NASCAR Pre-Race Media: Xfinity 500 track trends, favs, sleepers, fades, etc

TRACK: Martinsville Speedway (.526-mile oval) DISTANCE: 500 Laps – Stage 1: 130 Laps, Stage 2: 130 Laps, Final Stage: 240 Laps, 263 Miles

  • JGR, Penske, HMS have won 15 of the last 16 Martinsville races including 3 of the last 4 belonging to HMS at that.
  • There’s been 8 straight different winners of this Fall race (Earnhardt Jr., Gordon, Johnson, KyBusch, Logano, Truex, Elliott, Bowman).
    • That’s an HMS win in 5 of the 8 Fall races.
  • 4 of the last 6 winners all have come from a top 5 starting spot
    • 11 of the last 13 started in the top 10 at that.

Live Betting

  • The eventual race winner had a top five finish in the first stage every year minus last Fall.
    • William Byron finished 2nd in both stages this past spring.
  • If you want to win, you better find yourself in the top two or three by the end of the second stage. Since we began stage racing in 2017, the eventual winner has finished either first (4 times), second (3 times) or third (twice) in 9 of the 11 second stages.
  • Starting spots on short tracks this year for the eventual race winners: 6th (Phoenix), 13th for both Richmond races, 5th (Martinsville spring), 4th (Dover), 5th (Loudon), 20th (Bristol).
  • In 3 of the 7 short track races run this season, the driver to lead the most laps won the race in the end.
  • In 4 of the 7 races, those laps all occurred in the final stage. In fact, Chris Buescher at Bristol is the only winner to have led more than 19 laps in the first stage. The race winner is better to be found in Stage 2.
  • 7 of the 11 races under the stage era here saw the driver to lead the most laps win the race in the end.

MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA – APRIL 09: Ryan Blaney, driver of the #12 Advance Auto Parts Ford, and Austin Cindric, driver of the #2 Menards/Moen Ford, race during the NASCAR Cup Series Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 at Martinsville Speedway on April 09, 2022 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)


Chase Elliott (+650)

Hendrick Motorsports has won three of the last four at Martinsville including five of the last eight Fall races there at that. Chase Elliott won the pole and dominated the first two stages back in the spring before a pit road penalty relegated him to a Top-10 instead of a Top-5. Elliott won the 2020 Fall race en route to a Championship 4 appearance here. He also has four Top-5’s in his last seven Martinsville starts, three of them being in the top two. While he has just two Top-10s in his last eight races including finishes of 32nd, first, 20th, 21st and 14th respectively the last five weeks, he’s also won in this stretch and trends have him winning again on Sunday.

Joey Logano (+900)

Penske had the other two spots outside of HMS in the Top-4 in the spring race.Joey Logano has pair of Top-5 finishes that came at Martinsville in 2020 and again this past spring (2nd) to go along with eight Top-10’s in his last nine tries.

Martin Truex Jr. (+1000)

He’s won three of the last six Martinsville races. The only ones he didn’t win was the last two Fall races to where he led 129 laps in the Fall of 2020 and was fourth last year. Truex, has seven top-5’s in his last 10 tries on the Virginia paperclip and coming off of a race he had a chance to win last week.

MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA – OCTOBER 31: Kyle Larson, driver of the #5 Chevrolet, and Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet, lead the field during the NASCAR Cup Series Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 31, 2021 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)


Ross Chastain (+1200)

Finished fifth this past spring there and has five Top-7 finishes in the last seven weeks including two consecutive runner-ups this round at that.

Kyle Busch (+1500)

Busch, has 13 Top-10 finishes in his last 14 at Martinsville including a runner-up last Halloween. He also has two Top-5 finishes in the last three weeks as well.

Brad Keselowski (+3000)

Keselowski has six Top-5 finishes in his last eight starts in Martinsville including 10 in his last 13 overall. He also has four Top-3’s in his last seven there too and coming off of an impressive top five finish last Sunday.

AJ Allmendinger (+3000)

He’s a very good driver on this track in being seventh in last year’s Xfinity Series race and third this past spring. On the season, Allmendinger also has six straight Top-10 finishes including a pair of top five result in the last three races at that.

Austin Dillon (+4000)

Finished third in the spring race and fourth last week, so worth a look.

Aric Almirola (+4000)

He’s not had a Top-5 ever on this track, but was 20th and sixth last year respectively and eighth in the spring.

Noah Gragson (+5000)

In eight combined Truck Series and Xfinity Series starts on this track, Gragson has seven Top-7’s including six of the seven in the top five. He has three Top-3’s in four NXS tries at that including a win in this very race weekend last year. Now, he has a Hendrick Cup car at his dispoal, one that just one this very race last October at that…

Austin Cindric (+5000)

He was a respectable 11th as a rookie here in the spring race. In three Xfinity Series starts, he finished 1-th, sixth and second respectively while also being 10th in his final Truck Series start too. That’s a top 11 in every Martinsville race since Oct. 28, 2017 on this track.

MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA – OCTOBER 31: Denny Hamlin, driver of the #11 FedEx Ground Toyota, reacts after the NASCAR Cup Series Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway on October 31, 2021 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)


Denny Hamlin (+700)

Four of his last five Martinsville finishes have seen him come home 11th or worse (28th in the spring). While they tested there and Hamlin having won five times in general, do you trust these stats for the second best odds?

William Byron (+800)

Byron picked up where Elliott left off in the spring. He finished second in both stages and led the final 212 laps for the win. Byron has five Top-8’s in his last six Martinsville starts including a runner-up in the playoff race in 2019, fourth and fifth respectively last year and a win in the spring race. However, these odds are a bit steep for a driver that has finishes of 12th, 16th, 13th and 12th the last four weeks himself with just one Top-5 finish in the last 26 points paying races.

Ryan Blaney (+800)

He’s a better fantasy play this weekend instead of an outright win bet. Maybe see if you can get him on a Top-5 finish bet. Yes, Blaney was fourth in the spring race while also coming home runner-up in both races in 2020. He was fourth and fifth respectively in 2019. Blaney, has six Top-5s in his last nine tries on the Virginia paperclip overall. While he was 11th in both races last year, he did sweep both stages in the spring race. That’s the good. However, Blaney is winless this year. He’s winless in all 10 playoff races last year. He has to win Sunday to stay alive. Do you really put all your eggs in this basket for these odds?

Christopher Bell (+1200)

He has three Top 8’s, two of which are Top 5’s, in four Truck Series starts at Martinsville. However, in five Cup Series starts, he’s finished 28th, 15th, seventh, 17th and 20th respectively with nine career laps led…

Kyle Larson (+1200)

Larson, has one Top-5 (5th place last year) in his last 10 Martinsville tries including 11 of his 15 tries there seeing him finish outside the Top-15.

Kevin Harvick (+1500)

He’s had just two Top-5s in his last 20 Martinsville starts including 15th and 17th in 2020, ninth and 12th last year and 14th in the spring.

Chase Briscoe (+3000)

Yes he had a Top-10 finish (9th) in the spring race, but he was also 27th and 22nd last year and in three combined Truck Series and Xfinity Series starts on this track, he finished 11th, 19th and seventh respectively. That’s no top five finishes in his career there with no laps led since 2017. Do you really think he just all the sudden wins now?

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