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NASCAR News for Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Harvick Wins Rained Delayed Kroger 250 After a door to door battle with Kyle Busch in the closing laps, Kevin Harvick won Monday’s rain delayed Camping World Series event at Martinsville. Harvick and Busch put on quite a show for the faithful fans that made the return visit on Monday, …

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Is Roush Fenway’s Slow Start A Case of Short Track-itis… Or A Sign Of Something Else?

In the euphoria surrounding his rain-shortened victory in the Daytona 500, the self-styled perfectionist Jack Roush must have permitted himself a wry smile. Winning the biggest race of all for the very first time -- after 113 previous Sprint Cup victories in 21 years of ownership -- must have felt like a harbinger of what was to come in 2009. No doubt, Roush thought it was an important first step en route to what he expects will be a third Sprint Cup crown. Sadly, for the “Cat in the Hat,” it hasn’t proved to lean in that direction so far as after six rounds of action, all five of his drivers have, to some extent, underachieved.

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Beyond the Cockpit: Jason Keller on Racing NASCAR’s Second Series

_While some drivers look at the Nationwide Series as a fun diversion from, or a stepping stone to the Cup series, Jason Keller has made his racing home in the series since 1991, where he has more starts than any other driver (461). Keller sat down with The Frontstretch’s Amy Henderson last week to talk about his new team, his short-lived stint as a forklift operator, and yes, even those double-dippers from the Cup series._ *Amy Henderson, Frontstretch.com:* You’re with a relatively new team with Baker-Curb Motorsports, although they have been through different incarnations before. Tell me what it’s like to be with a new team and what the growing process is. *Jason Keller:* The team as it is now came to be at the beginning of last year.

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Talking NASCAR TV: FOX Needs To Cover More Than Just The Cars Up Front

Martinsville is an old school type of track, a place where the ideals of aerodynamics really don’t apply all that much (although having smooth sheet metal does give some benefits on short tracks). And, most importantly, it's a place where far more rudimentary methods than normal are considered acceptable for passing. Sunday’s race saw Jimmie Johnson use a very brash maneuver to root Denny Hamlin out of the way to win -- and face no retribution for it at all. As for the Truck Series event, originally scheduled for Saturday afternoon, it was completely rained out and rescheduled for Monday afternoon at noon.

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Who’s Hot/Who’s Not in Sprint Cup: 2009 Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Edition

What a race Sunday! The Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway gave fans the tight racing action they have been yearning for since before the season began. The close racing amongst competitors individually made the race well worth watching, as did the fact that some unexpected drivers had good runs on the tricky, half-mile track. While several surprise drivers slid into the top 15 or 20, other expected contenders found themselves in holes early in the event, with little or no chance of digging out. Here are the *HOT*, *WARM*, and *COLD* drivers this week, before the Cup Series breaks its short track excursion and travels to Texas Motor Speedway this Sunday. *HOT: Denny Hamlin* – After having the second best car last week and finishing there, the Chesterfield, VA native appeared poised to finish first Sunday, as he had the field’s best car and proved so by leading the most laps (296).

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Running Their Mouth: 2009 Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville

_Each week, we’ll go through media reports, interviews, PR, and all of our own stuff to find the best quotes from the Sprint Cup race, capturing the story of how the weekend unfolded. It’s the most original commentary you’ll ever find: the truth, coming straight out of the mouths of the drivers, crew members, and car owners themselves. This week, here’s a sneak peek at what a select few were thinking following the Goody's Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway:_ "I'm out of breath. That was just a fun day. We didn't have the best car at the start. We opted to lose track position and work on the car. I wanted to win for Mr. Hendrick on the 25th anniversary of Hendrick Motorsports winning." _Jimmie Johnson_

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Tracking the Trucks: 2009 Kroger 250 at Martinsville

*In a Nutshell:* Kevin Harvick took the checkered flag under caution ahead of Ron Hornaday, Jr. to win the Kroger 250 Monday afternoon at Martinsville Speedway. Harvick took the lead inside ten laps to go and held on through a green-white-checkered finish to score his first Truck Series win outside of Phoenix International Raceway. Mike Skinner, Johnny Benson, and Rick Crawford rounded out the Top 5. *Who Should Have Won: Kyle Busch*. Busch started his No. 51 Miccosukee Resorts Toyota in 13th and managed to power his way to the front pretty quickly, even pulling to a nearly one and a half second lead at some points.

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Numbers Game: 2009 Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville

0.774 Jimmie Johnson‘s margin of victory over Denny Hamlin Sunday in the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500. 2 Number of times winner Johnson led the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 Sunday. 3 hours, 27 minutes, 48 seconds Time it took to complete the Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500. 4 Drivers …

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Hendrick: Making it Big for 25 Years

Alright, so that was a bit more like it. The Martinsville weekend provided entertainment on all levels. There were neon pink hot dogs, a bit of impatience in practice, a grandfather clock to be won, a late race bump-n-run and even a moment of history. History—usually the kind that fills …

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