Race: Xfinity 500
Date: November 1th
Venue: Martinsville Speedway
2019 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. (3:29:09)
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. Martinsville joins Bristol as the shortest tracks (both about a half mile) on the circuit.
Brad Keslowski (tenth selection this year) — Keslowski’s last nine races at Martinsville have all been top 10 finishes, finishing in the top THREE five times. He struggled for a few weeks in the playoffs but he is fresh off back to back top 10 finishes and sits third in the standings.
Denny Hamlin (ninth selection this year) — Hamlin has been fairly consistent at Martinsville during playoff time with the exception of 2018. His last five years here in the playoffs he’s finished 4th, 21st, 7th, 3rd and 3rd. Sitting 2nd in the standings, he has three top 10 finishes in his last five races.
High Risk/High Reward
Kurt Busch (tenth selection this year) — Busch’s last four races at Martinsville has all been top 12 finishes. It gets a bit ugly beyond that so let’s hope he can keep his improved pedigree here. He’s been very hit or miss lately with two finishes inside the top 10 and two finishes outside the top 30 in his last four.
William Byron (tenth selection this year) — Byron has four consecutive top 15 finishes coming into Martinsville (he’s one of three drivers to have this coming into Martinsville). He finished 12th here last year. Byron finished 8th at both Bristol and Martinsville during the regular season.
The Dark Horse
Michael McDowell (second selection this year) — This season McDowell finished 14th at both Bristol and Martinsville during the regular season and then finished 10th at Bristol in the playoffs. He’s a good bet for a top 15 finish dark horse.
Fun Fact: Herb Thomas won here twice in the first four years of this event with two different manufacturers. Plymouth in 1950 and Hudson in 1952.
Favorite: Avg Finish 11th (27th Percent)
High Risk/High Reward: Avg Finish 16th (39th Percent)
Dark Horse: Avg Finish 19th (47th Percent)