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First Data 500: Power Rankings

Brad leads the pack at Martinsville

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series STP 500 Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Race Information

Race: First Data 500
Laps: 500
Date: October 27th
Venue: Martinsville Speedway
2018 Winner: Joey Logano (3:39:32)
Broadcast: NBCSN


Martinsville Speedway. Located in Ridgeway, VA, this half mile track is the shortest track on the NASCAR Cup Series. It was built in 1947 by H. Clay Earles and stands as one of the first oval tracks in NASCAR. It uses concrete for the turns but sticks with asphalt on the straightaways. The constant braking is tricky here so it’s best to have someone who knows what they are doing and has a record of success.

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series First Data 500 Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images

Power Rankings

The Favorites

Kyle Busch (eighth selection this year) — Doubling down on Kyle who did “ok” with a 9th place finish. He has averaged 2nd place finishes here the last few years and he seems to be turning a corner on his playoff efforts.

Brad Keselowski (eighth selection this year) — Brad had a rough go last week but at Martinsville he has consistently been a top 5 finisher. He won at Martinsville earlier this season. I don’t think it has fully hit that Brad isn’t among the top eight racers especially with his strong 3rd, 4th and 5th place races to start the playoff run.

High Risk/High Reward

Alex Bowman (fourth selection this year) — He finished 7th at Martinsville last year. He is now out of playoff contention but has still posted a respectable top 12 finish in four out of six playoff races. Alex has put together a great year and I will be bullish on him next year to be a top ten racer.

Ryan Newman (fifth selection this year) — He has an average of 12th place here over the last three years. After finishing 2nd and 40th the last few races, I’m anticipating a solid rebound into the top 12 this weekend. He had a solid run until he finished outside the top 20 in three of the six playoff races.

The Dark Horse

Ty Dillon (First selection this year) — This is a flier but he finished 13th at Martinsville earlier this year, he had two 22nd place finishes the last two years but he also had a 10 th place finish at Talladega two weeks ago and he has yet to finish outside the top 30 in any playoff race.

2019 Results

Favorite: Avg Finish 13th (35th Percent)
High Risk/High Reward: Avg Finish 10th (27th Percent)
Dark Horse: Avg Finish 16th (43rd Percent)