STP 400 Betting News and Notes
STP 400 Betting News and Notes
Martinsville Track Facts
Martinsville Speedway Data
Season Race #: 6 of 36 (03-30-14)
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 10 Driver Ratings at Martinsville
Jimmie Johnson 124.0
Jeff Gordon 121.1
Denny Hamlin 111.4
Dale Earnhardt Jr. 98.9
Tony Stewart 98.5
Kyle Busch 97.0
Clint Bowyer 93.8
Kevin Harvick 92.9
Brad Keselowski 89.2
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (18 total) among active drivers at Martinsville Speedway.
2013 Coors Light Pole winner:
Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet
98.400 mph, 19.244 secs. 04-05-13
2013 race winner:
Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet
72.066 mph, (03:38:58), 04-07-13
Track qualifying record:
Denny Hamlin, Toyota
99.595 mph, 19.013 secs. 10-25-13
Track race record
Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet
82.223 mph, (3:11:55), 09-22-96
Re: STP 400 Betting News and Notes
Martinsville Driver Tale of the Tape
Clint Bowyer (No. 15 5-Hour Energy Toyota)
· Four top fives, 10 top 10s
· Average finish of 12.6
· Average Running Position of 12.5, sixth-best
· Driver Rating of 93.8, seventh-best
· Average Green Flag Speed of 91.182 mph, seventh-fastest
· 5,803 Laps in the Top 15 (72.2%), eighth-most
· 512 Quality Passes (passes of cars in the top 15 under green), sixth-most
Kyle Busch (No. 18 M&M’s Toyota)
· Eight top fives, nine top 10s
· Average finish of 16.0
· Average Running Position of 13.2, seventh-best
· Driver Rating of 97.0, sixth-best
· 402 Fastest Laps Run, fifth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 91.292 mph, fourth-fastest
· 6,323 Laps in the Top 15 (70.0%), fifth-most
· 578 Quality Passes, fourth-most
Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet)
· 10 top fives, 15 top 10s
· Average finish of 13.2
· Average Running Position of 11.0, fourth-best
· Driver Rating of 98.9, fourth-best
· 455 Fastest Laps Run, fourth-most
· Series-high 1,042 Green Flag Passes
· Average Green Flag Speed of 91.288 mph, fifth-fastest
· 6,963 Laps in the Top 15 (77.1%), third-most
· 619 Quality Passes, third-most
Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Axalta Chevrolet)
· Eight wins, 27 top fives, 34 top 10s; seven poles
· Average finish of 6.8
· Average Running Position of 6.2, second-best
· Driver Rating of 121.1, second-best
· Series-high 1,029 Fastest Laps Run
· 857 Green Flag Passes, 11th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 91.640 mph, second-fastest
· 8,167 Laps in the Top 15 (90.4%), second-most
· Series-high 660 Quality Passes
Denny Hamlin (No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota)
· Four wins, nine top fives, 13 top 10s; three poles
· Average finish of 8.1
· Average Running Position of 8.8, third-best
· Driver Rating of 111.4, third-best
· 572 Fastest Laps Run, third-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 91.421 mph, third-fastest
· 6,609 Laps in the Top 15 (82.3%), fourth-most
· 560 Quality Passes, fifth-most
Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Budweiser Chevrolet)
· One win, three top fives, 11 top 10s
· Average finish of 16.2
· Average Running Position of 13.8, ninth-best
· Driver Rating of 92.9, eighth-best
· 220 Fastest Laps Run, 10th-most
· 869 Green Flag Passes, 10th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 91.074 mph, eighth-fastest
· 5,947 Laps in the Top 15 (65.8%), seventh-most
· 510 Quality Passes, eighth-most
Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet)
· Eight wins, 17 top fives, 21 top 10s; three poles
· Average finish of 5.3
· Series-best Average Running Position of 5.8
· Series-best Driver Rating of 124.0
· 954 Fastest Laps Run, second-most
· Series-best Average Green Flag Speed of 91.652 mph
· Series-high 8,333 Laps in the Top 15 (92.2%)
· 647 Quality Passes, second-most
Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Miller Lite Ford)
· One top five, five top 10s
· Average finish of 10.4
· Average Running Position of 13.5, eighth-best
· Driver Rating of 89.2, ninth-best
· Average Green Flag Speed of 91.071 mph, ninth-fastest
Jamie McMurray (No. 1 McDonald's Chevrolet)
· One top five, 12 top 10s; one pole
· Average finish of 16.2
· Average Running Position of 15.9, 12th-best
· Driver Rating of 84.2, 12th-best
· 854 Green Flag Passes, 12th-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 90.964 mph, 11th-fastest
· 4,817 Laps in the Top 15 (53.3%), 12th-most
· 386 Quality Passes, 12th-most
Ryan Newman (No. 31 Quicken Loans Chevrolet)
· One win, seven top fives, 11 top 10s; three poles
· Average finish of 15.3
· Average Running Position of 15.2, 11th-best
· Driver Rating of 87.4, 11th-best
· 142 Fastest Laps Run, 12th-most
· 938 Green Flag Passes, sixth-most
· 5,058 Laps in the Top 15 (56.0%), 10th-most
· 478 Quality Passes, ninth-most
Tony Stewart (No. 14 Code 3 Associates/Mobil 1 Chevrolet)
· Three wins, nine top fives, 15 top 10s; three poles
· Average finish of 13.8
· Average Running Position of 11.1, fifth-best
· Driver Rating of 98.5, fifth-best
· 376 Fastest Laps Run, sixth-most
· Average Green Flag Speed of 91.200 mph, sixth-fastest
· 6,113 Laps in the Top 15 (71.6%), sixth-most
· 417 Quality Passes, 11th-most
Re: STP 400 Betting News and Notes
STP 500 Preview
By Micah Roberts
Last week at Fontana we saw teammates Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon battle it out down the stretch on their home state track. This week at Martinsville we should see more of the same.
Johnson would end up blowing a tire while leading late and finished 24th, while Gordon who then took the lead, would be hurt by caution with two laps to go. After the pit, Gordon came out ninth and would eventually finish 13th. Gordon had perhaps his best race of the season and he ends up having his first finish outside the top-10 of the season.
Usually when we come to Martinsville, we consider this a three-horse race because Gordon, Johnson and Denny Hamlin have dominated the flat half-mile track.
The prize the track gives for inning is a grandfather clock, and Johnson has eight of them, including two in the past three races. Over his last 20 starts, Johnson has an average finish of 3.8. Think about it, with all the volatility of a NASCAR race with other drivers beating and banging on the fenders, possible tire or mechanical issues, this guy has driven like Superman at Martinsville. Of all the tracks that Johnson is great at, no place compares to the domination he shows at Martinsville.
As great as Johnson is at Martinsville, it’s open for debate that Gordon might actually be better at Martinsville. He’s certainly been doing it longer, and he too has eight grandfather clocks, including one in this race last fall. Gordon had been stuck at seven wins at Martinsville since 2005, when he swept the season. But between the rise of Johnson and Hamlin, they would win 11 of the 14 races until Gordon finally won last season. Gordon routinely finished second or third to those drivers during their run.
With a little momentum from last week, and a car that has been very good on five vastly different tracks, there’s no reason to believe Gordon won’t be one of the top-2 drivers with a few laps to go.
Gordon’s chances to win go up dramatically if Hamlin isn’t 100 percent. He missed last weeks Fontana race because of a sinus infection that impaired his vision. With 45 minutes before he was schedule to start, a doctor wouldn’t clear him to race and Sam Hornish Jr. stepped in to drive the No. 11 car.
It would be a shocker if Hamlin missed this week too, just because Hamlin could probably compete at his home track while being blindfolded. He knows every inch of that track and has won four times, the last being in 2010. He missed this race last season because of injuries sustained at Fontana the week prior when Joey Logano punted him.
So based on missing a race, a question mark applied to his vision and not winning a grandfather clock in his last five starts, his rating drops a little while Johnson’s and Gordon’s go up.
Who will be the drivers contends with Johnson and Gordon?
Brad Keselowski is a good start, not just because of running well everywhere this season, but also because he’s finished sixth or better in his past three starts there.
Tony Stewart is a three-time winner, but the wear and tear of making 1,000 left turns on the day would seem to effect his leg more than other tracks.
Matt Kenseth had never fared well at Martinsville until last fall when he led 202 laps, then settled for second after Gordon passed with 20 laps to go. All his previous seasons were with Roush Racing and it was apparent last season that some Joe Gibbs Racing info sharing with Hamlin’s team helped him have a better car than ever before.
Kevin Harvick may be the best candidate of all. He won in 2011, which was a monumental feat because it wasn’t Hamlin, Johnson or Gordon winning. He’s going to have a great car all season it looks like.
Top-5 Finish Prediction:
1) #24 Jeff Gordon (6/1)
2) #45 Jimmie Johnson (4/1)
3) #4 Kevin Harvick (8/1)
4) #2 Brad Keselowski (10/1)
5) #11 Denny Hamlin (10/1)
Re: STP 400 Betting News and Notes
#1-Jamie McMurray: chassis not reported on race preview.
#2-Brad Keselowski: Primary Chassis - PRS-901. Last Raced: New Chassis. Backup Chassis: PRS-853. Last Raced: Texas 2013 (finished 3rd as No. 22 car)
#3-Austin Dillon: will pilot chassis No. 420 in the Martinsville 500 at Martinsville Speedway. This Chevrolet SS was utilized five times during the 2013 season by the Gil Martin-led team with driver Kevin Harvick posting a sixth-place finish at Martinsville Speedway in October, an 11th-place finish at Richmond International Raceway (September), a seventh-place finish at New Hampshire Motor Speedway (July), a first-place finish at Richmond International Raceway (April) and a 13th-place finish at Martinsville Speedway (April).
#5-Kasey Kahne: Crew chief Kenny Francis has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 5-787 for Sunday's race at Martinsville. Kahne drove this chassis twice at Martinsville last year, notably recording a fourth-place result at the paper-clip oval in April 2013
#7-Michael Annett: chassis not reported on race preview.
#9-Marcos Ambrose: chassis not reported on race preview.
#10-Danica Patrick: Chassis No. 10-865: is a new car that has not been used previously. Backup Racecar - Chassis No. 10-811: Chassis No. 10-811 was first used during a test Aug. 26-27, 2013 at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway. Danica Patrick tested the car on Aug. 26, while teammate Mark Martin tested it Aug. 27. Patrick then drove the car in the September 2013 race at Richmond, where she started 36th and finished 30th, four laps down. Chassis No. 10-811 then served as a backup at Phoenix in November 2013 and March 2014.
#14-Tony Stewart: Chassis No. 14-742: This car first turned its wheels on a racetrack in 2012 during a test session Sept. 4-5 at the Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wis., which prepared Chassis No. 14-742 for its debut in the Sept. 23 Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. There, the car qualified third and led 38 laps before finishing seventh. Chassis No. 14-742 returned to another relatively flat, 1-mile oval when it made its second career start in the penultimate race of the 2012 season at Phoenix International Raceway. After qualifying ninth, a pit road miscue and a lap-282 spin conspired for a 19th-place finish. With a new 2013 Chevrolet SS body, Chassis No. 14-742 returned to Phoenix in February for its third career start, where it had a solid outing, qualifying sixth and finishing eighth. With the exception of a test June 25-26 at New Hampshire, the car sat idle for the remainder of the 2013 season. Chassis No. 14-742 reprised its testing regimen in 2014, with tests Jan. 30-31 at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway and Feb. 6 at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Ga. The STP 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway marks Chassis No. 14-742's first start in more than a year and its fourth overall.
#15-Clint Bowyer: Chassis No. 806 serves as the primary chassis for Bowyer at Martinsville Speedway. It's a new Chassis for the 2014 season. Chassis No. 787 serves as the back-up chassis. Martin Truex Jr. drove this Chassis to a 16th-place finish last October in Martinsville.
#16-Greg Biffle: Primary Chassis: RK-856 Last ran Martinsville - finished 9th. Backup Chassis: RK-867 Last ran Phoenix - finished 17th.
#17-Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Chassis RK-858 is a chassis that the No. 17 team ran various times in 2013, but most recently at Martinsville where Stenhouse finished 31st after being involved in a wreck early on in the 500-mile race. Backup Chassis: RK-815 - last raced at Dover - finished 17th
#18-Kyle Busch: chassis not reported on race preview.
#20-Matt Kenseth: chassis not reported on race preview.
#22-Joey Logano: Primary Chassis: PRS-902. Last Raced: New chassis. Bacckup Chassis: PRS-858. Last Raced: Backup at Bristol.
#24-Jeff Gordon: #24 crew chief Alan Gustafson has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 24-788 for this Sunday's race. This chassis has been used in competition twice with both occurring at Martinsville in 2013. Last October, Gordon qualified the car ninth and won the event, while he started sixth and finished third in the April race.
#27-Paul Menard: will pilot chassis No. 419 in the 500-lap race at Martinsville Speedway. This No. 27 Chevrolet SS was utilized five times in 2013 having raced both Martinsville races finishing 19th and 22nd, and Richmond International Raceway events finishing 13th and fifth, and the July race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway where it took the checkered flag in 17th place.
#31-Ryan Newman: will drive chassis No. 435 in Sunday's Martinsville 500 at Martinsville Speedway. This No. 31 Chevrolet SS is brand new in competition and will make its debut for the first time during Friday's practice and qualifying activities.
#34-David Regan: chassis not reported on race preview.
#35-David Reutimann: chassis not reported on race preview.
#38-David Gilliland: chassis not reported on race preview.
#41-Kurt Busch: will pilot Chassis No. 867 in Sunday's STP 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Built new for 2014, Chassis 867 will see its first laps of racing competition this weekend.
#42-Kyle Larson: chassis not reported on race preview.
#43-Aric Almirola: chassis not reported on race preview.
#47-A.J. Allmendinger: chassis not reported on race preview.
#48-Jimmie Johnson: Crew chief Chad Knaus has selected Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 48-749 which Johnson drove to Victory Lane last April at Martinsville. Johnson also raced this chassis to a fifth-place finish at the paper-clip shaped oval in October 2013. The backup car is Chassis No. 48-806 which Johnson raced last season at both events in New Hampshire.
#55-Brian Vickers: Primary 807- Never raced. Backup 785 - Elliott Sadler finished 25th subbing for Vickers at Martinsville in October.
#78-Martin Truex Jr.: chassis not reported on race preview.
#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Crew chief Steve Letarte will unload Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 88-789 for this weekend's race at Martinsville Speedway. Earnhardt most recently raced this chassis to an eighth-place finish at Martinsville last October.
#95-Michael McDowell: will pilot Chassis No. PRS-838 in the STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway. McDowell drove this LFR-prepared Ford Fusion to a 33rd-place finish at Phoenix International Raceway on March 2, as well as driving it at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 16 with a qualifying effort of 24th and finishing 37th.
#99-Carl Edwards: Primary chassis: RK-866 was last run in November 2013 at Phoenix, finishing 21st. Backup chassis: RK-831 was last used in 2014 as a primary at Phoenix, finishing 8th
Re: STP 400 Betting News and Notes
Driver Handicaps: Martinsville
By: Jeff Wackerlin
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 STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
Who's HOT at Martinsville
• Jeff Gordon, who is coming off his eighth win, leads all drivers in top 10s (34) and laps led
• Jimmie Johnson, who scored his eighth win last year in this event, leads all drivers with a
5.3 average finish.
• Clint Bowyer and Brad Keselowski are the only drivers that have finished in the top 10 in each of the last four races.
• Denny Hamlin has finished in the top 10 in 12 of the last 14 races, including four wins.
• Matt Kenseth, who finished second last fall, combined to lead 298 laps last year in his first two track starts with Joe Gibbs Racing.
• Dale Earnhardt Jr. has posted eight top 10s, including two runner-up finishes, in 12 starts with Hendrick Motorsports.
Who to Keep an Eye On at Martinsville
• Greg Biffle and Jamie McMurray each finished in the top 10 in both races at Martinsville last season.
• Kyle Busch has posted an average finish of 7.3 - including two top fives - in his last three starts at Martinsville.
• Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman, respective winners of this event in 2011 and 2012, will each debut new cars in ther first track starts with Stewart-Haas Racing and Richard Childress Racing.
• Martinsville is Danica Patrick's best track on the circuit based on her 14.5 average in two starts.
• Kasey Kahne has recorded an average finish of 11.3 in the three races at Martinsville he's been running at the finish with Hendrick Motorsports.
• Marcos Ambrose and Carl Edwards each posted an average finish of 13.5 in both races last season at Martinsville - tied for 10th among all drivers that competed in both races.
• Brian Vickers has posted a 12.3 average finish in three Martinsville starts with Michael Waltrip Racing.
Tire Notes: Teams will run the same left- and right-side tires that they ran in both races last season at Martinsville Speedway. Jeff Gordon (2.0), Clint Bowyer (2.5), Jimmie Johnson (3.0), Brad Keselowski (5.0) and Matt Kenseth (8.0) rounded out the top five in average finish among the drivers that competed in both races.
MRN.com Staff Picks
Jeff Wackerlin: Jeff Gordon
Pete Pistone: Jimmie Johnson
Dustin Long: Jimmie Johnson
John Singler: Jamie McMurray
Top 20 Driver Notes - Ordered by current standings
(All stats/notes are in regards to Martinsville Speedway unless noted)
Carl Edwards: Finished 15th and 12th, respectively, last season; Last of five top 10s (ninth) came in the 2001 fall race; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 866) that he finished 21st with at Phoenix International Raceway last November.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Coming off eighth top 10 in 12 starts with Hendrick Motorsports; Finished second and third, respectively, in the 2011 and 2012 spring races; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 789) that he finished eighth with at Martinsville last fall.
Jeff Gordon: Coming off eighth win in 42 starts; Victory was third consecutive top-seven finish; Led no laps and finished third in this event last year; Leads all drivers in laps led (3,593); Second-best average finish (6.5) among all drivers in the last 10 races; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 788) that he raced in both events last year at Martinsville.
Brad Keselowski: Coming off best finish (fourth) and fourth consecutive top 10-finish; 10.4 average finish in eight starts; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 901) in the STP 500.
Matt Kenseth: Equaled best finish in 28 starts last fall, second place; Combined to lead 298 laps and posted an 8.0 average finish last season in first two track starts with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Jimmie Johnson: Led a race-high 346 laps in this event last year en route to his eighth win; Best average finish (4.9) in the last 10 races; Best driver rating (124.0) in the last 18 races; Second among all drivers in laps led (2,450); Will return in the same car (chassis No. 749) that he raced in both events last year at Martinsville, last finishing fifth in the fall.
Kyle Busch: Finished 15th last fall, snapping a streak of two-straight top fives; Second-place finish in the 2012 fall race is best in 18 overall starts; Combined to lead 277 laps in both races in 2011; Sixth-best driver rating.
Ryan Newman: Winner of this event in 2012 with Stewart-Haas Racing; Win is one of four top 10s in last 10 races; Will make his first track start with Richard Childress Racing in a new car (chassis No. 435).
Austin Dillon: Will pilot the same car (chassis No. 420) that Kevin Harvick last finished sixth with at Martinsville last fall. Harvick also drove this chassis to the win at Richmond International Raceway last April.
Joey Logano: Posted an 18.5 average finish in first two track starts with Penske Racing last season; Only top 10s came in 2010 with Joe Gibbs Racing; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 902) in the STP 500.
Denny Hamlin: Won the pole and finished seventh last fall; Has finished in the top 10 in 12 of the last 14 races, including four wins; 7.6 average finish in his last nine starts; Third-best driver rating.
Jamie McMurray: Finished in the top 10 in both races last season; 10th-place finish last fall was 12th top 10 in 22 starts.
Brian Vickers: Finished 11th in this event last year; 12.3 average finish in three starts with Michael Waltrip Racing; Elliott Sadler subbed for Vickers at Martinsville last fall; Will debut a new car (chassis No. 807) in the STP 500.
Paul Menard: Has yet to score a top 10 in 13 starts; Best finish came in the 2012 fall race, 12th place; Will return in the same car that he finished 19th and 22nd with, respectively, last season at Martinsville.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Made first track start in this event last year, finishing 25th; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 858) that he last finished 31st with at Martinsville in the fall after being involved in an accident.
Kyle Larson: Finished 42nd with HScott Motorsports due to engine issues last fall in first track start; Coming off best career Cup Series finish, of second, at Auto Club Speedway and will make first track start with Chip Ganassi Racing.
Tony Stewart: Last of three wins came in the 2011 fall race; Has posted four top 10s and an average finish of 16.4 in nine starts with Stewart-Haas Racing; Will race a chassis (No. 742) for the first time since the 2013 spring race at Phoenix International Raceway; This car was tested at New Smyrna Speedway and Gresham Motorsports Park prior ro the start of this season.
Casey Mears: Best finish in seven starts with Germain Racing came in the 2011 fall race, 12th place; Last of three top 10s in 21 overall starts came in 2008 with Hendrick Motorsports.
Kasey Kahne: 27th-place finish last fall snapped streak of two consecutive top fives; Has posted an average finish of 11.3 in the three races he's been running at the finish with Hendrick Motorsports; Will return in the same car (chassis No. 787) that he raced in both events last year at Martinsville.
Marcos Ambrose: Finished eighth in this event last year for first top 10 in 10 starts; 20.7 average finish in six starts with Richard Petty Motorsports.
Re: STP 400 Betting News and Notes
STP 500 Post-Practice Betting Notes
By: Micah Roberts
LAS VEGAS – Saturday’s final two practice sessions at Martinsville Speedway were rained out, but because we got to see a few drivers run in race trim during Friday’s 90-minute practice, we’re not entirely without data coming into Sunday’s STP 500 like we might be at another track.
Still, the track could make a complete 180-degree turn from what we saw Friday, so it’s best to focus on past results. When three drivers -- Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin -- have combined to win 15 of the past 19 Martinsville races, that's where you start. It doesn't hurt Johnson's or Gordon's chances that both will be using their winning Martinsville chassis from last season.
We came into the week liking Jeff Gordon the most, and we still do, but Hamlin has been elevated to the top of our ratings not only because of his outstanding Friday practice where he topped the charts -- and not just because he’s a native Virginian that has four career wins on his home track -- but also because he guaranteed the win Sunday.
It’s rare to hear a driver guarantee a win, but the last time it happened -- coincidentally enough by Hamlin -- he came through with a win at Martinsville in 2010. When he got out of his car to grab the checkered flag, he did his imitation of Babe Ruth’s called shot -- pointing at the fences -- for the fans. Who doesn’t want to bet a driver that has placed that weight on his shoulders, who is going to scratch and claw for everything in front of him to save face with the media who will surely remind him about his prediction if he doesn’t win?
This is better than a jockey betting on himself to win a horse race. Every driver wants to win more than anything, but the extra pressure to win for something else is very cool. It’s like the driver is all-in on your bet with you.
Because Hamlin looked so good Friday, his odds have been dropped at the LVH Super Book from 8-to-1 down to 9-to-2, making him the co-second choice to win with Gordon. Johnson’s odds were raised from 2-to-1 to 5-to-2 just because of a healthy Hamlin making it a three-way party again at the top. Remember, 15 of the past 19 Martinsville races have been won by these three -- an absolutely insane figure.
The best odds currently available -- from a value standpoint -- might be three-time Martinsville winner Tony Stewart at 20-to-1. It’s tough betting on a driver that is still gimpy from a leg injury -- and Martinsville’s flat half-mile layout is tough on drivers -- but Stewart looked great during Friday’s practice. Stewart also comes into this race having two consecutive top-five finishes (Bristol and Fontana), which seems to indicate that he feels good.