After a long week in Texas, the NASCAR Cup Series travels to Martinsville Speedway. This track is usually easy to predict because there are drivers in the field that are a lot better than the others at figuring out the rhythm to turn fast laps on the two dragstrips and two u-turns. The problem is that the driver who dominates most of the race usually gets dumped in the final laps. There is a lot on the line Sunday so I would not be surprised to see some punches thrown in the pits after the race.
Las Vegas Odds for Martinsville
Martin Truex Jr. (5-2): Martin Truex Jr. has dominated the last two races at Martinsville. He started 3rd, led 464 of the 500 laps and went to Victory Lane in the October race last year. He started 5th but it took him half of the race to get his car right in June. Truex took the lead from Brad Keselowski on lap 370 and it was all over after that. I love the fact that his crew chief (James Small) was suspended last week. The other crew chiefs were stuck in Texas while Small was in North Carolina working on the car for Martinsville.
Chase Elliott (17-2): Chase Elliott is one of the best drivers at Martinsville. He has finished 5 of his last 7 races at Martinsville in the top 9. It should have been 6 of 7 but he was dumped by Denny Hamlin in the 2017 race. Elliott had a decent race at Martinsville in June. He started 11th and he finished 5th. His 5.02 average running position was 2nd best to Joey Logno’s 2.08 average running position. He is in a “must win” situation Sunday. I think he can get the job done.
Joey Logano (17-2): Joey Logano has one win at Martinsville but he would have two if Matt Kenseth did not seek revenge on the No. 22 car in 2017. Logano had another great race at Martinsville in June. He started 3rd, led a race-high 234 laps and finished 3rd. Logano is already locked into the championship race at Phoenix so he will not be concerned with Stage points Sunday. Logano will be going after the checkered flag. If he is motivated, he will be tough to beat.
Kurt Busch (28-1): Kurt Busch was not on my radar for this race until I listened to his interview on SiriusXM NASCAR Radion. Busch said, “I am putting the field on notice this week. I have to win this race to make it to Phoenix. I do not have many chances to race for a championship left in my career. I am not going to blow this one. So if you block me or get in my way, I will push you out of the way. I am not going to Martinsville to make friends. The 2004 version of Kurt Busch will be in the car Sunday, so you are warned.” Sounds good to me Kurt… Let’s win some money!!!
Jimmie Johnson (33-1): Jimmie Johnson has two races left in his full-time racing career. The race Sunday will be his best chance to get to Victory Lane before he retires. Johnson said before that he could win this race in a dump truck. Well, that is about how his car has driven lately, so we will see. Johnson led 70 laps in the June race at Martinsville. He just needs the same speed Sunday to add Grandfather Clock #10 to his collection.
Good luck this week!
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