Dominant car, dominant team, and two writers victorious after Martnsville.
When NASCAR comes to Martinsville, there are usually three guarantees. The first is that no matter what, the speedway will sell an incredible amount of their famous hot dogs. The second is that by the end of the race, nearly all the cars have some sort of damage to the body.
The third, which has become the norm, is the fact that when the win is on the line, it often comes down to Hendrick vs. Gibbs.
That was the case once again, but instead of it being Jimmie Johnson vs. Denny Hamlin, it ended up being Jimmie Johnson vs. Kyle Busch, as Hamlin is sidelined.
Throw in Clint Bowyer and you have nearly a mirror image of this race from one year ago.
But, unlike last year, there was no doubt of who was the one to beat. From the green flag, the No. 48 was on a rail. It seemed as though once that car got out front, the only way it was getting passed was either catch it in traffic or somehow beat it on pit road.
In the end, even with late restarts, there was no doubt that the car to beat was the Lowe's Chevrolet, as Johnson would become the first driver to repeat as a winner on the Sprint Cup tour.
Despite not being the favorite in the pool, two writers managed to guess correctly and earn their first win of the season. Everyone for the most part had a strong run, with just two finishing outside the top-10. That also means the points did not change much.
Here's how everyone stacks up following Sunday's STP Gas Booster 500:
Patti Rodisch (238) Jeff Gordon finished 3rd (0)
Rob Tiongson (230) Jeff Gordon finished 3rd (1)
Billy Fellin (211) Jimmie Johnson WON (1)
Rob Blount (207) Jimmie Johnson WON (1)
Michael Hirshbein (203) Kyle Busch finished 5th (1)
Sal Sigala Jr. (202) Brad Keselowski finished sixth (0)
Dustin Parks (189) Jeff Gordon finished 3rd (0)
James Broomhead (187) Clint Bowyer finished 2nd (0)
Ryan O'Hara (185) Jeff Gordon finished 3rd (0)
Kara Martin (181) Jeff Gordon finished 3rd (0)
Kelly Crandall (180) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 24th (0)
Christopher Leone (172) Mark Martin finished 10th (0)
Misan Akuya (161) Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished 24th (0)
Next Race: After all the short track calamity, it's time to have a trip to a bigger track. Better yet, it's time for a trip to a bigger track, and it be under the lights.
It makes a few folks think of a song, because for once it is certainly true. "The stars at night are big and bright...deep in the heart of Texas." Up next on the schedule for NASCAR, it's the first Saturday night shootout, where the winner gets a cowboy hat, a trophy shaped like a boot, and gets to fire off some six-shooters into the sky.
NASCAR is heading to the Texas Motor Speedway, where for sure everything is bigger.
Writers, it is time to cowboy up, and cowgirl up in some cases, as a Saturday night race means the heat is turned up. Your picks for the NRA 500 are due by Thursday, April 11, at 10 p.m. ET.