There’ll not be any talk of rules package, changes, horsepower or drafting in this week’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
The smallest track on the NASCAR schedule at just a half-mile creates tight racing and intimate contest simply due to its quarters.
Drivers need a particular skill set to succeed at the historic path. But patience and a cool head through a 500-lap, almost four-hour grind is also paramount to win the race or complete well.
For those who like NASCAR betting, here are six motorists to consider backing in Sunday’s STP 500.
Kyle Busch (+200)
It’s probably going to be some time before Busch isn’t regarded as a popular at any track on the Cup circuit. He’s off to some red-hot start, and it has won two races in a row.
His Automobile Club Speedway victory a week back was his 200th career NASCAR national series win. Busch has a streak of seven consecutive Martinsville top-10 finishes including wins in the 2016 spring race and 2017 fall race. Bet Busch to acquire at +200 and -200 to finish 1st-3rd with SugarHouse in New Jersey.
Brad Keselowski (+500)
Keselowski has finished from the top-10 seven out of the previous eight Martinsville races and won there in the 2017 spring race.
In the past ten races in the course, the Team Penske driver has headed the third-most laps in 427. Bet him to win at +500 and +125 to finish 1st-3rd with 888Sport in New Jersey.
Joey Logano (+600)
Martinsville was a contentious place for Logano over time, including last October when he made contact with Martin Truex Jr. over the previous turn of the last lap to get the lead and the win.
But Logano is also one of the strongest drivers in the track and has directed 825 laps in its past 10 races (second most) including 309 before the area last fall. Bet him to triumph at +600 and +150 to finish 1st-3rd with 888Sport.
Martin Truex Jr. (+600)
Truex, new at Joe Gibbs Racing this season, has not forgotten how things ended last year with Logano and might have revenge in his mind.
The 2017 series winner hasn’t won a brief track race in his Cup career but has been at the top-five the last three Martinsville outings. Bet Truex Jr. to win at +600 and +150 to finish 1st-3rd with SugarHouse.
Clint Bowyer (+1000)
He finished a lengthy drought in last spring’s Martinsville race when he dominated by leading 215 laps and took the checkered flag.
Bowyer has fought this season but is considered among the best short-track racers in the series as he demonstrated again one year ago. Bet Bowyer to win at +1000 and +250 to finish 1st-3rd with 888Sport.
Denny Hamlin (+1000)
The Virginia native considers Martinsville a home monitor and had tens of thousands of laps under his belt in regional racing in the track before he migrated to NASCAR’s top level.
He is a five-time Martinsville winner and snuck across the Logano vs. Truex final-lap dust-up last November to finish se cond. Bet Hamlin to win at +1000 and +250 to complete 1st-3rd with SugarHouse.
2019 STP 500 Betting Tip
Last week’s qualifying session was a non-event: 12 drivers that advanced into the final round failed to find a formal lap on the plank. The dozen all waited until the very last second to take advantage of the higher rates in the draft and miscalculated.
That will not happen this week at Martinsville given the layout and the lack of drafting. Qualifying and receiving a high starting place might be the most critical part of the weekend.
A whopping 21 drivers have won from the pole during Martinsville’s long history. Given the tight quarters and difficulty passing, especially during long green-flag runs, monitor position is key. A total of 65 Cup race winners have come from the first four starting spots.
Pit stops and pit stall positioning can also be critical. Search for teams close to the front five or four stalls, allowing easy accessibility to get back on the right track in tight quarters, to have an advantage.
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