By admin | March 25, 2009
By Richard Allen
Track and Location: Martinsville Speedway in Martinsville, Virginia
Track Layout: .526 mile oval with 12 degrees of banking in the turns
Race Distance: 500 laps
Date of Race: Sunday(March 29, 2009)
Radio Coverage: MRN(1:15pm Eastern)
Television Coverage: Fox(1:30pm Eastern)
Start Time: 2:10pm Eastern
Last Yearâ€™s Winner: Denny Hamlin
It will be two short track races in a row for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series this week in Martinsville, Virginia. Normally, having two short track races in a row has allowed drivers to take out their frustrations from the previous week. However, no two drivers got close enough to each other last week in Bristol to cause any hard feelings.
While this is a short track, it is nothing like the track in Bristol. Martinsville is relatively flat with very tight turns whereas Bristol has the steepest banking on the circuit. Just because a driver was good or bad last week may not necessarily translate to this week because the two tracks are so different.
Much of the fantasy information shown below applies to the ESPN Fantasy Stock Car Challenge. However, the thoughts below can be applied to most NASCAR fantasy games.
Here are some thoughts for the Goodyâ€™s Fast Pain Relief 500:
Drivers who should do well: Last weekâ€™s race in Bristol may not necessarily translate to this race but it did show trends. However, looking back to the results of races on flatter tracks such as here in Martinsville and Richmond may be the most helpful in predicting this race.
Jimmie Johnson- He has won a total of five races here including 4 of the last 5. Enough said.
Denny Hamlin- He won here in the spring of 2008. He has had 6 Top 10s in seven starts on his home track.
Kyle Busch- He has had three Top 5s in eight Martinsville starts which may not be that impressive but he is on a roll. If I had him on my team I wouldnâ€™t drop him.
Jamie McMurray- He is affordable and has had seven Top 10s here in his career. He was 8th in this race last year.
Juan Pablo Montoya- In four Martinsville starts his worst finish has been a 16th. He had a solid Top 10 last week in Bristol.
Casey Mears- I have recommended against Mears most of this season. Now may be the time to give him a shot. He had two Top 10s here last year while driving for HMS. His new RCR team has also had success here.
Drivers to avoid: Some drivers like racing on this type track and others do not. Most likely, if a driver has done poorly here in the past he will continue to do poorly.
Matt Kenseth- He once described racing at Martinsville as being like racing around two light poles in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Needless to say, he does not care for this track and his record reflects that. He has only 2 Top 5s and 6 Top 10s to show for his efforts here.
Kasey Kahne- He has only two Top 10s in ten starts here. He was 17th and a 33rd last year.
Ryan Newman- He has run well here in the past but was 19th and 23rd here last year and is breaking in a new team this year.
Robby Gordon- In 17 starts he has never had a Top 10 here.
Winner of the Goodyâ€™s Fast Pain Relief 500: Jimmie Johnson
These are only suggestions. Do your own research and enjoy the Goodyâ€™s Fast Pain Relief 500.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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