Man Crates on Tue, Mar 2017 by Michael Cash
Kobalt 400 Contest From Man Crates on Thu, Mar 2017 by High Roller
Kobalt 400 Betting News and Notes on Sat, Mar 2017 by Blade

NASCAR Odds

Driver Odds
Service King 300 - Odds to Win @ Auto Club Speedway.
Kyle Busch +200
Kyle Larson +450
Joey Logano +450
Erik Jones +600
Paul Menard +1000

Nascar Top Stories

Thumbnail Camping World 500 Picks The NASCAR Monster Energy Seriesgets back into swing today with the Camping World 500? Here’s our picks for today’s race.
Thumbnail Camping World 500 Odds The NASCAR Monster Energy Series stays out west this week for the running of the Camping World 500. Here is a look at the odds to win...
Thumbnail Kobalt 400 Picks The NASCAR Monster Energy Series drives in Sin City today for the Kobalt 400. Here’s our picks for the big race.
Thumbnail Boyd Gaming 300 Odds The NASCAR Xfinity Series hits the track in Las Vegas this weekend for the Boyd Gaming 300. Here is a look at the odds...
Thumbnail Kobalt 400 Odds The NASCAR Monster Energy Series heads west out to Las Vegas this weekend for the Kobalt 400. Here is a look at the odds to win this race.