There’ll not be any discussion of rules bundle, changes, horsepower or drafting in this week’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
The smallest track on the NASCAR schedule at just a half-mile creates tight racing and intimate competition simply because of its quarters.
Drivers need a certain skill set to succeed at the historic track. But patience and a cool head through a 500-lap, almost four-hour mill can also be paramount to win the race or complete nicely.
For those who enjoy NASCAR betting, here are six drivers to consider backing in Sunday’s STP 500.
Kyle Busch (+200)
It is probably going to be some time before Busch isn’t considered a favorite at any course on the Cup circuit. He’s off to a red-hot start, and it has won two races in a row.
His Auto Club Speedway victory a week back was his 200th career NASCAR national series triumph. Busch has a streak of seven consecutive Martinsville top-10 finishes including wins at the 2016 spring race and 2017 autumn race. Bet Busch to acquire +200 and -200 to complete 1st-3rd with SugarHouse in New Jersey.
Brad Keselowski (+500)
Keselowski has finished in the top-10 seven out of the previous eight Martinsville races and won there at the 2017 spring race.
In the past 10 races at the track, the Team Penske driver has led the third-most laps in 427. Bet him to triumph at +500 and +125 to complete 1st-3rd with 888Sport at New Jersey.
Joey Logano (+600)
Martinsville has been a controversial place for Logano over the years, including last October when he made contact with Martin Truex Jr. on the previous turn of the final lap to get the lead and the win.
However, Logano is also among the strongest drivers in the track, and it has directed 825 laps in its past 10 races (second most) including 309 ahead of the area last fall. Bet him to win at +600 and +150 to complete 1st-3rd with 888Sport.
Martin Truex Jr. (+600)
Truex, new at Joe Gibbs Racing this year, has not forgotten how things ended last year with Logano and may have revenge in his mind.
The 2017 series winner has never won a brief track race in his Cup career but has been in the top-five the last three Martinsville outings. Bet Truex Jr. to succeed +600 and +150 to complete 1st-3rd with SugarHouse.
Clint Bowyer (+1000)
He finished a long drought in last spring’s Martinsville race when he dominated by top 215 laps and took the checkered flag.
Bowyer has struggled early this year but is considered among the very best short-track racers in the series as he proved again 1 year ago. Bet Bowyer to win at +1000 and +250 to finish 1st-3rd with 888Sport.
Denny Hamlin (+1000)
The Virginia native believes Martinsville a home track and had tens of thousands of laps under his belt in regional racing in the track before he migrated to NASCAR’s top level.
He’s a five-time Martinsville winner and snuck across the Logano vs. Truex final-lap dust-up last November to finish se cond. Bet Hamlin to triumph at +1000 and +250 to finish 1st-3rd with SugarHouse.
2019 STP 500 Betting Tip
Last week’s qualifying session was a non-event: 12 drivers who advanced to the final round failed to find a formal lap on the board. The dozen waited till the very last minute to take advantage of the higher rates in the draft and miscalculated.
That will not happen this week at Martinsville given the layout and the dearth of drafting. Qualifying and receiving a high starting spot may be the most crucial part of the weekend.
A whopping 21 drivers have won from the pole throughout Martinsville’s long history. Given that the tight quarters and difficulty passing, particularly during extended green-flag runs, monitor position is key. A total of 65 Cup race champions have come from the first four starting places.
Pit stops and pit stall positioning is also critical. Look for teams close to the front four or five stalls, allowing easy access to get back on the right track in tight quarters, to have an edge.
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