After years of domination by Chevrolet and occasionally Toyota, Ford has suddenly taken over the reins at Martinsville.
The Blue Oval has now won three in a row at the Paper Clip.
It will have a chance at matching its second-best sequence at the track.
Ford also won four in a row at Martinsville between 1993 and 1995.
Its best run at the half-mile track remains a five-race winning streak from 1963 to 1965.
Taking a closer look at Ford’s run, it’s easy to notice a trend.
After a sequence during which Chevrolet won six of the first eight Gen 6 races at Martinsville, it’s been all Ford.
The Blue Oval won four of the last five races at the Paper Clip, with Toyota taking the other one.
Of these four wins, three of them went to Team Penske.
Brad Keselowski won at the track in March 2017 and repeated the feat in March 2019.
Joey Logano scored a key victory last October, a result which secured a spot in the Championship Four and paving his way to the title.
Stewart Haas Racing’s Clint Bowyer won the other race in March 2018, his first Cup Series win in nearly six years.
Long story short, Martinsville has been Team Penske’s hunting ground for the past three seasons.
Penske made it clear in the March race earlier this year.
Joey Logano started from the pole for the fifth time in 13 races under the Gen 6 rules.
Brad Keselowski followed it up on race day with a dominant performance, leading 446 laps.
This result clearly shows that Penske has found the perfect setup for Martinsville.
Dominant runs by the same team at Martinsville have been the rule at Martinsville since the Gen 6 introduction.
Five of Chevrolet’s six wins came at the hands of Hendrick Motorsports.
What: First Data 500
Where: Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, VA
When: Sunday, October 27th at 3:00 PM EST
How: NBCSN (TV) | Motor Racing Network (Web radio) | NBC Sports App
When taking all the recent trends into consideration, it’s hard to argue against Ford.
Martinsville is an old-school track, and mastering it comes down to a combination of driver skill and car setup.
Penske’s Fords seem to have found that sweet spot.
The team’s cars have led at least 100 laps in each of the last five races at the Paper Clip.
Following Brad Keselowski’s disappointing Round of 12 exit, Logano and Ryan Blaney remain in the hunt for Penske.
Given that a win here will secure an automatic spot in the Championship Round, expect the Fords to remain as the favorites.
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