The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is at Martinsville Speedway this weekend for the STP 500 and the first short track race of the season. Kyle Busch is going for three wins in a row in NASCAR’s top series, although it’s going to be hard to beat the Fords this weekend, as they absolutely dominated “The Paperclip” last season. One thing to note for Sunday’s big race is that there’s 500 laps to run, which equals a relatively short race but a long day for the drivers and the teams. One mistake can ruin a driver’s entire day here at Martinsville, as even something as small as a pit road speeding penalty can result in him being multiple laps down.
Joey Logano is on the pole *unofficially* for Sunday’s STP 500–his fifth pole in the last nine races here. I say unofficially because there will be tech inspection at 8am EST on Sunday, and any car that fails that will result in the driver’s qualifying time being disallowed and him starting from the back. Still, the full starting lineup can be found by clicking here. You can find the practice speeds for Saturday’s two practice sessions here: Practice #1 — Happy Hour. You should also read our in-depth notes for each practice here: Practice #1 — Happy Hour.
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Final Top 25 Fantasy NASCAR Rankings for Martinsville
1. Kyle Busch – Starts 13th – DraftKings Price: $13,000 – FanDuel Price: $14,900 – Slingshot Price: $13,000
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Kyle Busch is going for the weekend sweep. After dominating the Truck Series race on Saturday, Rowdy will be going for yet another win to start the 2019 season–and the #18 Toyota is going to be a car to beat on Sunday. Looking specifically at Martinsville Speedway, this track has been a playground for Kyle Busch for quite some time now. Over the last four races here, Busch owns an average driver rating of 129.5, and over the last seven races he hasn’t finished outside of the top 5. Ridiculous. Additionally, Kyle has crossed the 100 laps led point in four of the last six, including a total of 458 in the two races here in 2017–nearly half of the 1,005 total laps ran at Martinsville that season. This weekend, Rowdy had the best ten-lap average in Practice #1, ranked 3rd on that chart in Happy Hour, and was 3rd-best in 20-lap average during that final session. There’s no reason to bet against Kyle Busch this weekend, especially at a track like Martinsville, where he has 15 top 5 finishes in 27 career starts (60%).
2. Martin Truex, Jr. – Starts 8th – DraftKings Price: $11,900 – FanDuel Price: $13,500 – Slingshot Price: $11,700
In case you didn’t hear Rick Allen last fall and the 615 times he mentioned it…Martin Truex, Jr. is still searching for his first short track win. And I’m sure that will be the narrative that DW pushes this weekend, too, because…well, that’s what simple-brained people do. Anyway, Truex has a hot rod underneath him once again this weekend, as the #19 Toyota ranked best in 10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-lap averages in Happy Hour. Also, not that it matters much, but Truex is running that light blue SiriusXM paint scheme on Sunday, and not only does it look awesome, but we all know how this team performs in a blue car (just look up his results in the blue Auto Owners paint scheme). Anyway, Martin has finished 3rd, 4th, and 2nd in the last three races at “The Paperclip,” and he’s going to be (at least) a top 5 threat once again in Sunday’s STP 500. This #19 Toyota has a bit of a finish pattern going on since Daytona, too, as Truex finished 2nd at Atlanta, 8th at Las Vegas, 2nd at Phoenix, and then 8th at Fontana.
3. Joey Logano – Starts 1st – DraftKings Price: $11,300 – FanDuel Price: $14,000 – Slingshot Price: $11,900
If you take away his tire issue at Atlanta, Joey Logano would be 5-for-5 when it comes to finishing inside the top 10 this season. The good news is he will make it 5-for-6 after Sunday’s STP 500 here at Martinsville. As most remember, Joey is the most recent race winner at this track, after he used the bumper to get around Martin Truex, Jr. last fall. Logano led 309 laps that day, though, so it’s not like he didn’t have the best car for most of the race. Overall, Logano has seven single-digit finishes in the last ten races here at “The Paperclip,” and since he came over to Penske Racing, Joey has been a consistent top 5 threat. This weekend, the #22 Ford looked good on Saturday–not great–as Logano had the 9th-best ten-lap average in Happy Hour and ranked 9th in 30-lap average as well. Still, the #22 team has a solid car to work with on race day, and we know how good Penske Racing has been here at Martinsville in the past.