There are two races left in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series season and that means there are only two chances left to win some cash. Will we be able to end the season the way we started? The picks accurately predicted Michael McDowell would win the Daytona 500 at 60-1 odds. It would be great to hit a long-shot like that again, but it is unlikely to happen.
The drivers who have been to Victory Lane at Martinsville since NASCAR started to use the 750 HP aero package includes some of the top drivers in the Cup Series. Martin Truex Jr. won three times (2019, 2020 and 2021), Brad Keselowski won once (2019), Joey Logano won once (2018) and Chase Elliott won once (2020). The last long-shot to win at Martinsville was Ryan Newman in 2012 and he wasn’t a huge upset winner. The best of the best always win at this track so tread lightly when looking for a driver with large odds for your betting portfolio this week.
DraftKings Odds for Martinsville
* The odds could change between the time of this article and the time you place your bet
** The first number is the amount of money based on the second number (the amount of the wager). So if you bet $1 on Martin Truex Jr. you will win $4.
Here are my Best Bets for the Xfinity 500…
Chase Elliott (6-1): It is risky to leave Martin Truex Jr. off my betting card this week but I am looking for drivers with a bit more value. Chase Elliott has been just as good at Martinsville as Truex. Elliott finished 2nd in April at Martinsville and he won the race last October. He would have five consecutive top-five finishes at the track if Denny Hamlin did not spin him out in 2019. Elliott will have a good chance to win from his front row starting position Sunday.
Denny Hamlin (7-1): I will pivot away from Martin Truex Jr. and use his teammate this week. Denny Hamlin has been the class of the field this year on the short, flat tracks. He has a 3.6 average finishing position, averaged 180 laps led (no other driver is even close) and Hamlin has a series-best 126-9 Driver Ranking. Hamlin has a series-best five wins at Martinsville. I will bet that he gets win No. 6 Sunday.
Ryan Blaney (7-1): Ryan Blaney has never won at Martinsville but he has been knocking on the Victory Lane’s door. Blaney finished second in both races at Martinsville last year. He was also really good at this track in April. Blaney won both Stages, led a race-high 157 laps, but slipped to 11th at the end of the race. The No. 12 team will have a good chance to win if they bring the same speed to the track Sunday.
Joey Logano (9-1): Joey Logano is the only playoff driver who is nearly in a “must win situation.” Logano is 26 points behind the other playoff drivers for the cut-off for advancing to Phoenix. The gap will grow larger if the other playoff drivers earn Stage Points. So the No. 22 team knows what they need to do… Win the race. I will bet Logano can get the job done. He is the most aggressive driver in the sport and he proved in 2018 that he has no problem wrecking someone to get to Victory Lane at Martinsville. I know the leader will not want to see the No. 22 car in the mirror on the final lap.
Long-Shot Special: My long-shot special this week will be Kurt Busch (50-1). It is going to be tough to get a non-playoff driver in Victory Lane Sunday but we have seen a lot of mistakes this year in the playoffs. If the eight drivers competing for the championship slip up Sunday, it could be the No. 1 car in Victory Lane. Busch is good at Martinsville. He finished 4 of the last 5 races at this track in the top-10. I will bet that Busch will be able to get Chip Ganassi Racing one more trophy before they leave the sport.
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