There will be no talk of rules package, changes, horsepower or drafting in this week’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
The smallest track on the NASCAR program at just a half-mile creates tight racing and close contest just due to its close quarters.
Drivers need a particular skill set to be successful in the historic path. But patience and a cool head through a 500-lap, almost four-hour mill is also paramount to win the race or finish well.
For those who enjoy NASCAR betting, here are six motorists to consider backing in Sunday’s STP 500.
Kyle Busch (+200)
It’s probably going to be a while before Busch is not considered a popular at any course on the Cup circuit. He is off to some red-hot start, and it has won two races in a row.
His Automobile Club Speedway success a week back was his 200th career NASCAR national series triumph. Busch has a series of seven straight Martinsville top-10 finishes including wins in the 2016 spring race and 2017 autumn race. Bet Busch to win at +200 and -200 to complete 1st-3rd with SugarHouse in New Jersey.
Brad Keselowski (+500)
Keselowski has finished 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 headed the third-most laps at 427. Bet him to triumph +500 and +125 to finish 1st-3rd with 888Sport in New Jersey.
Joey Logano (+600)
Martinsville was a controversial place for Logano over time, such as last October when he made contact with Martin Truex Jr. over the last turn of the last lap to have the lead and the win.
But Logano is also among the strongest drivers at the track and has directed 825 laps at its past 10 races (second most) including 309 ahead of the field last fall. Bet him to win at +600 and +150 to finish 1st-3rd with 888Sport.
Martin Truex Jr. (+600)
Truex, fresh at Joe Gibbs Racing this year, has not forgotten how things ended last year with Logano and might have revenge on his mind.
The 2017 series winner hasn’t 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 complete 1st-3rd with SugarHouse.
Clint Bowyer (+1000)
He ended 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 from the series as he demonstrated again one 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 home track and had tens of thousands of laps under his belt at regional racing at the track before he migrated to NASCAR’s top level.
He’s a five-time Martinsville winner and snuck around the Logano vs. Truex final-lap dust-up last November to complete se cond. Bet Hamlin to triumph at +1000 and +250 to finish 1st-3rd with SugarHouse.
2019 STP 500 Betting Tip
Last week’s qualifying session was a non-event: 12 drivers that advanced into the last round failed to find an official lap on the board. The dozen waited until the very last minute to take advantage of the higher rates in the draft and miscalculated.
That will not happen this week in Martinsville given the layout and the lack of drafting. Qualifying and getting a top starting spot might be the most critical region of the weekend.
A whopping 21 drivers have won from the pole throughout Martinsville’s long history. Given the tight quarters and problem passing, particularly during long 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 is also critical. Search for teams close to the front five or four stalls, permitting easy accessibility to get back on track in tight quarters, to have an edge.
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