When you sign-up through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more >

Cook Out 400 Predictions: Martin Truex Jr. Seeks Rally After Richmond

Written by: Reid Spencer
Published July 28, 2023
8 min read
  • Hendrick hopes to win during company’s 40th anniversary celebration.

  • Beware the pole winner, despite the perks that go with qualifying first.

  • Despite disappointment at Richmond, Martin Truex Jr. remains confident.

Cook Out 400 Betting Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook. Click odds in the table below and claim $150 in bonus bets when wagering at least $5 at DraftKings.

Driver Odds
Denny Hamlin +500
Martin Truex Jr. +600
Ryan Blaney +650
Kyle Larson +700
Christopher Bell +800
Joey Logano +900
William Byron +1100
Ty Gibbs +1100
Chase Elliott +1100
Brad Keselowski +1700
Tyler Reddick +2200

Our Picks for the Cook Out 400

Cook Out 400 Predictions

Cook Out 400 Predictions

Hendrick Motorsports Hopes for Victory During 40th-Anniversary Bash

Once upon a time, Hendrick Motorsports was the dominant force at Martinsville Speedway. During one stretch from 2003 through 2009, Hendrick drivers Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson combined to win 10 of 13 races at the 0.536-mile short track.

Recently, however, the four current Hendrick drivers—Chase Elliott, Alex Bowman, William Byron, and Kyle Larson—have had to battle for supremacy with their Joe Gibbs Racing counterparts—Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., Christopher Bell, and Ty Gibbs.

Team owner Rick Hendrick is celebrating his organization’s 40th anniversary at Martinsville, where Geoff Bodine’s victory in the eighth race of 1984 kept the team from folding. All told, Hendrick drivers have won 28 races at the paper-clip-shaped track, a record for a NASCAR Cup team at a single venue.

Most likely among the Hendrick drivers to celebrate the milestone with a victory is defending winner Kyle Larson (+700 via DraftKings Sportsbook), but he’s not our first choice to take the checkered flag.

Pole Position at Martinsville Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

The No. 1 pit stall at Martinsville Speedway is by far the most advantageous. It’s the closest stall to the exit from pit road, with unobstructed egress and no danger of incurring a speeding penalty on the getaway.

Under NASCAR Cup Series rules, the driver who wins the pole position has the first pick of pit stalls, and at Martinsville, the No. 1 stall is always first choice. Drivers contend that the first pit stall is worth two or three positions on every stop.

Here’s the anomaly: If that’s the case, then why aren’t victories from the pole position at Martinsville commonplace?

Perhaps pole-winning speed on a qualifying lap doesn’t translate to long-run speed in race trim. Whatever case, the pole winner at Martinsville hasn’t been to Victory Lane since Jimmy Johnson accomplished the feat in April 2013.

Among full-time active drivers, Denny Hamlin was most recent to win from the pole when he claimed the fourth of his five Martinsville victories in 2010.

So if you’re inclined to place your bets after time trials, you might want to be wary of the driver who starts from P1.

After Richmond, Martin Truex Jr. Comes to Martinsville with a Vengeance

Last week, we gave you Denny Hamlin as the winner of the Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway, and win he did—though it took a late-race caution, a lightning-fast pit stop, and some finagling with a controversial overtime restart for Hamlin to take the checkered flag.

A casualty of Hamlin’s success was his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Martin Truex Jr., who led 228 laps and was within a half-lap of probable victory before an accident involving Bubba Wallace and Kyle Larson slowed the action on Lap 399 of 400 and forced overtime.

Truex was shuffled back to fourth at the finish, and he comes to Martinsville highly motivated. A three-time winner at the track, Truex is the most successful of the Joe Gibbs Racing drivers there over the past five years.

Now that he’s mastered NASCAR’s Gen 7 car, we expect Truex to claim the grandfather clock trophy on Sunday at +600 via DraftKings Sportsbook.

How to Watch the Cook Out 400

  • What: Cook Out 400 NASCAR Cup Series Race

  • Where: Martinsville Speedway

  • When: Sunday, April 7, 3 p.m. ET

  • How to Watch: FS1

21+ | Terms and conditions apply
Claim Now
Image for Reid Spencer


Reid Spencer

222 Articles

Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]

More info on Reid Spencer
We've been featured on:
espn logo
reuters logo
cbs-news logo
forbes logo
entrepreneur logo
entrepreneur logo
We only list licensed sportsbooks

© Rebel Penguin ApS 2024 (a subsidiary of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.)

We support responsible gambling. 21+ Only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-Gambler.

WSN.com is run by iGaming Cloud Inc (a Gaming Innovation Group Subsidiary) and is registered with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) under affiliate vendor ID 89744, with the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) under certificate of registration number SWR-000148, approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as a gaming service provider, under certificate registration number 117656-1, possesses a Vendor Minor sports betting license from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (account number 94414163), granted a vendor registration number VR007603-20-001 by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, an interim Sports Wagering Supplier license, under license number SWS 066, issued by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, a sports betting vendor registration, under registration number #100400, issued by the Director of Gaming Licensing and Investigations of the Virginia Lottery to operate in the State of Virginia, and a Vendor Registration issued by the Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.

Advertising disclosure: WSN contains links to online retailers on its website. When people click on our affiliate links and make purchases, WSN earns a commission from our partners, including ESPN and various sportsbooks.