Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 Betting News and Notes

Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 Betting News and Notes

Martinsville Speedway Data

Season Race #: 33 of 36 (10-27-13)
Chase Race #: 7
Track Size: 0.526-mile
Banking/Turn 1 & 2: 12 degrees
Banking/Turn 3 & 4: 12 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 0 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 0 degrees
Frontstretch Length: 800 feet
Backstretch Length: 800 feet
Race Length: 500 laps / 263 miles

Top 13 Driver Rating at Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson 123.8
Jeff Gordon 120.7
Denny Hamlin 111.6
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 98.8
Tony Stewart 98.5
Kyle Busch 96.6
Kevin Harvick 92.6
Clint Bowyer 91.9
Ryan Newman 88.5
Brad Keselowski 87.4
Jeff Burton 87.3
Mark Martin 85.8
Jamie McMurray 84.1

Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (17 total) among active drivers at Martinsville Speedway.

Qualifying/Race Data

2012 pole winner: Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 97.598 mph, 19.402 secs. 10-26-12
2012 race winner: Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 77.677 mph, (03:23:09), 10-28-12
Track qualifying record: Tony Stewart, Chevrolet, 98.083 mph, 19.306 secs. 10-21-05
Track race record: Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet, 82.223 mph, (3:11:55), 09-22-96

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Re: Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 Betting News and Notes

Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500
By Micah Roberts
VegasInsider.com

Jimmie Johnson is home free for his sixth NASCAR Sprint Cup Title, according to updated odds posted at the LVH Super Book where Johnson is an overwhelming 1/3 favorite (Bet $300 to win $100) over second place Matt Kenseth (2/1). Four races still remain before the champion is crowned and Johnson is sitting atop the standings for the first time during the Chase with a slim four-point lead.

Last week at Talladega, Johnson was able to lead the most laps while finishing 13th and gained his separation in points when Kenseth finished 20th. Talladega was a wild card where anything can happen, but Kenseth can’t be happy with his finish. He was running up front most of the race, and to finish that poorly without wrecking will be race Kenseth points to as the one where he lost the championship if Johnson should be holding the big trophy next month.

Speaking of big trophies, Johnson’s trophy case may have had to been expanded just because of all his Martinsville trophies. They don’t hand out normal trophies for winning races there. No, they have the tradition of giving out giant grandfather clocks to the winner and in the first race held there this season in April, Johnson took home his eighth grand-daddy clock, the most among all active drivers.

It’s this weeks race at Martinsville that is the key component in Johnson being such a large favorite despite having such a small point lead. Johnson has dominated Martinsville like no one else in the series while the half-mile flat track hasn’t necessarily been Kenseth’s best. In 27 Martinsville starts, Kenseth doesn’t have a win and has finished in the top-5 only three times.

For Johnson, this isn’t a place like Charlotte where most of his wins came seven to eight years ago, and is shadow of his former self there. He is currently on his dominant Martinsville streak winning the past two races there. In April, he led five times for a race high 346 laps. Ironically, Kenseth had one of his better runs at Martinsville, leading three times for 96 laps, but settled for a 14th-place finish. It was Johnson who passed Kenseth with 37 laps to go to take the lead for good.

Jeff Gordon’s 14th-place finish at Talladega last week didn’t do him any favor in the Chase. He’s fifth-place in the standings, 36-points behind Johnson, and the LVH has him 30/1 to win his fifth Sprint Cup title. If Johnson should slip for whatever reason at Martinsville -- chances are slim -- Gordon will be the driver to benefit most because he’s sure to be within the top-5 like he is every race.

Gordon has seven wins at Martinsville, the last coming in a 2005 sweep, just before his teammate Johnson started hogging all the wins. In his last 20 starts, he’s averaged a fifth-place finish, second only to Johnson’s sick 3.7 average. In 41 career starts, Gordon has 26 top-5 finishes. Is it really that easy? As Kenseth can attest to, it really isn’t that easy.

The closest driver near the same plateau as Johnson and Gordon at Martinsville is Virginia native Denny Hamlin who will be going for his fifth grandfather clock. Hamlin missed the first race held at Martinsville due to a broken back caused by a payback hit at Fontana by Joey Logano. When Hamlin initially came back after missing four races, he looked as though he hadn’t missed a beat by finishing second at Darlington on May 11 and fourth at Charlotte on May 26, but those would be his last top-5 finishes of the season, a span of 20 races coming into this week.

Hamlin didn’t forget how to drive fast over that span, it’s more a matter of the team using his car as a test dummy for Toyota since he his season finish has no bearing on anything. But things might be different this week as the Joe Gibbs Racing team tries to figure out a way to make Kenseth better at Martinsville. While that will be hard to do, JGR could benefit themselves greatly by keeping Johnson from winning and gaining maximum points by giving Hamlin a real car this week. If Hamlin has the goods, he could lead the most laps and get the win, which indirectly would help Kenseth.

I’ll buy that scenario and roll with Hamlin.

Top-5 Finish Prediction:

1) #11 Denny Hamlin (10/1)
2) #24 Jeff Gordon (6/1)
3) #48 Jimmie Johnson (9/2)
4) #18 Kyle Busch (6/1)
5) #15 Clint Bowyer (12/1)

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Re: Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 Betting News and Notes

Driver Handicaps: Martinsville
By: Jeff Wackerlin
Racingone.com

To assist in making your fantasy racing picks, MRN.com's Jeff Wackerlin breaks down all the stats and information to help steer you toward Sunday's Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 Powered by Kroger at Martinsville Speedway.

Who's HOT at Martinsville

• Jimmie Johnson, who is coming off his eighth win, leads all drivers with a 5.3 average finish.
• Seven-time winner Jeff Gordon leads all drivers in top 10s (33) and laps led (3,515).
• Clint Bowyer, Kyle Busch and Kasey Kahne each have posted a 3.5 average finish in the last two races.
• Brad Keselowski has finished in the top 10 in the last three races.
• After missing the spring race due to injury, Denny Hamlin will look to turn his season around at a track where he's finished in the top 10 in 11 of the last 13 races, including four wins.

Who to Keep an Eye On at Martinsville

• Mark Martin - making first track start with Stewart-Haas Racing - has finished in the top 10 in five of his last seven starts at Martinsville.
• Richard Childress Racing (Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick and Paul Menard), Roush Fenway Racing
(Greg Biffle, Carl Edwards and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.), Penske Racing (Keselowski and Joey Logano)
and Furniture Row Racing (Kurt Busch) each tested at Martinsville earlier this month.
• Harvick has posted one win and an average finish of 13.8 in his last five Martinsville starts.
• Biffle has finished in the top 10 in his last two starts.
• Matt Kenseth led 96 laps in his first Martinsville start with Joe Gibbs Racing in the spring.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. has posted seven top 10s, including two runner-up finishes, in 11 starts at Martinsville with Hendrick Motorsports.
• Ryan Newman has scored five top 10s, including one win, in nine starts at Martinsville with Stewart-Haas Racing.
• Elliott Sadler will be in Michael Waltrip Racing's No. 55 Toyota this weekend and Kyle Larson (tested at Martinsville) will make his first track start and the second of his Sprint Cup career.
• Aric Almirola has posted a 10.7 average finish in his last three starts at Martinsville.
• Jamie McMurray (seventh) and Marcos Ambrose (eighth) were among the top-10 finishers in the first race at Martinsville with the Gen-6 car in the spring.
• Danica Patrick finished 12th in the spring at Martinsville - her best career finish on a non-
restrictor-plate track.  Patrick will return in the same car she drove in April from the rear of
the field after an engine change.

MRN.com Staff Picks

Jeff Wackerlin: Kevin Harvick
Pete Pistone: Jimmie Johnson
Dustin Long: Denny Hamlin
John Singler: Jamie McMurray

Top 20 Driver Notes - Ordered by current standings


(All stats/notes are in regards to Martinsville unless noted)

Jimmie Johnson: Led a race-high 346 laps in the spring en route to his eighth win; Best average finish (4.5) in the last 10 races; Best driver rating (122.8) in the last 17 races; Second among all drivers in laps led (2,327); Will return in the chassis (No. 749) that he won the last two Martinsville races with and combined to lead 539 laps.

Matt Kenseth: Led 96 laps and finished 14th in the spring in first track start with Joe Gibbs Racing; Posted an average finish of 15.9 in previous 26 starts with Roush Fenway Racing; Last of eight top 10s came in the 2012 spring race, fourth place.

Kyle Busch: Has finished in the top five in his last two starts; Second-place finish in this event last year is best in 17 overall starts; Combined to lead 277 laps in both races in 2011; Fifth-best driver rating in the last 17 races among drivers entered in the race.

Kevin Harvick: Win in the 2011 spring race came in a streak of three consecutive top fives; Finished 13th this spring; Tested at Martinsville earlier this month; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 420) that he raced in the spring at Martinsville and scored the win with in the May race at Richmond International Raceway.

Jeff Gordon: Last of seven wins came in the 2005 fall race; Leads all drivers in laps led (3,515); Coming off 33rd top 10 (third-place finish) in 41 starts; Led 92 laps in this event last year; Second-best average finish (6.8) among all drivers in the last 10 races.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Finished 21st and 24th, respectively, in last two starts - snapping a streak of four consecutive finishes of seventh or better; Has posted two runner-up finishes (seven top 10s) in 11 starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Third-best average finish (11.8) among all drivers that have competed in all of the last 10 races; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 789) that he finished 24th with in the spring at Martinsville.

Greg Biffle: Has finished in the top 10 in last two starts; Has failed to lead a lap in last seven starts; 11.8 average finish in last four races; Tested at Martinsville earlier this month; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 856) that he last finished 12th with at Richmond International Raceway.

Clint Bowyer: Finished second in the spring; Led 154 laps in this event last year; Hast yet to finish outside the top 10 in three track starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; Posted six top 10s in previous 12 starts with Richard Childress Racing; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 786) in the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500.

Kurt Busch: Finished 15th in this event last year for best finish in two starts with Furniture Row Racing; Last of four top 10s in 25 starts came in 2005 with Roush Racing - a team he also won the 2002 fall race with; Tested at Martinsville earlier this month.

Carl Edwards: Finished 15th in the spring; Last of five top 10s (ninth) came in this event in 2011; Tested at Martinsville earlier this month; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 857) that he scored the win with at Richmond International Raceway.

Ryan Newman: 31st-place finish in the spring snapped streak of three consecutive finishes of 11th or better, which includes a win in the 2010 spring race; Has posted five top 10s in nine track starts with Stewart-Haas Racing; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 790) that he finished 15th with at Richmond International Raceway in May.

Joey Logano: Finished 23rd in the spring in first track start with Penske Racing; Posted two top 10s in previous eight starts with Joe Gibbs Racing; Tested at Martinsville earlier this month; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 836) that he finished seventh with at Watkins Glen International.

Kasey Kahne: Has finished in the top five in his last two starts; Those represent two of four top 10s in 19 overall starts; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 787) that he raced in the spring at Martinsville.

Jamie McMurray: Coming off second top 10 (seventh) in seven starts in an Earnhardt Ganassi Chevrolet; 16.5 average finish and 117 laps led in 21 overall starts.

Brad Keselowski: Equaled best finish (sixth) in seven starts in the spring; Finish was third consecutive top 10; 11.3 average finish in seven overall starts; Tested at Martinsville earlier this month; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 834) that he finished second with at Watkins Glen International.

Paul Menard: Has yet to finish in the top 10 in 12 starts; Finished 19th in the spring; 21.8 average finish; Tested at Martinsville earlier this month; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 419) that he last finished fifth with at Richmond International Raceway.

Martin Truex Jr.: Has posted three top 10s and an average finish of 21.4 in seven starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; Best finish is fifth, coming in the spring race in 2010 and 2012.

Aric Almirola: Finished in the top 10 in both races last season; Finished 20th in the spring; Will have Greg Ebert (car chief) as interim crew chief starting this weekend.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Finished 25th in first track start in April; Tested at Martinsville earlier this month; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 858) that he last finished 10th with at Richmond International Raceway.

Jeff Burton: 16.8 average finish in the last 10 races; Last of 16 top 10s came in this event in 2011, sixth place; Tested at Martinsville earlier this month; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 435) in the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500.

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Re: Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 Betting News and Notes

Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 Post-Practice Betting Notes
By: Micah Roberts   
Sportingnews.com

Joey Logano and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were fastest in the Saturday's final two practice sessions at Martinsville Speedway in preparation for Sunday's Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500, but perhaps the most amazing revelation from all was that Matt Kenseth was faster than point leader Jimmie Johnson in all three sessions.

It's not unusual for Kenseth to be faster than Johnson at several other tracks on the Sprint Cup circuit, but at Martinsville, that is a pretty big deal. This was supposed to be a track Johnson put some distance between the four-point gap he has over Kenseth in the Chase. Johnson came into this race with the lightest odds (9/5) in Las Vegas seen on a favorite in any race this season.

Kenseth did lead 96 laps in the spring Martinsville race, won by Johnson, but has only three top-five finishes in 27 career starts. It's safe to say this isn't one of Kenseth's favorite tracks. But it looks like he and his Joe Gibbs Racing team have their best opportunity to not only compete with Johnson but also actually win.

The only timed segment on Friday and Saturday that Kenseth wasn't faster than Johnson was during qualifying, where Johnson will start second on the front row, just ahead of Kenseth who will start fourth. Kenseth will not only have to battle his past Martinsville skeletons -- along with having the pressure of only four Chase races remaining -- but he'll also have Johnson's eight Grandfather clock trophies looming.

Johnson has won the past two Martinsville races and is using the same chassis from the spring race this week. His eight career wins and 5.3-average finish in 23 starts at the flat half-mile track puts him in an entire other category of drivers dominating at specific tracks. At Martinsville, he is NASCAR's equivalent of Alabama football in a home game at Tuscaloosa. Kenseth would be Arkansas.

They still have to race the race and anything can happen, but the larger-than-life image of Johnson at Martinsville is a daunting task for anyone to tackle, especially for a driver with Kenseth's track resume.

After Friday's practice and qualifying, it looked as though Denny Hamlin would be competing for his fifth Martinsville win. He was third fastest in the 90-minute practice and then set a track record in qualifying to gain the pole. But then Saturday came around, and he wasn't so fast anymore. His JGR teammates, Kyle Busch and Kenseth, remained quick, but Hamlin slid to 28th fastest in the early session and then 17th in happy hour.

Hamlin is still a live play for Sunday, but when looking at those speeds from Saturday, you start thinking about how this season has gone and him not having a top-five finish in his past 20 races. There is still doubt with Hamlin despite this being his favorite track and being from Virginia.

Earnhardt Jr. had the fastest single lap and 10-consecutive lap average during happy hour and is a candidate to win his first career race at Martinsville. The only problem in wagering on Junior, other than he doesn't win anywhere lately, is that he's too nice on the jumbled track. He's had a few golden opportunities in the past at Martinsville where he either got bullied, or he didn't want to do any bullying himself when it was warranted.

Clint Bowyer looks like he's ready to take that next step and get his own Grandfather clock, as well. He's been very close over the past three events there and looked outstanding in all practices.

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Re: Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 Betting News and Notes

Johnson tries to dominate at Martinsville yet again
By: Brian Graham
Statfox.com

The NASCAR circuit moves to Virginia on Sunday afternoon to the slowest track on the circuit, Martinsville Speedway. The Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 Powered by Kroger will be the fourth-to-last race in the Chase for the Cup. This oval-shaped short track is just 0.526 miles long with 12-degree banking on the turns, and flat equidistant straights (800 feet, or 0.15 miles, each). This track hasn’t seen many winners in the past decade, as Jimmie Johnson (8 wins), Denny Hamlin (4 wins) and Jeff Gordon (4 wins) have won 16 of the past 21 races at Martinsville. Johnson has won the past two races at this track, both last fall and in April.

Drivers to Watch

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (18/1) -
Junior has been on a roll recently with the third-most driver points over the past four races as he's finished 2nd, 8th, 15th and 2nd again last week at Talladega. He is also ninth in driver points over the past four starts in Martinsville, highlighted by finishes of 7th and 3rd. Earnhardt is usually near the front of the pack on short tracks with a 12.9 average finish, four wins, 26 top-5's and 40 top-10's in his 84 short-track races. At 18-to-1, he is our pick to win Sunday's race.

Jimmie Johnson (9/5) - There is no good reason to ignore Johnson this week. Sure the odds are miniscule, but his track record in Martinsville is just silly: 23 starts, 8 wins, 16 top-5's (70%) and 20 top-10's (87%). He has finished no worse than 12th in 22 straight Martinsville races and has led for more than 60 laps in each of his past five starts at this track averaging 155.2 laps led per race over this stretch. He hasn't been too shabby this season either with five wins and 13 top-5's to put him at the top of the Chase for the Cup standings. A small wager is certainly warranted here.

Ryan Newman (25/1) - Only six drivers have won at Martinsville since 2005 and Newman is one of them, taking home the checkered flag in the spring of 2012. That was one of seven career top-5's at this track, where he's also won three poles. Newman has also raced extremely well late in the season with six top-10's in his past eight starts, including a 3rd-place showing at the last short-track race in Richmond. At 25-to-1, Newman represents the best value on the board.

Clint Bowyer (12/1) - Bowyer is always a threat on the short track, finishing as the runner-up both at Richmond and at this Martinsville track this season. He also placed 5th in this race last fall after leading for 154 laps, giving him nine top-10's in the past 12 starts at this Virginia venue, including three in a row. That also boosts his career total on short tracks to 11 top-5's in 47 starts. The odds aren't too favorable, but Bowyer is still worth dropping a unit on for Sunday's race.

Jamie McMurray (50/1) -
The longshot for Sunday's race has to be McMurray, who earned his first win of the season last week at Talladega. This was his third top-5 showing in his past seven starts, which includes finishing fourth at the most recent short-track race at Richmond. McMurray also finished seventh at this Martinsville track in the spring, giving him 11 top-10's in 21 career starts at this venue. Considering he went off at 20-to-1 last week, McMurray is an even wiser wager this week.

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