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Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500: Power Rankings

Brad Keslowski has all of the momentum at Martinsville

Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series First Data 500 - Practice Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

Race Information

Race: Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500
Laps: 263
Date: June 10th 7:00pm
Venue: Martinsville Speedway Ridgeway
2019 Winner: Brad Keslowski (3:21:54)
Broadcast: FS1

Track

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. Along those lines it is also the only “paperclip” shaped track on the circuit (hence it’s nickname: The Paperclip). 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.

NASCAR: STP 500 Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Favorites

Brad Keselowski (fourth selection this year) — Back to back selections for Brad Keselowski. To me he seems like the obvious lock, he’s won at Martinsville two of the last three years, in the 2020 season, he’s won two of the last four races which included Bristol (the 2nd smallest track behind Martinsville). He has now finished in the top ten in the last five straight races, he’s finished in the top 15 in the last nine straight races.

Kyle Busch (fourth selection this year) — Kyle has now had four finishes inside the top four in his last five races. The 29th place finish at Charlotte which was full of wrecks doesn’t concern me. Kyle has averaged a top 10 finish here each of the last four years.

High Risk/High Reward

Austin Dillon (third selection this year) — He’s been in the top 15 each of the last four races. He finished 11th here during the regular season last year. He had a solid 5th place finish here in 2017 and a fourth place finish in 2016.

Kurt Busch (second selection this year) — Same last week, this is much more of a third favorite but he has been so dominant now for seven races, you have to keep him in the lineups.

The Dark Horse

Christopher Bell (first selection this year) — Two top tens in his last four races including a solid 9th place at Bristol. He got married just before this season and came off 15 wins in Xfinity Series.

Fun Fact: The trophy that is handed out to this race, a grandfather clock, first started in 1964.


2020 Results

Favorite: Avg Finish 10th (27th Percent)
High Risk/High Reward: Avg Finish 19th (49th Percent)
Dark Horse: Avg Finish 16th (41st Percent)