Race: Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500
Date: April 10th at 7:30pm
Venue: Martinsville Speedway
2020 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. (3:23:56)
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 Keselowski (third selection this year) — Throw out the two wins here across the last four years, Keselowski STILL has nothing but top 10 finishes across the last six years here. If he lands in the top 10 this weekend it will be 10 consecutive races that he’s done so at Martinsville.
Ryan Blaney (third selection this year) — Blaney has become of the best short track racers as of late. At Martinsville, he has nothing but top five finishes the last two years at Martinsville. At Bristol, he had one accident but outside of that he’s had nothing but top 15 finishes the last two years.
High Risk/High Reward
Alex Bowman (second selection this year) — Bowman has four top 15 finishes this year. He has four top 15 finishes here over the last five races and he finishes better in the regular season as opposed to the playoff race.
Michael McDowell (third selection this year) — McDowell is similar to Bowman, he has top 15 finishes at Bristol and Martinsville in four of his last five races. McDowell has mentioned before his affinity for short tracks. He has top 20 finishes in all but one race this season.
The Dark Horse
Bubba Wallace (first selection this year) — Wallace averaged a 10th place finish across Bristol and Martinsville last year during his regular season races. Bubba has NOT had any top 15 finishes yet this season and I think this is the week he breaks that streak. He hit a similar cold streak to start last year and Martinsville was the race that finally snapped the streak.
Fun Fact: The trophy for this race is a grandfather clock which was first introduced in 1964.
Favorite: Avg Finish 14th (35th Percent)
High Risk/High Reward: Avg Finish 18th (47th Percent)
Dark Horse: Avg Finish 15th (39th Percent)