The NASCAR Cup Series will not have a lot of time to relax after the race at Atlanta. It is time to load up the short track cars and make the little over 2 hour driver to Martinsville Speedway. This is always one of the most action packed races of the season in the final laps. I expect the same in prime-time TV. The Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 can be seen Wednesday at 7 p.m. ET on FS1.
The Fantasy Live picks performed well at Atlanta. All five drivers finished in the top 10. It is hard to expect more than that. The picks now have 1,972 points and are beating 99.8% of the competition. I plan to keep the hot streak going this week at Martinsville.
Here are my picks for the Martinsville….
Kyle Busch: How can you fade Kyle Busch at Martinsville? His average finishing position in his last 9 races at Martinsville is 4th. That is crazy good. Even if Busch has a poor race, he should still finish in the top 5. I have not used Busch a lot this season so I will have the No. 18 car in my lineup Wednesday night.
Martin Truex Jr.: How about pairing the driver who led 446 of the 500 laps in the spring race at Martinsville with the driver who led 464 of the 500 laps in the fall? That is what Martin Truex Jr. did at this track last October. That gives you a powerful one-two punch at the top of your lineup. Truex is almost as good as Brad Keselowski at this short track. Truex has a 3rd-place average finishing position in his last 5 races at the track. The No. 19 car should be fast again Wednesday night.
Brad Keselowski: Brad Keselowski absolutely dominated the spring race at Martinsville. The No. 2 car started 3rd and immediately went to the front. Keselowski won both Stages, led 446 of th3 500 laps and went to Victory Lane. He has a 3rd-place average finishing position in the last 8 races at Martinsville… Outstanding! Keselowski also won the last race on a short track (Bristol). Keselowski should be an excellent pick Wednesday night.
Ryan Blaney: Ryan Blaney finished 4th and 5th in the 2 races at Martinsville last year. He also led 145 laps, scored 17 Stage points and finished 3rd in 2018. Team Penske has been running well this season and having Todd Gordon calling the shots from the top of the pit box should help Blaney even more Wednesday night. He is a great pick from the pole in this race.
Clint Bowyer: If you ever plan to use Clint Bowyer in your lineup it needs to be at Martinsville. He is a crazy driver so it is only natural that a paper-clip shaped track would be his best. Bowyer finished 4 of his 6 races for Stewart-Haas Racing in the top 7 at Martinsville. It should have been 5 of 6 but a pit road mistake sent him to the back of the field in the last race at Martinsville (Bowyer was running 6th at the time). Bowyer finished 2nd in the last short track (Bristol). He should finish in the top 10 Wednesday.
Denny Hamlin: Denny Hamlin has been the best driver for Joe Gibbs Racing and this is one of their best tracks. Hamlin is always good at his home track. He has 5 Grandfather Clocks in his house (second-most to Jimmie Johnson’s 9). Hamlin finished 2nd, 5th and 4th in his last 3 races at Martinsville. I will start him in the Garage so I have a great insurance policy for the race.
Good luck this week!
*Stats from Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet Pro and NASCAR Media.
** Photos from NASCAR Media
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