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Gustafson's star rising fast

Updated: September 22, 2009, 4:35 PM ET
By Terry Blount | ESPN.com

Is Alan Gustafson the new Chad Knaus?

Knaus has the reputation as the best crew chief in the Sprint Cup garage, but his Hendrick Motorsports buddy is close to pushing Knaus off his throne.

Mark Martin leads the Chase for many reasons -- pure driving skill, maturity and experience on the racetrack, and the best equipment of his career.

Given all those things, Martin was bound to do well this season. But he would not be at the top of the playoff rung without Gustafson on the pit ...

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