There will not be any talk of principles 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 produces tight racing and intimate competition simply because of its quarters.
Drivers need a certain skill set to be successful at the historic track. But patience and a cool head through a 500-lap, almost four-hour grind can also be paramount to win the race or complete well.
For those who like NASCAR gambling, here are six drivers to consider financing in Sunday’s STP 500.
Kyle Busch (+200)
It’s likely going to be some time before Busch isn’t regarded as a popular at any course on the Cup circuit. He is off to a red-hot start, and it has won two races in a row.
His Automobile Club Speedway victory a week back was his 200th career NASCAR national series triumph. Busch has a streak of seven consecutive Martinsville top-10 finishes such as wins in 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 from the top-10 seven out of the previous eight Martinsville races and won there in the 2017 spring race.
In the past 10 races at the track, the Team Penske driver has led the third-most laps in 427. Bet him to win at +500 and +125 to complete 1st-3rd with 888Sport in New Jersey.
Joey Logano (+600)
Martinsville has been a controversial location for Logano over the years, including last October when he made contact with Martin Truex Jr. over the last turn of the final lap to get the lead and the win.
But Logano is also among the strongest drivers at the track, and it has directed 825 laps at its own previous 10 races (second most) including 309 before the area last fall. Bet him to win +600 and +150 to complete 1st-3rd with 888Sport.
Martin Truex Jr. (+600)
Truex, fresh at Joe Gibbs Racing this year, hasn’t forgotten how things ended last year with Logano and might have revenge on his thoughts.
The 2017 series champion hasn’t won a brief track race in his Cup career but has been in the top-five the previous three Martinsville outings. Bet Truex Jr. to succeed +600 and +150 to finish 1st-3rd with SugarHouse.
Clint Bowyer (+1000)
He ended a lengthy drought in last spring’s Martinsville race when he dominated by leading 215 laps and took the checkered flag.
Bowyer has struggled early this year but is considered one of the very best short-track racers from the show as he proved again 1 year ago. Bet Bowyer to win at +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’s a five-time Martinsville winner and snuck across the Logano vs. Truex final-lap dust-up last November to finish se cond. Bet Hamlin to triumph +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 who advanced to the final round failed to get an official lap on the plank. The dozen waited till the very last second to take advantage of the higher speeds in the draft and miscalculated.
That won’t happen this week at Martinsville given the design and the dearth of drafting. Qualifying and receiving a high starting place might be the most crucial part 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 extended green-flag runs, monitor position is key. A total of 65 Cup race winners have come from the first four starting places.
Pit stops and pit booth placement is also crucial. Search for teams close to the front four or five stalls, allowing easy accessibility to get back on the right track in tight quarters, to have an edge.
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