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Fantasy NASCAR Recommendations for 2011 Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway

Posted by chadmusselman on October 24, 2011

Only four races left in the season and the top five in the standings are separated by only 26 points.  It looks like NASCAR will get their wish with the new points system and have several drivers with a shot at winning going into the final race at Homestead.  Unfortunately for Jimmie Johnson his 26th place finish last week may have been the nail in the coffin on his hopes of winning his sixth championship in a row.  That doesn’t mean he won’t run hard this weekend at Martinsville and try to make it interesting.

We all know Martinsville brings tight racing with lots of passing and action.  This will be another race that the chasers have to avoid trouble; even if it’s started by someone on the other side of the track.  It doesn’t take long for wrecks to happen and drivers to get their fenders banged up or cut a tire by running over debris.

This Week’s Recommendations

Chaser: Jimmie Johnson
Johnson may not win his sixth title this season, but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s the best driver at Martinsville.  Jeff Gordon has more wins (7) than Johnson (6), but Johnson has won his in only 19 races at the track.  Along with those six wins he has finished in the top five 13 times and top ten 17 times.  His average finish of 5.6 is also best among active drivers.  Is Johnson done, and not motivated to finish the season strong?  I don’t think so.  He should be pushing harder than ever to get another win in Martinsville.

Alternate Chaser: Jeff Gordon
If Jimmie Johnson is the best at Martinsville, then Jeff Gordon has to be second best.  His seven wins are most at the track, and his 7th place average finish is third best among active drivers.  In 37 races Gordon has 30 top ten and 24 top five finishes here.  It’s ridiculous really.  He only has four finishes outside of the top 15 at the track and only two outside of the top 25.  Even when he has a bad day it’s better than a lot of drivers on a good day.  He may not be able to win the title this year, but there is no doubt he can win the race this weekend.

Mark Martin
Martin has finished in the top ten in four of the last five races in Martinsville.  He’s sporting an average finish of 13th place over his 47 race career at the track.  Along with two wins, Martin also has 12 top five and 25 top ten finishes.  He hasn’t shown much in recent races finishing outside of the top ten in four of the last five this season, but Martin knows this track well.  He should contend for a top ten and improve his 19th place point standings.  He’s a better driver than what has been shown over the past month.

Clint Bowyer
Bowyer is coming off of his first win of the season and should be feeling good about himself.  He has finished in the top ten in three of the last four races and four of the last six this season.  Bowyer has had moderate success at Martinsville with a top five and six top ten finishes in 11 career races.  He’s 13th in points, and had he made the chase we’d be talking about him hanging with the big boys contending for the title.  Give Bowyer credit, he’s done well and looks like he will finish the season strong and hopefully hang on to 13th position.

Dark Horse: Joey Logano
Logano has only raced in Martinsville five times, but outside of his first race here when he finished 32nd, he’s always been in the top 13, which happens to be his average finish at the track.  He hasn’t had a top ten finish since way back at Watkins Glen, so Logano is past due.  This could be the race that he gets his 7th top ten of the season.

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