Jimmie Johnson fantasy NASCAR
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Jimmie Johnson – Jimmie Johnson is the best default fantasy NASCAR pick you can make to win the Martinsville STP Gas Booster 500. He’s the dominant driver of this generation and Martinsville ranks as his best track. The only downside in picking him is that it’s likely your competition will be selecting him as well. Johnson has raced at Martinsville 24 times and his track record is virtually spotless. He’s won in a third of his starts (8 wins), has 17 top fives, 21 top tens and a 5.8 average finish. Also at Martinsville he’s paced the field for 2,451 laps. That lap led total equates out to leading more than 100 laps a start. Currently at Martinsville he’s led in 14 of the last 16 races. Perhaps the greatest attribute Johnson has at Martinsville is the safety that picking him provides. Only once in his career has he finished lower than 12th and that was back in 2002 when he made his first career start. Johnson has two other finishes at Martinsville outside the top ten and those results can be chalked up to getting spun at the end and late pit road problems. Last fall at Martinsville Johnson had a strong car. He started 2nd, earned the third best driver rating, had a 4th place average running position, finished 5th and led 123 laps. The strength of his car was being good thru the corners and having good drive off. In the race Johnson was a little conservative because he had so much to lose. Also in the event he had some drivers rough him up a little bit (Biffle). In the spring race at Martinsville in 2013 Johnson was dominant. He started 1st, finished 1st, had a 1st place average running position, led 346 laps and earned a near perfect 148.4 driver rating. In fall 2012 Johnson had a near parallel performance. In that event he also started 1st, finished 1st, led 193 laps and earned the best driver rating. In spring 2012 Johnson was going to finish either 1st or 2nd but he spun when Clint Bowyer made his “Hail Mary” at the end. In that event he finished 12th and led 112 laps. My prediction is Jimmie Johnson will win the Martinsville STP Gas Booster 500. (Yahoo A Driver)

Jeff Gordon – Last fall at Martinsville Jeff Gordon won his 8th race at the paper clip. That tied him with Jimmie Johnson for the most wins among active drivers. His win also marked the first time he won the grand father clock since 2005. In the race Jeff Gordon’s strength was being good over long runs. Over the duration of a long green flag run nobody was better than him. That’s when he reeled in the competition and passed them. His strength of being good over long runs has been a recent consistent trait of his. If a few other recent races played out like last fall then he would likely have another win or two at Martinsville. In the race last October Gordon started 9th, had a 5th place average running position, led 78 laps and earned the 2nd best driver rating. At the end of the race it came down to him versus Matt Kenseth. Gordon had the edge because of his experience working with lapped traffic. In the race Gordon passed Kenseth with 21 laps to go and was never challenged after that. In spring 2013 at the end of the race Gordon was reeling in Johnson for the win but a late caution came out and it changed the complexion of the race. Gordon’s car was good over long runs and the late caution played out to other drivers strengths who were good over short runs. In that race Gordon started 6th, had a 6th place average running position and earned the 3rd best driver rating. The most startling aspect of that performance is that he failed to lead any laps. Prior to that Gordon led in 13 straight Martinsville races. In fall 2012 Gordon was impressive at Martinsville. He started in 11th and drove up to 2nd in the first 30 laps. In the event he led 92 laps and had a fifth place average running position. If it wasn’t for a late caution then it would’ve come down to him versus Jimmie Johnson at the end. When the checkered flag waved he finished 7th and earned the 3rd best driver rating. In spring 2012 Gordon had the strongest car in the field. Evidence of that is his #1 PROS Rankings for the event. In that race he absolutely had the best car over long runs and he reeled in Jimmie Johnson and passed him with a few laps remaining. Then David Reutimann brought out a late caution and Gordon was stuck out on the track with old tires. That’s what ultimately led to Clint Bowyer’s “Hail Mary” that took him out and as a result he finished 14th. In that race he earned the best driver rating, led 328 laps, and had a 2nd place average running position. If you want to look for an alternative to Jimmie Johnson at Martinsville Jeff Gordon is your best bet. In 42 races at Martinsville Gordon has finished in the top five 64% percent of the time and in the top ten 81% percent of the time. (Yahoo A Driver)

Recommended Reading: Martinsville Front Runner Rankings, Martinsville Mid Pack Predictions, Martinsville Scouting Report, Who will win at Martinsville

Clint Bowyer – Clint Bowyer is a top tier elite talent on short tracks. On this track type he ranks as one of the best of the best. Martinsville has been a very good track for him. He has four straight top ten results and has finished 11th or better in 11 of the last 14 races. Last fall at Martinsville Clint Bowyer had a very strong car. He finished 3rd after being inched by Matt Kenseth coming to the finish line. In the race he started 5th, had a 5th place average running position, earned the 4th best driver rating and led 60 laps. Last spring he finished runner-up to Johnson. In the race on lap #181 he was involved in the Martinsville “Big One” and sustained minor damage. That dropped him down to about 20th but he was able to work his way methodically up through the field. In the race his car was strong during both long runs and short runs. In spring 2012 Clint Bowyer was one failed “Hail Mary” maneuver from victory lane. In fall 2012 he had one of the strongest cars in the field. He finished 5th, led 151 laps and earned the second best driver rating. Don’t count out Clint Bowyer in the Martinsville STP Gas Booster 500. (Yahoo A Driver)

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