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Posts Tagged ‘Martinsville Speedway’

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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Fantasy NASCAR Recommendations for 2011 Goody’s Relief 500 at Martinsville

Posted by chadmusselman on March 28, 2011

The 6th race of the season will be in Martinsville, Virginia.  This is the race where the 2011 standings start to matter and the top 35 are guaranteed a starting position, and the others who want to race have to earn their way in by qualifying.  This is also the week that I have to look at the 2011 standings to make my recommendations.  The Dark Horse pick now must be outside of the top 15 in the 2011 standings and not have made the chase last season.

Want to talk about domination at a track?  The last 9 races have been won by only two drivers.  Want to guess who they are?  …. It’s Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin.  Johnson has won 5 and Hamlin has won 4.  Pretty impressive.

This Week’s Recommendations:

Chaser: Denny Hamlin
To put it in poker terms, Denny Hamlin has been sick at Martinsville over the past couple years.  He has won the last three races here and four of the last six.  The only time he’s finished outside of the top ten was back in 2006 when he finished 37th.  Hamlin has a remarkable record at Martinsville.  In eleven career races he has accumulated four wins, eight top five and ten top ten finishes.  His average finish of 6.1 is second best to only Jimmie Johnson.  As much as Jimmie Johnson was a no brainer last week, Denny is a no brainer this week.

Alternate Chaser: Jimmie Johnson
If you thought Hamlin’s numbers were gaudy check out Jimmie Johnson’s.  18 career races with 17 top ten and 15 top five finishes.  He has also won 6 races at the track and owns the best average finish among active drivers (5.3).  The only time Johnson has finished outside of the top ten was in his first race at the track back in 2002.  Hamlin should be the only driver that can challenge him for the win.  If you don’t put one of them on your fantasy NASCAR team this weekend, you’re nuts.

Mark Martin
Martin has finished in the top ten in three of the last four races in Martinsville.  This will be his 47th race at the track, so there is no other driver that knows the track better.  Martin finds himself 13th in points currently and will be working to get his way back into the top ten and look to stay there.  That push should start this coming weekend.  He is a good driver and is always a contender for a top ten or top five finish.

Ryan Newman
Like Mart Martin, Ryan Newman has three top ten finishes in the last four races here.  He’s also been hot in 2011 averaging a 9.4 place finish in the first five races.  Although Newman doesn’t have a win yet in Martinsville, he has collected six top five finishes and finished 2nd once.  It looks like this could be the year that Newman puts it together and starts winning races again.  He should be a contender every week and be able to make the chase again this season.

Dark Horse: Joey Logano
I’m going out on a limb picking Logano as the dark horse this week.  He’s in one of the bottom 10 drivers in average finish position (25.4) and is in 29th place in the standings.  The good news is that Logano has had some success at Martinsville.   Last year he had finishes of 2nd and 6th, and is averaging a 13th place finish at the track in his 4 career races.  This could be the race that Logano starts to dig himself out of the cellar.  If he doesn’t, it could be a very long season.

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Driver Recommendations for 2010 TUMS Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway

Posted by chadmusselman on October 18, 2010

We’re half way through the chase and there is now only two drivers that have a realistic chance of taking the point lead away from Jimmie Johnson.  Denny Hamlin is 41 points behind and Kevin Harvick is 77 points back.  Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch, and Tony Stewart find themselves more than 150 points back and would need a minor miracle to get back into contention.  The other thing going against the field is that Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin are, by far, the best drivers at Martinsville.  Look for Jimmie to keep his 41 point lead over Denny, but at the same time those two will probably separate themselves from the rest of the field even more.

This Weeks’ Recommendations:

Chaser: Jimmie Johnson
Why keep Jimmie on your team yet again this week?  Because he’s Jimmie Johnson and in 17 career races at Martinsville he has 16 top ten finishes, 12 top five finishes, and 6 wins.  He’s averaging a 5.4 place finish at Martinsville; 5.4!  How amazing is that?  He’s also averaging better than a 7th place finish over the past five races of the season.  You’d be silly not to keep him on your team.

Alternate Chaser: Denny Hamlin
Denny doesn’t have quite the record at Martinsville as Jimmie, but he’s dang good.  In 10 career races he has 9 top ten finishes, 7 top five finishes, 3 wins, and an average finish of 6.6.  Those numbers alone are impressive and good enough to have him be your chaser this week; if Jimmie didn’t have better numbers.  But, if you want to go against the popular vote, then Denny is your driver.

Ryan Newman
Ryan has finished in the top ten at Martinsville in three of the last four races here.  He’s also averaging a 13.4 place finish in 17 career races with 9 top ten and 6 top five finishes.  Those aren’t bad numbers and should be proof enough that he can get a good finish and collect a lot of points for you this weekend.

Jamie McMurray
Jamie has been hot lately, averaging a 9th place finish over the last five races.  It’s time to put him on your team, ride his hot streak, and earn some points.  Plus, he does have 9 top ten finishes in 15 career races at Martinsville, so he has a good chance for that hot steak to continue.

Dark Horse: Joey Logano
Joey has only raced at Martinsville three times in his career, but in the last two he’s finished 2nd and 12th.  Joey doesn’t appear to be the phenom that Joe Gibbs thought would challenge for the championship every year, but he’s becoming a solid driver that will have a good chance to make the chase in years to come.  With that, put him on your team and give him a chance to earn you some points.

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Driver Recommendations for 2010 Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway

Posted by chadmusselman on March 22, 2010

MartinsvilleThe other short track is up next.  Martinsville is another ½ mile track, but that’s where the similarities to Bristol stop.  Martinsville is shaped like a paperclip with longer straight-aways and shorter, tighter turns.  This will be the first week that the cars are going back to the traditional spoiler and not that stupid wing they had on the back.  I don’t know how that will affect the cars’ handling, but I guess we’ll find out come Sunday.

This Week’s Recommendations:

Chaser: Jimmie Johnson
What else can be said about Jimmie?  He’s the best driver in NASCAR, there’s no one that compares.  Jimmie is off to a hot start to 2010, winning 3 of the first 5 races.  His record at Martinsville is ridiculous.  15 top tens, 12 top fives, and 6 wins in 16 career races with an average finish of 5.1.  By the way, his worst finish of 35th was in 2002, his first race at Martinsville.  There is no way you can keep Jimmie off of you team this week.

Alternate Chaser: Jeff Gordon
If for some reason you can’t have Jimmie on your team, you need to pick Jeff.  In his 34 career races he has 28 top tens, 22 top fives, and 7 wins with an average finish of 6.8.  Jeff isn’t off to a great start to 2010, but he has 14 consecutive top tens here, so look for this to be the week that Jeff turns up the heat and makes a run to get into the top 10.

Clint Bowyer
Clint was off to a solid start to the 2010 season before his 40th place finish at Bristol which sent him down to 12th in the points chase.  He does have a pretty good record at Martinsville in his career.  He doesn’t have a win, but has finished in the top ten in 4 of the last 5 races and is averaging a 13.5 place finish in 8 career races at the track; good enough for 7th best among active drivers. 

Dale Earnhardt Jr.
I’m not a Dale Earnhardt Jr. fan, but he looks like a pretty good pick this week.  He’s off to a good start to the season, sitting 8th in points.  He’s had an average finish of 14.4 so far this season, and an average finish of 14.1 place finish in his career at Martinsville.  Dale doesn’t have a win in Martinsville, but does have 8 top fives and 10 top tens in 20 career races.

Dark horse: Bobby Labonte
This was a tough week to choose a dark horse since there are five chasers from 2009 outside of the top 15, and I can’t pick them as dark horses.  Bobby is definitely a dark horse.  He hasn’t had a good season since 2004, and hasn’t finished in the top ten at Martinsville since 2006.  Why do I recommend him on your team?  Well, to tell the truth, I wouldn’t if I didn’t have to pick a dark horse for the race.  He did perform OK in the races here last year finishing 13th and 16th, so it’s not out of the question for him to get a top 15 finish.

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