There’ll not be any talk of rules bundle, changes, horsepower or drafting in this week’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
The smallest track on the NASCAR schedule at just a half-mile produces tight racing and close competition just because of its quarters.
Drivers require a particular skill set to succeed at the historic path. But patience and a cool head through a 500-lap, nearly four-hour mill is also paramount to win the race or complete well.
For people who like NASCAR gambling, here are six motorists to look at financing in Sunday’s STP 500.
Kyle Busch (+200)
It is likely going to be some time before Busch is not regarded as a popular at any course on the Cup circuit. He’s off to some red-hot start, and it has won two races in a row.
His Automobile Club Speedway success a week ago was his 200th career NASCAR national series triumph. Busch has a series of seven consecutive Martinsville top-10 finishes including wins at the 2016 spring race and 2017 autumn race. Bet Busch to acquire at +200 and -200 to finish 1st-3rd with SugarHouse at New Jersey.
Brad Keselowski (+500)
Keselowski has finished in the top-10 seven out of the past eight Martinsville races and won there in the 2017 spring race.
In the past 10 races at the course, the Team Penske driver has led the third-most laps in 427. Bet him to triumph at +500 and +125 to complete 1st-3rd with 888Sport in New Jersey.
Joey Logano (+600)
Martinsville was a controversial location for Logano over time, such as last October when he made contact with Martin Truex Jr. over the previous turn of the last lap to have the lead and the win.
But Logano is also one of the strongest drivers at the track and has led 825 laps in its own previous 10 races (second most) including 309 ahead of the field last fall. Bet him to triumph at +600 and +150 to finish 1st-3rd with 888Sport.
Martin Truex Jr. (+600)
Truex, fresh at Joe Gibbs Racing this season, hasn’t forgotten how things ended last year with Logano and might have revenge on his mind.
The 2017 series champion hasn’t won a short track race in his Cup career but has been at the top-five the previous three Martinsville outings. Bet Truex Jr. to win +600 and +150 to finish 1st-3rd with SugarHouse.
Clint Bowyer (+1000)
He finished a long drought in last spring’s Martinsville race when he dominated by leading 215 laps and took the checkered flag.
Bowyer has fought this season but is considered among the best short-track racers in the show as he demonstrated again one year ago. Bet Bowyer to triumph +1000 and +250 to complete 1st-3rd with 888Sport.
Denny Hamlin (+1000)
The Virginia native considers Martinsville a house track and had thousands of laps under his belt at 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 that advanced into the final round failed to find a formal lap on the plank. The dozen all waited till the very last second to benefit from the higher rates in 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 place may be the most critical region of the weekend.
A whopping 21 drivers have won from the pole during Martinsville’s lengthy history. Given the tight quarters and difficulty passing, especially during long green-flag runs, monitor position is essential. A total of 65 Cup race winners have come from the first four starting places.
Pit stops and pit stall positioning can also be critical. Look for teams close to the front four or five stalls, allowing easy access to get back on track in tight quarters, to have an advantage.
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