The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is at Martinsville Speedway this weekend, and with Kyle Busch winning at both Phoenix and Fontana over the last two weeks, he’s been installed as a heavy favorite for today’s STP 500 at “The Paperclip”–and for good reason: Rowdy hasn’t finished outside of the top 5 at this track since the 2014 season, and he’s led a combined 582 laps over the last four (and 937 over the last six). Of course, when you have the favorite at +150 to win, that means there’s some great value in betting others in case that guy has issues during the race.
Last weekend at Auto Club Speedway my favorite bets went 2-0, bringing my yearly record to 5-3. I had Brad Keselowski to finish top 3, and his day went south early, so that was screwed from the beginning.
My Favorite Bets for Martinsville
Martin Truex, Jr. Top 3 Finish (+200) – The races at Martinsville are generally predictable: we see the same faces up front time and time again, and we don’t see Martin Truex, Jr. in victory lane. Where we do see him, though, is close enough to win if something goes wrong with the leader. Over the last three races at “The Paperclip,” Truex has posted finishes of 3rd, 4th, and 2nd, and even though he starts back in 8th for today’s STP 500, he’s got one hell of a race car underneath him to get to the front. The #19 Toyota ranked #1 in 10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-lap average during the final practice session here on Saturday, and there’s going to be plenty of long runs during the race. Truex will really shine during those. If you look at this week’s rankings by the Fantasy Racing Online algorithm, Truex is a very close 4th behind Logano, and if you look at recent trends by pole sitters in the spring Martinsville race, I’d give that edge to Truex.
Chris Buescher (+105) over Daniel Hemric – I’m honestly surprised Chris Buescher isn’t getting more love this weekend. This #37 team hasn’t finished worse than 18th since the Daytona 500, and they’ve got a great starting spot for today’s STP 500 (12th). Meanwhile, Hemric will start from back in 28th, and has a tendency to hit the wall more often than not. We’ve got 500 laps to race in today’s STP 500, and to be honest, I’m not sure he finishes. On the other hand, Buescher has finished 13th, 23rd, 21st, and 11th in his last four Martinsville starts, and he’s running better than he’s probably ever ran. This one is a no brainer for me.
Martinsville Race Day Betting Odds for the STP 500
|Martin Truex, Jr.||4.5/1|