NASCAR Cup SeriesNASCAR Xfinity Series

Joey Logano, Harrison Burton on poles for Martinsville

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Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The NASCAR Cup Series returns from the Easter bye with the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, while the Xfinity Series comes back after a two-week break for the Cook Out 250 the previous day. Joey Logano, who won the latest Cup race, will lead the field to green in his series’ race while Harrison Burton does so for the Xfinity event.

Cup: Logano on Martinsville pole for sixth time

Logano won the last Cup race at Bristol prior to taking the week off for Easter, and he will look to become the first repeat winner as he starts on the pole. Martinsville is a track that likely holds much weight for his career as his lone Cup win at the short track in the 2018 fall race punched his ticket to the Championship Round, where he went on to win his maiden title. While he only has one win at Martinsville, he has started on the pole there on six different occasions, including three straight races and a sweep of the 2015 top spots. In 2020’s two races, he finished fourth and third, the former seeing him lead a race-high 234 of 500 laps.

Starting alongside him will be six-time Martinsville winner Denny Hamlin. Hamlin won the 2019 fall race pole and has six front-row starting spots at the Virginia circuit. He swept the 2010 races and his most recent win there came in the 2015 spring event.

Three driver changes from Bristol took place, all of which are teams switching out dirt track ringers for their regular part-time drivers. Justin Haley returns to the Spire Motorsports #77 that Stewart Friesen drove at Bristol, while B.J. McLeod returns to his #78 Live Fast Motorsports car (driven by Shane Golobic at Bristol) and James Davison heads back to Rick Ware Racing‘s #15 (Chris Windom ran Bristol). The #66 of MBM Motorsports, which Timmy Hill mainly drives and Mike Marlar piloted at Bristol, and the #96 of Gaunt Brothers Racing that Ty Dillon races are not entered after racing two weeks ago; while GBR is already a part-time team, MBM has faced sponsorship troubles after being excluded from the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series entering Bristol.

StartNumberDriverTeamManufacturer
122Joey LoganoTeam PenskeFord
211Denny HamlinJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
324William ByronHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
412Ryan BlaneyTeam PenskeFord
59Chase ElliottHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
647Ricky Stenhouse Jr.JTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet
719Martin Truex Jr.Joe Gibbs RacingToyota
86Ryan NewmanRoush Fenway RacingFord
94Kevin HarvickStewart-Haas RacingFord
102Brad KeselowskiTeam PenskeFord
1199Daniel SuárezTrackhouse Racing TeamChevrolet
1218Kyle BuschJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
138Tyler ReddickRichard Childress RacingChevrolet
1434Michael McDowellFront Row MotorsportsFord
1517Chris BuescherRoush Fenway RacingFord
1643Erik JonesRichard Petty MotorsportsChevrolet
1737Ryan PreeceJTG Daugherty RacingChevrolet
183Austin DillonRichard Childress RacingChevrolet
195Kyle LarsonHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
2048Alex BowmanHendrick MotorsportsChevrolet
211Kurt BuschChip Ganassi RacingChevrolet
2221Matt DiBenedettoWood Brothers RacingFord
2320Christopher BellJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
2414Chase BriscoeStewart-Haas RacingFord
2523Bubba Wallace23XI RacingToyota
2641Cole CusterStewart-Haas RacingFord
2742Ross ChastainChip Ganassi RacingChevrolet
2853J.J. Yeley*Rick Ware RacingChevrolet
2900Quin HouffStarCom RacingChevrolet
3077Justin Haley*Spire MotorsportsChevrolet
3110Aric AlmirolaStewart-Haas RacingFord
3251Cody Ware*Rick Ware RacingChevrolet
3352Josh BilickiRick Ware RacingFord
347Corey LaJoieSpire MotorsportsChevrolet
3538Anthony AlfredoFront Row MotorsportsFord
3678B.J. McLeodLive Fast MotorsportsFord
3715James DavisonRick Ware RacingChevrolet
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for Cup points
Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

Xfinity: Defending Martinsville winner Burton looks for repeat from pole

Six races into the 2021 Xfinity season, Burton is still seeking his first win of the year but is no stranger to Martinsville’s Victory Lane. He won the 2020 fall race, the first Xfinity event at Martinsville since 2006. Friday’s race will be the first time Burton starts on the front row for a race since Homestead 1 in June 2020, a 31-race strtch.

Justin Allgaier, who won the most recent Xfinity race in Atlanta a fortnight ago, starts second in his second front-row start of 2021 after the opener in Daytona. He finished behind Burton at Martinsville last year.

Ty Gibbs returns to the Joe Gibbs Racing #54 that Cup driver Martin Truex Jr. drove at Atlanta, while J.J. Yeley is scheduled to take over the #17 SS-Green Light Racing car from Cody Ware. Brandon Gdovic makes his second start in Sam Hunt Racing‘s #26; Santino Ferrucci was originally scheduled to race at Martinsville but is stepping aside as he takes part in IndyCar Series testing ahead of his return to the Indianapolis 500 in May. Stefan Parsons starts thirty-eighth in B.J. McLeod Motorsports’ #99 that he inherits from Mason Massey.

Two drivers are making their NASCAR débuts: George Gorham Jr. in DGM Racing‘s #90 and Matt Jaskol in MBM Motorsports’ #13. Gorham, a short track racer from Florida, replaces Dexter Bean in the #90 while Jaskol, a karting veteran who has raced in various levels of open-wheel racing, takes over the #13 from Chad Finchum.

Ronnie Bassett Jr., Jordan Anderson, and Andy Lally are still locked out of the grid.

StartNumberDriverTeamManufacturer
120Harrison BurtonJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
27Justin AllgaierJR MotorsportsChevrolet
316A.J. AllmendingerKaulig RacingChevrolet
418Daniel HemricJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
511Justin HaleyKaulig RacingChevrolet
622Austin CindricTeam PenskeFord
798Riley HerbstStewart-Haas RacingFord
89Noah GragsonJR MotorsportsChevrolet
92Myatt SniderRichard Childress RacingChevrolet
101Michael AnnettJR MotorsportsChevrolet
1151Jeremy ClementsJeremy Clements RacingChevrolet
1239Ryan SiegRSS RacingFord
1310Jeb BurtonKaulig RacingChevrolet
144Landon CassillJD MotorsportsChevrolet
1592Josh WilliamsDGM RacingChevrolet
1654Ty GibbsJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
1744Tommy Joe MartinsMartins MotorsportsChevrolet
180Jeffrey EarnhardtJD MotorsportsChevrolet
1968Brandon BrownBrandonbilt MotorsportsChevrolet
2066Timmy HillMBM MotorsportsToyota
2178Jesse LittleB.J. McLeod MotorsportsChevrolet
2236Alex LabbéDGM RacingChevrolet
2315Colby HowardJD MotorsportsChevrolet
2419Brandon JonesJoe Gibbs RacingToyota
2526Brandon GdovicSam Hunt RacingToyota
2674Bayley CurreyMike Harmon RacingChevrolet
2702Brett Moffitt*Our MotorsportsChevrolet
2807Joe Graf Jr.SS-Green Light RacingChevrolet
298Josh BerryJR MotorsportsChevrolet
3048Jade BufordBig Machine RacingChevrolet
3147Kyle WeathermanMike Harmon RacingChevrolet
3223Blaine PerkinsOur MotorsportsChevrolet
3317J.J. YeleySS-Green Light RacingChevrolet
3461David StarrMBM MotorsportsToyota
356Ryan VargasJD MotorsportsChevrolet
365Matt MillsB.J. McLeod MotorsportsChevrolet
3790George Gorham Jr.DGM RacingChevrolet
3899Stefan ParsonsB.J. McLeod MotorsportsToyota
3952Gray GauldingJimmy Means RacingChevrolet
4013Matt JaskolMBM MotorsportsChevrolet
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for Xfinity points
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History major at San Jose State University and lifelong motorsports fan who covers NASCAR and the Stadium Super Trucks.
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