The NASCAR Sprint Cup series moves to Martinsville Speedway for the 33rd race of the 2013 season, the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500. NASCAR Fantasy expert Brian Brown took a look at past performances, season trends, and spoke with NASCAR contacts to predict how the field should finish on Sunday.
When: Sunday, October 27, 2013; 1:43 p.m./et.
Weather: Partly cloudy with a high around 63; wind out of the WNW at 8 mph. There is a 10% chance of precipitation.
The Track: The Half Mile Paperclip
Martinsville Speedway is a half mile paperclip shaped track with intermediate 12 degree banking on the turns. It is a smaller version of New Hampshire Motor Speedway so teams often use the same car and a similar setup at both tracks. Drivers that are successful at NHMS often run well at Martinsville.
Key to Race: LOOK OUT FOR THE HENDRICK BOYS
Hendrick Motorsports and Denny Hamlin have dominated Martinsville lately. Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, and Denny Hamlin have combined to win 14 of the last 18 races at the track. If it isn't a member of this foursome taking the checkers we will be surprised.
43 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots.
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson has won seven of the past 14 races at Martinsville. We expect the No. 48 team could be headed back to Victory Lane to claim yet another one of Martinsville’s Grandfather Clocks.
No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon has seven career wins atMartinsville. He will crack the top five and could win with a little luck.
No. 15 Clint Bowyer: Bowyer finished second at M’ville in April. He has cracked the top 11 in 10 of his last 13 starts at Martinsville. We love his chances on Sunday.
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski has averaged an 11th place finish at M’ville during his career. We like his chances to improve on his average this trip to Virginia.
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior has finished in the top seven in 13 of his 27 career starts at Martinsville. With a little luck he could notch another top seven finish.
6 to 10
No. 29 Kevin Harvick: Harvick has mostly managed to avoid trouble at Martinsville during his career. He should continue to avoid the frequent accidents and crack the top 10.
No. 39 Ryan Newman: Newman won last year’s spring race at M’ville and has qualified inside the top 10 in 16 of his 22 Cup starts at the track. His strong qualifying skills will help Newman start in the front and stay there.
No. 99 Carl Edwards: Edwards cracked the top 10 in five of the last 10 races at Martinsville. He should be the top Roush-Fenway driver this weekend.
No. 18 Kyle Busch: Busch has had plenty of past success at short-tracks, but his lack of patience makes him the risky pick in our top 10.
No. 20 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth has just three top five finishes in 27 Cup starts at Martinsville. He isn’t a tremendous option this weekend.
11 to 20
No. 5 Kasey Kahne: Kahne has led just 30 laps in 18 career starts at Martinsville, but he finished third last fall. He is a decent choice this weekend.
No. 14 Mark Martin: Martin has driven well at the track in the past and is worth using in all leagues.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin has been great on flat-tracks during his career, but with the struggles he has had this season we can’t put him in our top 10.
No. 41 Aric Almirola: A-Dub ran strong at M’ville last year. He is an option in all leagues.
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle has just four top 10 finishes in 20 career starts at Martinsville. There are far better weekends to use The Biff.
No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.: Truex Jr. ran well at Martinsville in three of the last seven races. He is a decent third driver and a great fourth driver in most leagues.
No. 22 Joey Logano: Logano has been very good at M’ville during his career. He is worth using in most leagues.
No. 9 Marcos Ambrose: Ambrose has been great on short-tracks during his career. This is a good opportunity to use the Terrific Tasmanian.
No. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya: Montoya has finished inside the top 16 in seven of his 13 career starts at Martinsville. This is a rare weekend that we recommend the No. 42 car.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray: Last week’s winner, McMurray, has finished in the top 10 in 12 of his 21 career Martinsville starts. This is a nice weekend to use the No. 1 car.
21 to 30
No. 78 Kurt Busch: Busch has really struggled at Martinsville lately. There are much better weekends to use the No. 78 driver.
No. 31 Jeff Burton: Burton has averaged a 17th place finish at Martinsville during his career. He should finish a little worse than his average this weekend.
No. 55 Elliot Sadler: Elliot Sadler takes over behind the wheel of the No. 55 car this weekend. He has struggled at M’ville during his career.
No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Stenhouse struggled a little in his first Cup visit to Martinsville, but he should improve this visit to the track.
No. 27 Paul Menard: Menard has averaged a 23rd place finish at Martinsville during his career. He is definitely worth using only in the deepest leagues.
No. 47 Bobby Labonte: Labonte is always a threat at Martinsville. Plug him into the No. 5 spot in your roster.
No. 34 David Ragan: Ragan has cracked the top 27 in 11 of his 13 career starts at Martinsville. He will do it again this weekend.
No. 13 Casey Mears: Mears has averaged a 21st place finish at Martinsville during his career. We like him as a sleeper only this week.
No. 10 Danica Patrick: Patrick will struggle this weekend.
No. 83 David Reutimann: Reutimann isn’t an option this weekend. There are far better choices.
No. 38 David Gilliland
No. 51 Kyle Larson
No. 7 Dave Blaney
No. 33 Tony Raines
No. 30 Cole Whitt
No. 93 Travis Kvapil
No. 87 Joe Nemechek
No. 40 Landon Cassill
No. 95 Reed Sorenson
No. 36 J.J. Yeley
No. 98 Michael McDowell
No. 32 Ken Schrader
No. 35 Josh Wise
My Yahoo! Fantasy NASCAR Team for this Week:
A. Jimmie Johnson
B. Carl Edwards
B. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
C. Elliott Sadler