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Baby steps for Martin, Newman and Earnhardt

Updated: April 6, 2009, 12:30 PM ET
By David Newton | ESPN.com

(AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (88) avoided trouble when Scott Speed got turned around in Turn 3 at Martinsville.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Mark Martin, Ryan Newman and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were all but given up for dead as far as making the Chase a month ago. They were buried in the Sprint Cup point standings, experiencing the kind of misfortune that leads to bad seasons.

Well, guess what?

They're anything but ...

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