2019 Martinsville Speedway, STP 500

Wasn’t that a great qualifying session at California last week followed by an exciting race? In the last round none of the drivers got a time as none of them completed their lap on time. So far this year the racing and qualifying have stunk it up in my opinion. I wonder how far NASCAR is going to let it go before they lose a bunch of their fan base? Do we really want to waste our time watching when there are only two cars within nine-seconds of the winner?

STP 500

After three weeks out west the series heads back east to the Martinsville Speedway
for the running of the STP 500. Martinsville is the shortest track on the circuit and this is the shortest race of the season. This is a very flat track and qualifying is very important here because this is how teams select their pit stalls. With this track being so short there are pit stalls all the way around the track. When the race starts those at the back of the pack will be almost a half a lap behind and they can get lapped in a hurry. If you have a problem during the race and have to pit under green you are going to lose multiple laps and will fight the rest of the day to get them back.

Kyle Busch
Kyle is my pick to win the race this week at Martinsville. He finished second in this race last season and won the fall race in 2017. He has started in the top five in the last seven races he started here and has led 937 laps in those seven races. He is one of the most consistent drivers at this track lately.

Denny Hamlin
Denny is another driver who usually runs well at this track. In his last nine starts here he has led laps in every race except one. He finished second here last fall and has six top ten finishes in his last nine starts. He is a good group B driver to have on your roster this week.

Jimmie Johnson
Jimmie leads all active drivers with nine wins and has led 2863 laps here in his career. That is almost twice as many as any other active driver. However, he has struggled a bit here lately with only two top ten finishes in his last nine starts. One of those was a win back in the fall of the 2016 season. I think Jimmie has a better chance of running well on the short tracks than the intermediate tracks at this point of the season.

Brad Keselowski
Brad is on a streak of six straight top ten finishes at Martinsville and five of those have been top five finishes including his lone win at this track in April of the 2017 season. This team has looked sharp in every race so far this season. I think he should be on your team once again this week.

Joey Logano
Joey won the race here last fall and has an impressive streak of starting in the top ten here twelve straight races including four poles. The Penske teams are by far the most consistent across the board so far this year. Another stat for Joey at this track is that he has led laps in nine of his last ten starts. He will probably do it all again.

Martin Truex Jr.
Martin is another driver who is streaking at Martinsville. In his last eight races here, Martin has started in the top three six times, finished in the top ten six times and led laps in six of those races. He is still looking for his first short track win in his career and has been very consistent all season.

Clint Bowyer
Clint won this race last season and has been better on the short tracks than the intermediate tracks in his career. Since joining Stewart-Haas Racing Clint has finished in the top ten in three of his four races at this track. I think he rebounds from a rough week in California and is a contender in this week’s race.

Kevin Harvick
This is not one of Kevin’s best tracks to run on. In thirty-five starts he has one win, and five top five finishes. Although he might not get a lot of top five finishes here, he does get a lot of top ten finishes with seventeen of them in his thirty-five starts. I just think there are better tracks to use his starts at.

Chase Elliott: Chase has gotten better and better here in his short career. He has finished in the top ten in three of his last four starts at this track. I think the short tracks offer better chances for the Hendrick teams to win races at this point of the season as it doesn’t seem like they have a handle on the new aero package yet.

Ryan Blaney: Ryan led 145 laps in this race last year and came away with a third place finish. This team has had good short run speed this season, but haven’t been able to maintain it like his teammates have. This will all come with better communication and a better understanding of the new aero package. This race will be totally different and I look for Ryan to run with the leaders most of the day.

DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY

Driver Group Game Group A

  • Kyle Busch
  • Joey Logano

Driver Group Game Group B

  • Denny Hamlin
  • Clint Bowyer
  • Jimmie Johnson
  • Ryan Newman

Driver Group Game Group C

  • Ty Dillon
  • Chris Buescher

MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY

  1. Kyle Busch
  2. Denny Hamlin
  3. Joey Logano
  4. Brad Keselowski
  5. Martin Truex Jr.

Dark Horse: Ryan Newman

Stay Away From: William Byron

Big 18: Denny Hamlin

35 thoughts on “2019 Martinsville Speedway, STP 500

  1. Good thing I didn’t use Newman this week as he’s your dark horse at Martinsville. As a back-up, who do you like and who would would you stay away from out of #21, 88, and 95?

    1. I like the 21 for his experience here. I would definitely stay away from the 95 as he has never run well here.

    2. Dark horse isnt a bad thing its a good thing means sleeper pick noone will predict or see coming so start newman hes consistently good

  2. I always make my picks for a race and then go check out what you have…….this week I picked the exact same lineup as you!

    Thanks for all the help up in Canada!

    1. Like Joe says. You pick one driver every week and get his points for that race. The catch is you can only use each driver twice. 36 races, 18 drivers, Big 18.

    1. Only 2 top tens in his last 26 starts at Martinsville. However, he has been running very well this year. I just think there are better tracks to use him at.

    1. Hmmmm. It was supposed to say the fall race in 2017 for Kyle. Now how could that have happened. I guess yours truly really messed that one up. Thanks for setting me straight. I have the article updated.

  3. The C group is tough this year and was thinking of ways to save starts. What do you think of the 47 this week? His numbers in xfinity at loudon and the road courses are pretty good.

    1. Yes thats a great question and was looking at the same thing about the #47,And Jeff what would be your Top 5 C drivers for this week?

    2. He has won here in the past in a different series and that tells us he does know how to get around this track. The question is, will he be able to do it and stay out of trouble in this series without a lot of experience. He is definitely worth taking a chance on here.

  4. May I ask where your from in Wisconsin? I’m originally from FDL. And of course, thanks for your help all year.

    1. Kyle Larson only has one top ten finish here in his ten career starts. Not a great pick here in my opinion.

  5. How much stock do you put in practice and qualifying ? I was wondering if I should pivot away from Newman to Menard. Thoughts ?

    1. Well, Menard had a faster one lap speed than Newman, but Newman was faster on a 10 lap run. I like to look at the 10 lap averages and starting positions when I decide who to start. The long run speeds are what we are looking for in a race. I still like Newman over Menard this week.

    1. The 19 had the best 10 lap average in the final practice and has been slightly better than Harvick consistency wise so far this year.
      The 14 had the second best 10 lap average in the final practice. He really runs well here.
      The 47 has won here in the past in anther series. He starts ahead of the 8 and had a better 10 lap average in the final practice.

  6. Got to think almost do or die for Jimmie today. A win today could turn around this pitiful year-and-a-half for him. Almost can consider him a DarkHorse!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *