5 Best Picks for Martinsville Speedway - Predictions and Odds
With only four races to go, the championship battle is over for all but eight drivers.
But while most of the field does not have a chance at winning the title anymore, there is still plenty at play.
Building up momentum for 2020 is one of these things.
While some drivers have a very small chance at winning the race, picking up a top 3 or top 5 finish is equally important.
These five drivers offer good value for a potential top 3 or top 5 result.
How to Watch 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
1. Ryan Newman
Winner Odds: +10000
Top 3: +2500
Newman is already out of the playoff race, but he could still score a good finish to close out the season.
The Roush Fenway driver has two top 5 finishes in six postseason races, compared to a single one in 26 regular season starts.
He nearly won at Talladega, finishing a very close second to Ryan Blaney.
Newman won at Martinsville back in 2012 and has an average finish of 14.94 at the track, ninth-best among active drivers.
His eight top 5 finishes, on the other hand, are good enough for fourth.
2. Jimmie Johnson
Winner Odds: +3500
Top 3: +900
Jimmie Johnson is third in the all-time winners’ list at Martinsville with nine victories.
That alone makes it worth picking the seven-time champion for a top 5 finish.
Johnson, however, failed to score a single top 10 in the last five starts since his most recent Martinsville win.
The Hendrick Motorsports driver has shown some improvement in this year’s playoffs, finishing five times inside the top 10.
Johnson also holds the best stats at Martinsville among active drivers by a significant margin.
He has an average finish of 8.49, 19 top 5 finishes, 24 top 10 finishes, and 2,863 laps led, more than 1,300 ahead of the second-best mark.
3. Clint Bowyer
Winner Odds: +2500
Top 3: +600
Bowyer snapped a winless streak of six years at Martinsville last year.
The Cup Series veteran had a dominant run, leading 215 laps.
Since joining Stewart-Haas in 2017, Bowyer has only missed out on the top 10 once in five Martinsville starts.
He also scored a third-place and two seventh-place finishes to go along with his 2018 win.
Bowyer currently holds the sixth-best average finish at Martinsville among active drivers.
He also ranks sixth in top 5 finishes, fifth in top 10s and seventh in laps led.
His 2019 season is over as far as the title battle is concerned, but a good result here could build up some confidence for 2020.
4. Kurt Busch
Winner Odds: +3300
Top 3: +800
The elder Busch is a two-time winner at Martinsville.
After capturing his first win in 2002, he repeated the feat more than a decade later, in 2014.
Busch’s performance at Martinsville, however, is as on-and-off as it gets.
While he is one of only five active drivers with multiple wins at Martinsville, his overall record isn’t particularly good.
The Chip Ganassi driver has only managed to score six top 10 finishes in 38 starts.
He only has one more top 5 finish aside from his two wins.
This pick is a bit risky, but Busch’s 2019 form could lead to a good result this weekend.
5. Ryan Blaney
Winner Odds: +1400
Top 3: +350
After scoring a surprising win at Talladega and securing a spot in the Round of 8, Blaney has some additional motivation heading into Martinsville.
Martinsville has been a very good track for the Team Penske driver.
Blaney has three top 10 finishes in his last four starts at the Paper Clip.
He led 145 laps and won the second stage in the March 2018 race, scoring a career-best third-place finish.
Blaney finished fourth at Martinsville earlier this year, having also scored a second place in stage 2.
2019 First Data 500 Odds
|Martin Truex Jr.||+500||+550||+500|