Denny Hamlin's pursuit of four-straight Martinsville victories is off to a great start. Hamlin leads the Goody's Fast Relief 500 through 50 laps, currently under a caution flag following a flat tire for David Gilliland. Hamlin's Toyota is followed by Ryan Newman, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, and Jimmie Johnson. Polesitter Jamie McMurray has faded to 7th after leading the first 31 laps.
Point leader Carl Edwards rides 17th, up six spots from his 23rd place qualifying effort.
He immediately jumped out front and stretched the gap to nearly two seconds over Kahne within 15 laps. Kahne chased him down to grab the lead at lap 32, however, taking Newman and Hamlin with him. A lap later, Newman took over the top spot, but Hamlin snatched it away on lap 35 and set sail.
Matt Kenseth's Martinsville misery continued. He was penalized for changing his lane before crossing the start finish line, forcing him to make a pass through penalty that dropped him a lap down.