Polesitter Jeff Gordon, NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson and spring 2008 Martinsville race winner Denny Hamlin have to be considered the favourites in Sunday's Goody's Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville.
From Gordon's point of view, however, it's counterproductive to narrow the focus to one or two competitors.
Nor is Gordon, the Cup series points leader, much of a believer in the 'psych' factor, no matter how well his #24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet might be running.
"The mind game thing is not me - it's just not me," admitted Gordon, who was awarded the pole after rain washed out Friday's qualifying session at the 0.526-mile short track, "That car and our team and our performance speaks for itself. If that happens to distract guys because they look at the times and look at how good we are, then great.
"If we go out there and we win races and we're leading the points and that distracts them, that's great. But that's certainly not our goal or intention. Because of that, we don't do it on the flip side. Certainly, we pay attention to who's fast and what we're capable of doing and who we're trying to beat each and every weekend, but it's never one guy."
by Reid Spencer
Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service