Sunday's race winner Tony Stewart and third-place finisher Jimmie Johnson are friends, but they are separated by an invisible wall built by home improvement giants Home Depot and Lowe's. Stewart, who carries the Home Depot colors, discussed the situation Sunday. "Jimmie and I have been friends since we both first started in NASCAR together," Stewart said. "The sad part about the relationship between Jimmie and I is that our sponsors hate each other and it is kind of funny at the same time."
Stewart said he wanted to run the Rolex Series sportscar race at Daytona with Johnson but the deal was nixed because of bitter sponsorship issues.
"I wanted to run the Paul Revere race at Daytona in the Daytona Prototype Class," Stewart said. "He couldn't run with me because of the sponsor conflict. They would let him run with someone else, but not with me."
COT TEST: NASCAR tested its Car of Tomorrow at Martinsville Speedway Monday. Brett Bodine drove the NASCAR prototype joined by Kevin Harvick in a Richard Childress Racing car. The test produced positive results.
"We went through our normal aero changes here today, just to back up what the wind tunnel has been telling us, and were able to get some quality laps on the track," said Robin Pemberton, who is NASCAR vice president for competition.
"The wing continues to give us positive results. It is going to provide the teams with a lot of advantages when it comes to competition."
GORDON'S RUN:Jeff Gordon had an amazing race Sunday at Martinsville Speedway. After an early tire failure, which dropped him to the rear of the field, Gordon spent the day marching back to the top of the leader board. He finished second to Stewart.
"The car started pushing really, really bad for about four or five laps and boom," Gordon said. "We got lucky. We got very luck with that today with where and when it happened. It could have been worse.
"We could have gotten in the wall and we could have gotten a lap down. We were fortunate that the caution came out and we went back and got our four tires on it and worked our way back up there. After that I definitely took it easy on the brakes and just tried to be a little more patient."
MARTIN SECOND: Mark Martin was supposed to be a full-time NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver this season. He had planned to make 2005 his last full season in Nextel Cup. After some unforeseen driver changes, he came back to run one more Cup season for car owner Jack Roush.
After a 13th-place finish at Martinsville, Martin finds himself second in championship points to Johnson. Funny how things work sometimes, especially since Martin had early problems in Sunday's race.
"We fought back almost to a top 10," Martin said. "We were good all day. We had a tough break in qualifying and an extra tough break at the start of the race. That put us so far behind that we had to play catch up all day, but we had a car. That's as good of a car as I've had here."
VEITH DIES AT 81: Bob Veith, the 1956 Indianapolis 500 rookie of the year who went on to compete 11 times in the race, has died. He was 81.