< It was a busy Friday of practice at Martinsville. Denny Hamlin took a moment during his press conference to defend himself, and blast the people who questioned his character. He was not medically cleared to drive last Sunday. It turns out he had a piece of metal in his eye. But nobody really knew that, with no explanation from NASCAR or Hamlin. Rumors ran rampant....and some...not so nice things were said about Denny. His response was pretty clear. He said he would have to be a moron to do anything to jeopardize his career. He says he has worked too hard to get where he is right now.
Meanwhile, Denny is certainly included in a the regular list of contenders at Martinsville, being one of six drivers responsible for the last 19 wins at the paper clip. Junior is one of those drivers hoping to finally break through. He's been consistently good at the track but has yet to visit victory lane there.
Qualifying at Martinsville with the new knockout system is in the books, and Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin find themselves on the front row, followed by Joey Logano, Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon. Tony Stewart will start 7th for Sunday's STP 500.