There’ll be no discussion of principles package, changes, horsepower or construction in this week’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
The smallest track on the NASCAR schedule at just a half-mile creates tight racing and close competition simply because of its quarters.
Drivers need a certain skill set to be successful in the historic path. But patience and a cool head through a 500-lap, nearly four-hour mill can also be paramount to win the race or finish well.
For those who like NASCAR gambling, here are six motorists to look at backing in Sunday’s STP 500.
Kyle Busch (+200)
It’s likely going to be a while before Busch isn’t regarded as a popular at any course on the Cup circuit. He is off to a red-hot start and has won two races in a row.
His Automobile Club Speedway victory a week back was his 200th career NASCAR national series win. Busch has a series of seven consecutive Martinsville top-10 finishes such as wins at the 2016 spring race and 2017 autumn race. Bet Busch to win at +200 and -200 to finish 1st-3rd with SugarHouse in New Jersey.
Brad Keselowski (+500)
Keselowski has ended in the top-10 seven out of the previous eight Martinsville races and won there at the 2017 spring race.
In the past ten races in the course, the Team Penske driver has led the third-most laps in 427. Bet him to win at +500 and +125 to finish 1st-3rd with 888Sport in New Jersey.
Joey Logano (+600)
Martinsville has been a contentious place for Logano over the years, such as last October when he made contact with Martin Truex Jr. over the last turn of the final lap to have the lead and the win.
However, Logano is also one of the strongest drivers at the track and has led 825 laps in its previous 10 races (second most) for example 309 before the area last fall. Bet him to win +600 and +150 to finish 1st-3rd with 888Sport.
Martin Truex Jr. (+600)
Truex, new at Joe Gibbs Racing this year, hasn’t forgotten how things ended last year with Logano and might have revenge in his thoughts.
The 2017 series winner has never won a brief track race in his Cup career but has been at the top-five the previous three Martinsville outings. Bet Truex Jr. to win at +600 and +150 to finish 1st-3rd with SugarHouse.
Clint Bowyer (+1000)
He finished a lengthy drought in last spring’s Martinsville race when he dominated by top 215 laps and took the checkered flag.
Bowyer has fought this year but is considered among the best short-track racers from the series as he demonstrated again 1 year ago. Bet Bowyer to win at +1000 and +250 to complete 1st-3rd with 888Sport.
Denny Hamlin (+1000)
The Virginia native believes Martinsville a house monitor and had tens of thousands of laps under his belt in regional racing at the track before he migrated to NASCAR’s top level.
He is a five-time Martinsville winner and snuck around the Logano vs. Truex final-lap dust-up last November to finish se cond. Bet Hamlin to win at +1000 and +250 to complete 1st-3rd with SugarHouse.
2019 STP 500 Betting Tip
Last week’s qualifying session was a non-event: 12 drivers who advanced to the last round failed to find a formal lap on the plank. The dozen waited until the very last second to take advantage of the higher rates from the draft and miscalculated.
That will not happen this week in Martinsville given the design and the lack of drafting. Qualifying and receiving a high starting spot may be the most crucial region of the weekend.
A whopping 21 drivers have won from the pole during Martinsville’s lengthy history. Given that the tight quarters and difficulty passing, particularly during extended green-flag runs, track position is key. A total of 65 Cup race winners have come from the first four starting spots.
Pit stops and pit stall positioning can also be critical. Look for teams close to the front five or four stalls, allowing easy accessibility to get back on track in tight quarters, to have an edge.
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