Early Week Driver Rankings for Martinsville


The MENCS Playoffs began with 16 drivers competing for the championship. We are now down to 8. Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson are still eligible to take home the 2019 trophy and they will get the best cars and all of the attention from their teams.  Martinsville is a rhythm racetrack. Drivers who ran well at the paperclip before should be up front Sunday. It should be fun to see which driver gets dumped at the end of the race. The First Data 500 can be seen Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.

NASCAR will be back to a condensed schedule this week and it will likely screw up the Fantasy NASCAR games. There will be two practices Saturday. The first is at 9 a.m. ET (TV is TBD) and the second is at 12 p.m. ET (TV TBD). It is likely that the practices will be available only on the NBC Sports App. Qualifying is Saturday evening at 4:30 p.m. ET.

The cars will be impounded Saturday after qualifying and lineup up for inspection Sunday morning. Any team that fails inspection will start from the back and be scored from the back in Fantasy NASCAR. This is the last time this season NASCAR has this stupid schedule.

The cars will have the 750 HP engines with the 2” splitter, 8” spoiler and no aero ducts this week. It is the same package they used in the last race at Martinsville and it is similar to what was used in the past. The 2019 rules package should not affect the driver’s performance at this track.

My early week pick for the pole is Joey Logano. The No. 22 car won the pole for the race at Martinsville in March and Logano has qualified in the top 3 in 4 of the last 6 races at the track. Martinsville has been a great track for Team Penske so I will select Logano as my pole winner right now.

Each week I use different stats in my model to create the best rankings possible to give you an edge on the completion. This week I used Driver Ratings at Martinsville, Average Running Position at Martinsville, Driver Rating at the Flat Tracks, Average Running Position at Flat Tracks, Green Flag Passes in last 4 Martinsville race and momentum from the last 4 non-Superspedway oval track races.


Here are the early week driver rankings for Martinsville…


1. Denny Hamlin
2. Kyle Busch
3. Brad Keselowski
4. Chase Elliott
5. Martin Truex Jr.
6. Kevin Harvick
7. Ryan Blaney
8. Clint Bowyer
9. Joey Logano
10. Kurt Busch
11. Kyle Larson
12. Jimmie Johnson
13. Alex Bowman
14. Aric Almirola
15. Daniel Suarez
16. Austin Dillon
17. Erik Jones
18. Paul Menard
19. Ryan Newman
20. Matt DiBenedetto
21. William Byron
22. Ty Dillon
23. Ryan Preece
24. Chris Buescher
25. Darrell Wallace Jr.
26. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
27. Daniel Hemric
28. David Ragan
29. Michael McDowell
30. Matt Tifft
31. Landon Cassill
32. Corey Lajoie
33. Ross Chastian
34. J.J. Yeley
35. Garrett Smithley
36. B.J. McLeod
37. Reed Sorenson
38. Quinn Houff


* I will post my final driver rankings Saturday night.

**Stats from Driveraverages.com and NASCAR Media. Career stats from Racing-Reference.Info

*** Photos from NASCAR Media


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