Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images

Credit: Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images

Denny Hamlin – Denny Hamlin is an elite performer at Martinsville who should be on your short list of favorites. In his career at Martinsville he has 5 wins, has finished in the top five 52% percent of the time, and in the top ten 76% percent of the time. This spring he had a great car but finished 39th after wheel hopping and crashing hard. At the time of his problem he was running in 5th. In a post wreck interview he said that he thought he had the fastest car on the track at the time, prior to wrecking. In 2015 he had a great season at Martinsville. Last fall he had a strong car and finished 3rd despite getting a speeding penalty in the first 100 laps, and a speeding penalty in the last 100 laps. In spring 2015 he had a fast car and raced his way to victory lane. In the race Hamlin earned the best driver rating, had a 6th place average running position and led 91 laps. (Yahoo A Driver)

Brad Keselowski – Brad Keselowski will be a driver to be reckoned with at Martinsville. He’s run extremely well here and has been in serious contention to win. This spring he had a strong showing. In the race he earned the 2nd best driver rating and finished 5th. What makes that even more impressive is that he had to overcome a speeding penalty. Last fall he had a great car that had top five potential but finished 32nd after getting involved in a multi-car accident with 66 laps to go shortly after a restart. Despite missing over a tenth of the race Keselowski earned the 5th best driver rating, had an 8th place average running position and led the second most laps (143). In spring 2015 he had a great car and finished runner-up on Denny Hamlin’s bumper. At the end of the race his car was very strong. Also in the race he earned the 4th best driver rating and led 18 laps. In his career at Martinsville Keselowski has finished in the top ten 54% percent of the time. (Yahoo A Driver)

Jimmie Johnson – Jimmie Johnson will be tough to beat at Martinsville. He’s a super elite performer and this ranks as one of his best tracks. When you factor in how well the #48 team has performed in recent weeks then I think it’s clear he’ll be strong. In his career at Martinsville Johnson has 8 wins, has finished in the top five 62% percent of the time, in the top ten 79% percent of the time and has only three times finished outside the top fifteen. Over the last  couple of Martinsville races he’s been in a slump, but now that he’s competing for a championship I think the #48 team will turn up the dial. This spring Johnson wasn’t much of a threat to win but he ran extremely well. When the checkered flag waved he earned the 7th best driver rating, had an 8th place average running position and finished 9th. I will note he was slightly better than his result because he lost positions late. Last fall he finished 12th and had a 10th place average running position. That’s respectable, but it wasn’t up to par for him. In spring 2015 he really struggled and finished 35th. He wrecked in that race but prior to his accident he was really, really bad. In fall 2014 Johnson had a good car, he had top five potential but his race didn’t go smoothly. He made a surprise pit stop while running in 3rd which dropped him a few laps down, later in traffic he wrecked which led to his 32nd place finish. In his four Martinsville races prior to that he had results of 1st, 1st, 2nd and 5th. (Yahoo A Driver)

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