Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Kurt Busch is 50/1 to win at Martinsville this week

Kurt Busch has two wins at Martinsville.
Chassis No. 865: Kurt Busch will pilot Chassis No. 865 in Sunday’s Martinsville 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Formerly a No. 10 chassis for Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) teammate Danica Patrick, Chassis No. 865 debuted in March 2014 at Martinsville, where Patrick started 10th and finished 32nd. Its next event was in July at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, where she started 29th and finished 22nd. Chassis No. 865 then raced at Martinsville in October, where Patrick started 30th and finished 34th after being involved in an accident late in the race. 

Chassis No. 865 was utilized in both 2015 races at Martinsville, where Busch finished 14th in March and was in contention for the win in October when he was caught up in an incident not of his own making and was relegated to a 34th-place finish. Chassis No. 865 again was utilized in both races at Martinsville in 2016. Busch finished 13th in March and struggled with ill handling and finished 22nd in its most recent start there last October.

KURT BUSCH, Driver of the No. 41 Monster Energy/Haas Automation Ford Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: What is the toughest part about racing at Martinsville?
 
“To me, the toughest part of Martinsville is you just never have a moment to breathe. You have to be on your game nonstop for 500 laps because somebody’s on you, or you are on top of somebody the whole time, and there’s just no room for error.” 

How much does pit strategy become a factor at Martinsville?
“It’s definitely something that comes into play. You may gamble early to pick up some positions on the track, especially if you’ve had trouble in qualifying. It’s just one of those things, though, where you always hope you’re on the right one (strategy) and, if you get caught on the wrong one, then you’re kicking yourself the whole time.” 

How much more important is track position at a place like Martinsville? 
“Track position is everything, everywhere, but at Martinsville it is just so easy to lose it. It doesn’t take much to find yourself going backward, whether it’s a situation with someone bumping you out of the way or you get too high on the track and up in the marbles. Then, deal with what that does to the tires and, boom, next thing you know, you may have had a 10th-place car and now you are 18th . It’s a goal all day to work your way forward and then just to have smooth pit stops to carry you through those midpoints of the race. Then, at the end, when everything is on the line, you have to be aggressive and you can’t be afraid to use the fenders on people to get that solid finish.”

Martinsville Speedway Notes of Interest:

 Kurt Busch has career totals of 29 wins, 21 poles, 126 top-five finishes and 245 top-10s in 581 career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts heading into Sunday’s Martinsville 500 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. His most recent NASCAR Cup Series win came in February at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in the season-opening Daytona 500. 

 Sunday’s Martinsville 500 will mark Busch’s 34th career NASCAR Cup Series start at Martinsville. Busch has two wins, one pole, three top-five finishes and five top-10s at the .526-mile oval. Additionally, the 38-year-old driver has led 464 laps, has an average starting position of 19.8, an average finish of 21.2, and has completed 97.3 percent (16,083 of 16,534) of the laps he’s contested there.

 The Las Vegas native has one pole to his credit (October 2006) at Martinsville. Busch has 21 career NASCAR Cup Series poles.

 Twice a Winner at Martinsville – Busch won his first race at Martinsville in October 2002. It was his second NASCAR Cup Series victory and a record-breaking one, at that, as he took the green flag from the 36th starting position – the deepest in the field a Martinsville winner had ever started. His most-recent Martinsville win came in March 2014. He held off six-time Cup Series champion and nine-time Martinsville race-winner Jimmie Johnson to win the Martinsville 500.

 A Place of Firsts - Busch’s March 2014 win at Martinsville was the first for Haas Automation as a primary sponsor in the NASCAR Cup Series. Prior to Martinsville, Haas Automation was winless as a primary sponsor for 11 different drivers and 115 races since 2002. Haas Automation, the largest CNC machine tool builder in the Western World, is owned by Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) founder and co-owner Gene Haas.

- True Speed Communications

Clint Bowyer carries momentum into Martinsville

Clint Bowyer is 25/1 to win at Martinsville Sunday.
KANNAPOLIS, North Carolina (March 28, 2017) – Clint Bowyer couldn’t wait to race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California last weekend. It had long been one of his favorite tracks and, even with a 17th-place qualifying effort Friday, he remained confident throughout the weekend. 

“I think we can win this race tomorrow,” Bowyer told a gathering of somewhat skeptical media minutes after a frustrating practice Saturday morning. 

But, after some late-night phone calls and meetings, Bowyer and crew chief Mike “Buga” Bugarewicz came up with a race setup that saw the No. 14 Ford run in the top-five throughout the 400-mile race. Bowyer scored sixth- and fourth-place finishes in the first two stages of Sunday’s Auto Club 400, then rallied from sixth to third in overtime to record his best finish at his new Stewart-Haas Racing (SHR) team and a personal best since a third-place finish at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway in 2015. 

Sunday’s performance moved Bowyer to eighth in the standings – the highest he has been since leaving the 2015 Daytona 500. 

“We never showed the speed in practice, but I wasn’t worried about it because I knew the car was really comfortable on the long run and things like that,” he said. 

Since taking over the No. 14 from three-time champion Tony Stewart, the normally ebullient Bowyer has ratcheted up his excitement, and performances like last weekend will only add to his enthusiasm. He credits Ford Performance, Roush-Yates Engines and his new team with the turnaround. 

“I appreciate everybody’s hard work at Stewart-Haas Racing,” Bowyer said. “Having these teammates and having this group behind you, the organization and the teamwork, it’s just amazing to be a part of it at this point in my career. Thanks to Gene Haas and Tony Stewart for giving me this opportunity. It means a lot to me to be in this 14. I have a lot of fun with these guys. Buga and all these guys mean business. It’s a confidence thing right now, a momentum-builder, and we’re getting closer.” 

This week, Bowyer turns his attention to another of his favorite tracks – Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. Not only does he like the flat, half-mile track, it’s sort of a home race for the Emporia, Kansas native but current resident of Clemmons, North Carolina. 

“It’s 40 minutes from the house,” he said. “You know, finally get home to see my family and everything else. To bring everybody up there, drive to the racetrack every day, sleep in your own bed, I mean, it’s just a fun, fun weekend. Fun racetrack. It’s old-school racing at its finest. I’ve been close so many times there. It’s one that I want to win more than anything. With this momentum and the confidence we take from here, maybe we can.” 

Bowyer has come close to bringing home a grandfather clock Martinsville presents the race winner, but he’s yet to add the clock to his trophy case. He led 154 laps during the fall 2012 race amid a string of five consecutive top-10s at Martinsville. He owns four top-five finishes and 12 top-10s and has led 356 laps at the southern Virginia track. 

SHR owns three victories – Ryan Newman in April 2012, Tony Stewart in October 2011 and Kurt Busch in March 2014 – six top-five finishes and 17 top-10s in 46 starts at Martinsville, and SHR cars have led 504 laps there. 

“I’ve run really well at Martinsville several times where I thought we were the fastest car a few times, and especially like in 2012 and 2013, and I really enjoy that racetrack,” Bowyer said. “I look forward to it every year and it’s one track I feel like I can win at and win at if the equipment is underneath me and we make good calls and I make good decisions and take care of the car on the racetrack. I feel like that’s a track we can win and bring one of those clocks home.” 

Could last week’s impressive run lead to bigger and better results as the 2017 progresses for the No. 14 driver and crew? 

“Hell yeah. It better be coming,” Bowyer said with a laugh. “When you’ve got a team like this that’s organized and as good as it is, it better be.”

CLINT BOWYER, Driver of the No. 14 Haas Automation Fusion for Stewart-Haas Racing: How weird is it to have Tony Stewart on your radio during a race? 
“It is weird, still. Look at him. He’s ready. You could put him in a firesuit. You know he’d go out there and get the job done in that 14 car. To give me the opportunity is super-cool. To have him on the box is really cool. It’s neat to see a smile on his face. I really believe he just looks happy. He looks comfortable, you know, at ease. I mean, the guy, that’s a long time – that’s a long career to be in any kind of sport. He put his time in. He’s an owner now, still a part of it. That’s the coolest thing about his gig right now. He’s still a part of this sport. Maybe in the biggest way he’s ever been.” 

Bowyer in 2017: A 17-car accident on lap 127 of the Daytona 500 collected Bowyer’s No. 14 Ford and left him with a 32nd-place finish. At Atlanta Motor Speedway, Bowyer started 24th and climbed to third with 85 laps remaining before contact with another car and a cut tire left him with an 11th-place finish. At Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the No. 14 Ford team struggled early but improved throughout the race to finish 10th. At Phoenix International Raceway, Bowyer drove from 17th to 13th in overtime. Bowyer repeated his overtime feat at Auto Club Speedway last weekend, when he drove from sixth to third in the added laps to record his best finish of 2017. 

Crew chief Mike Bugarewicz is in his second season after overseeing Tony Stewart’s final campaign in 2016. Bugarewicz’s pit strategy played a key role in Stewart’s victory at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway in June 2016. The Lehighton, Pennsylvania native served as the lead engineer on StewartHaas Racing’s (SHR) No. 4 entry in 2014 and 2015. The Penn State University graduate was the only rookie crew chief to be part of last year’s Cup Series playoffs.

Jimmie Johnson goes for 10th Martinsville win

Jimmie Johnson is 8/1 to win at Martinsville.
Jimmie Johnson on racing at Martinsville
“We certainly are not where we want to be right now. Last weekend at California was so frustrating, nothing went our way. As a competitor you have to put that stuff behind you and focus forward, so I’m looking forward to getting to Martinsville. The last race at Martinsville was an amazing finish, a very emotional one for me – so meaningful – and it obviously paved the way to our seventh championship. It’s a special place for us, it suits my driving style and I wish we raced at Martinsville more than twice a year.”

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the No. 48 Lowe's Chevrolet SS, will visit the Martinsville Speedway media center at 10:45 a.m. local time on Friday, March 31.

MARTINSVILLE STATS: According to NASCAR loop data since 2005, Jimmie Johnson has the series-best driver rating at Martinsville Speedway with a score of 117.7. The driver rating is a formula that combines wins, top-15 finishes, average running position while on the lead lap, average speed under green, fastest lap, most laps led and lead-lap finishes. The maximum a driver can earn in each race is 150 points. The driver rating number is used pre-race as a prediction tool and post-race as a performance evaluator. Johnson also has a series-best average running position of 7.990 and finishing position of 6.8 in that time span. Since 2005, Johnson has spent 85.8 percent of all laps run in the top 15 at the 0.526-mile track.

LAP LEADER: Johnson's 2,838 laps led at Martinsville Speedway are the most among active drivers – 1,475 more than second place. The number ranks him fifth all-time at the paperclip-shaped oval.

LAST OCTOBER: Johnson punched his ticket into the championship round of the 2016 NASCAR playoffs on Oct. 30, when he crossed the finish line for his ninth career win at Martinsville. Johnson led 92 laps that day and went on to win the 2016 NASCAR Cup Series championship three weeks later at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

MASTERING THE PAPERCLIP: Forty-nine different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won at Martinsville Speedway, led by Richard Petty with 15 victories. Johnson has the most wins among active drivers with nine victories. Former teammate Jeff Gordon also has nine wins. Johnson is also the most recent driver to win consecutive races (fall 2012 and spring 2013) at Martinsville.

GIFT OF THE CLOCK: The seven-time champion now has nine of the famous Ridgeway grandfather clocks, the trophies Martinsville Speedway gives to its race winners. During the postseason in December, Johnson was feeling the holiday spirit when he delivered his ninth clock directly to the home of Speedway Motorsports Inc. founder and chairman Bruton Smith. Johnson and Smith are longtime friends and Johnson felt it was a fitting gesture to gift the clock to Smith and make him smile.

HELMET OF HOPE: Voting continues for the 2017 Blue Bunny Helmet of Hope campaign until April 14. The campaign will award $125,000 to five non-profit organizations in May. The program, which began in 2008, allows fans and consumers across the country to nominate their favorite education-focused charities, including parent-teacher associations, to receive a $25,000 grant, a Blue Bunny ice cream party and special recognition on Johnson’s race helmet. Nominations will be accepted at www.helmetofhope.org and 10 semifinalists will be selected from the nominations. The public vote to choose the final five grant recipients will take place from May 5 to 12. Johnson will wear the Helmet of Hope during the NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Aug. 13.

2017 Season

  • 17th in standings
  • 5 starts
  • 0 race wins
  • 0 stage wins
  • 0 pole positions
  • 0 top-five finishes
  • 1 top-10 finish
  • 28 laps led

Career

  • 548 starts
  • 80 wins
  • 35 pole positions
  • 218 top-five finishes
  • 331 top-10 finishes
  • 18,474 laps led

Track Career 

  • 30 starts
  • 9 wins
  • 3 pole positions
  • 19 top-five finishes
  • 24 top-10 finishes
  • 2,838 laps led

- Hendrick Motorsports

Martinsville Betting Preview: 2017 STP 500

The Virginian, Denny Hamlin, has five wins at Martinsville.
Kyle Larson has only one win this season and two career Cup wins while in his fourth season, but I'm getting the feeling it he's going to have double-digit wins and possibly end up with a championship. He's got a 1998 Jeff Gordon look about him so far.

Larson kept his incredible start to 2017 going Sunday at Fontana with a win following three consecutive second-place finishes and he's got Las Vegas taking notice. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook as the 6/1 co-favorite (Bet $100 to win $600) with four other drivers to win NASCAR's Cup Series Championship. He's right there on the same plateau as Joey Logano, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick. Jimmie Johnson, who won his seventh title last season, is listed at 8/1 odds. That is some serious respect given to Larson, and well deserved.

Double-digit wins by Larson may be a bit of an exaggeration by me, but it's clear at this early juncture that Larson and Martin Truex Jr. have the new low downforce package figured out the best on the tracks where it makes the biggest impact.

Three of the five races so far have been tracks where the package means everything and there are still nine more races on 1.5-mile tracks and two more at Michigan's 2-mile layout. Joe Gibbs Racing has been a little sluggish so far on these tracks after dominating on them the past two seasons. The new Toyota Camry body design may have something to do with JGR's slow start, but Truex is using the same equipment and same body design and doesn't seem to have the same problems as his four defacto teammates.

This weekend at Martinsville, we can clean the slate on data accumulated between races at Atlanta, Las Vegas and Fontana. The low downforce package will have little effect on the outcome on the flat half-mile layout. This track usually has the same group of guys winning on it twice a year. When looking back the past 14 years of Martinsville results, four drivers combined to win 22 of the 28 races.

Two of those four drivers have retired in the past two seasons. Jeff Gordon had nine wins all-time there while Tony Stewart had three, which leaves Jimmie Johnson (nine wins) and Denny Hamlin (five wins) as the lone Martinsville dominators in what is obviously the dawning of a new era in NASCAR. The door is left open for some new blood to jump into the Martinsville mix.

Read More Here......Top-5 Finish Prediction on VegasInsider.com

Odds to Win 2017 STP 500 at Martinsville

Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch co-favorites to win with Jimmie Johnson.

WESTGATE LAS VEGAS SUPERBOOK
ODDS TO WIN 2017 STP 500
MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY
SUNDAY, APRIL 2, 2017 - 2:16 PM ET

Denny HAMLIN 6/1
Kyle BUSCH 6/1
Jimmie JOHNSON 6/1
Brad KESELOWSKI 7/1
Matt KENSETH 8/1
Joey LOGANO 8/1
Martin TRUEX JR 8/1
Kevin HARVICK 10/1
Kyle LARSON 12/1
Dale EARNHARDT JR 15/1
Jamie McMURRAY 20/1
Chase ELLIOTT 20/1
Clint BOWYER 25/1
AJ ALLMENDINGER 30/1
Ryan NEWMAN 50/1
Kurt BUSCH 50/1
Kasey KAHNE 50/1
Erik JONES 100/1
Austin DILLON 100/1
Ryan BLANEY 100/1
Daniel SUAREZ 100/1
Aric ALMIROLA 100/1
Paul MENARD 200/1
Ricky STENHOUSE JR 500/1
Trevor BAYNE 500/1
Ty DILLON 500/1
Danica PATRICK 500/1
Chris BUESCHER 1000/1
David RAGAN 1000/1
FIELD (all others) 1000/1


STP 500 DRIVER MATCH-UPS

Kyle BUSCH - 110
Denny HAMLIN - 110

Kyle BUSCH - 130
Jimmie JOHNSON +110

Kyle BUSCH - 130
Brad KESELOWSKI +110

Denny HAMLIN - 130
Jimmie JOHNSON +110

Denny HAMLIN - 130
Brad KESELOWSKI +110

Jimmie JOHNSON - 110
Brad KESELOWSKI - 110

Matt KENSETH - 110
Joey LOGANO - 110

Matt KENSETH - 125
Martin TRUEX JR +105

Matt KENSETH - 125
Kevin HARVICK +105

Joey LOGANO - 125
Martin TRUEX JR +105

Joey LOGANO - 125
Kevin HARVICK +105

Kevin HARVICK - 110
Martin TRUEX JR - 110

Kyle LARSON - 150
Dale EARNHARDT JR +130

Kyle LARSON - 150
Jamie McMURRAY +130

Dale EARNHARDT JR - 110
Jamie McMURRAY - 110

Dale EARNHARDT JR - 110
Chase ELLIOTT - 110

Jamie McMURRAY - 110
Chase ELLIOTT - 110

Chase ELLIOTT - 130
Clint BOWYER +110

Clint BOWYER - 110
AJ ALLMENDINGER - 110

Kurt BUSCH - 110
Kasey KAHNE - 110

Martinsville Speedway Track Facts: 2017 STP 500

It's time for some short track racing. Bumping and banging. STP 500 at Martinsville, Sunday at 2:16 pm ET: 
Rank
Driver
Races
Poles
Wins
Top Fives
Top 10s
DNFs
Average Finish
Driver Rating
 
 
1
Kyle Larson
6
0
0
1
1
2
22.5
73.0
 
2
Chase Elliott
3
0
0
0
0
0
23.3
63.4
 
3
Martin Truex Jr
22
1
0
2
7
2
20.6
74.2
 
4
Brad Keselowski
14
0
0
4
8
0
13.8
90.8
 
5
Joey Logano
16
3
0
4
6
0
14.2
90.0
 
6
Jamie McMurray
28
2
0
2
15
2
16.3
86.2
 
7
Ryan Blaney
2
0
0
0
0
0
19
66.1
 
8
Clint Bowyer
22
0
0
4
12
2
14.8
88.8
 
9
Kevin Harvick
31
0
1
3
14
1
16
94.6
 
10
Kyle Busch
23
1
1
11
12
1
14.1
99.9
 
11
Ryan Newman
30
3
1
8
14
2
15
86.3
 
12
Denny Hamlin
22
3
5
12
17
2
9.2
108.2
 
13
Kasey Kahne
26
1
0
3
5
5
19.9
77.2
 
14
Kurt Busch
33
1
2
3
5
2
21.2
80.0
 
16
Trevor Bayne
5
0
0
0
0
0
26.8
50.0
 
* – Based on last 24 races at Martinsville Speedway (2005 – 2016).
                                               

 2017 Stage Winners / Drivers with Playoff Points
Track
Stage 1 Winner
Stage 2 Winner
Race Winner
 
Playoff Points Following Race #5
Daytona
Kyle Busch
Kevin Harvick
Kurt Busch
 
Drivers
Playoff Points
Atlanta
Kevin Harvick
Kevin Harvick
Brad Keselowski
 
Martin Truex Jr.
8
Las Vegas
Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr.
Martin Truex Jr.
 
Kyle Larson
6
Phoenix
Joey Logano
Chase Elliott
Ryan Newman
 
Brad Keselowski
5
Auto Club
Kyle Larson
Martin Truex Jr.
Kyle Larson
 
Ryan Newman
5
Martinsville
    
Kurt Busch
5
Texas
    
Kevin Harvick
3
Bristol
    
Chase Elliott
1
Richmond
    
Joey Logano
1
Talladega
    
Kyle Busch
1







Martinsville Speedway Data
Season Race #: 06 of 36 (04-02-17)
Track Size: 0.526-mile
Banking/Turn 1 & 2: 12 degrees
Banking/Turn 3 & 4: 12 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 0 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 0 degrees
Frontstretch Length:  800 feet
Backstretch Length:  800 feet
Race Length: 500 laps / 263 miles
Stage 1 & 2 Length: 130 laps (each)
Final Stage Length: 240 laps

Top 10 Driver Ratings at Martinsville
Jimmie Johnson........................ 117.7
Denny Hamlin........................... 108.2
Kyle Busch................................. 99.9
Dale Earnhardt Jr........................ 98.7
Kevin Harvick............................. 94.6
Brad Keselowski......................... 90.8
Joey Logano............................... 90.0
Matt Kenseth.............................. 88.9
Clint Bowyer............................... 88.8
Ryan Newman............................ 86.6
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2016 races (24 total) among active drivers at Martinsville Speedway.

Qualifying/Race Data
2016 pole winner:
Joey Logano, Ford
97.043 mph, 19.513 secs. 04-01-16

2016 race winner:
Kyle Busch, Toyota
80.088 mph, (03:17:02), 04-03-16

Track qualifying record:
Joey Logano, Ford
100.201 mph, 18.898 secs. 03-28-14

Track race record:
Jeff Gordon, Chevrolet
82.223 mph, (3:11:55), 09-22-96
Martinsville Speedway:
History
·        Opened in September 1947 by H. Clay Earles, Martinsville, originally a dirt track, is one of the oldest continuously-operating race tracks in the United States.
·        The first NASCAR-sanctioned race at Martinsville was on July 4, 1948.
·        The first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race was Sept. 25, 1949.
·        The track was paved in 1955.
·        The first 500-lap event at Martinsville was in 1956.
·        Concrete corners were added atop asphalt in 1976.
Starts
·        There have been 136 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway, one in the inaugural year and two races per year since 1950.
·        615 drivers have competed in at least one Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville; 391 in more than one.
·        NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty has the all-time most Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Martinsville with 67; Matt Kenseth has the most starts among active drivers with 34.
·        Ryan Newman leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average starting position at Martinsville Speedway with a 9.267.
·        Ryan Newman (9.267), Joey Logano (9.375) and Denny Hamlin (9.636) each have an average starting position at Martinsville inside the top 10.
·        In total, 61 drivers have made their first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start at Martinsville.
·        Gray Gaulding (10/30/2016), Chase Elliott (03/29/2015) and Michael McDowell (3/30/2008) are active drivers that made their first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career starts at Martinsville Speedway.

Poles
·        Curtis Turner won the inaugural Coors Light pole at Martinsville Speedway in 1949.
·        60 drivers have Coors Light poles at Martinsville, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip with eight; Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson are tied among active drivers for the most Martinsville Coors Light poles with three each.  
·        27 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers have multiple Coors Light poles at Martinsville.
·        13 drivers have won two or more consecutive Coors Light poles at Martinsville Speedway; the most recent was Joey Logano who has won the last three poles at Martinsville.  
·        Five of the 13 have won three consecutive poles at Martinsville: Glen Wood (fall of 1959 and 1960 sweep); Darrell Waltrip (1979 sweep and spring 1980); Mark Martin (fall of 1990 and 1991 sweep); Jeff Gordon (2003 sweep and spring 2004) and Joey Logano (2015 sweep, 2016 spring).
·        Youngest Martinsville pole winner: Ricky Rudd (4/26/1981 – 24 years, 7 months, 14 days).
·        Oldest Martinsville pole winner: Morgan Shepherd (4/26/1987 – 45 years, 6 months, 14 days).
·        12 drivers have posted their first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coors Light pole at Martinsville Speedway; the two most recent are Scott Riggs (4/10/2005) and Tony Stewart (4/18/1999).
Wins
·        49 different Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won at Martinsville Speedway, led by Richard Petty with 15; Jimmie Johnson leads the series among active drivers with nine wins; followed by Denny Hamlin with five. Only seven active drivers have won at Martinsville.
·       
Rank
Active Martinsville Winners
Wins

1
Jimmie Johnson
9

2
Denny Hamlin
5

3
Kurt Busch
2

4
Dale Earnhardt Jr
1

5
Kevin Harvick
1

6
Kyle Busch
1

7
Ryan Newman
1


24 drivers have multiple wins at Martinsville Speedway; nine drivers have won five or more times; two of which are active: Jimmie Johnson (nine) and Denny Hamlin (five).  
·        Hendrick Motorsports leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Martinsville Speedway with 24 – Jeff Gordon (nine), Jimmie Johnson (nine), Darrell Waltrip (four), Geoffrey Bodine (one) and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (one).
·        20 of 136 races (14.7%) at Martinsville Speedway have been won from the Coors Light pole; three of those 20 wins came from active drivers: Jimmie Johnson (2012, spring 2013) and Denny Hamlin (2010) – Note: Johnson won from the first starting position is 2008, but qualifying was not held due to weather. A total of 21 wins have come from the first starting position.
·        The Coors Light pole (1st starting position) is the most proficient starting spot in the field at Martinsville producing more wins (21) than any other starting position.
·        36 of the 136 (26.4%) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from the front row: 21 from the first-place and 15 from second-place.


Wins
·        98 of the 136 (72.1%) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position.
·        Seven of the 136 (5.1%) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from a starting position outside the top 20 – including both races in 2015
·        The deepest in the field that a race winner has started is 36th, by Kurt Busch in the fall of 2002.
·        Youngest Martinsville winner: Richard Petty (04/10/1960 – 22 years, 9 months, 8 days).
·        Oldest Martinsville winner: Harry Gant (09/22/1991 – 51 years, 8 months, 12 days).
·        12 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers have posted consecutive wins at Martinsville Speedway. Fred Lorenzen won four MENCS races straight (the most) from the fall of 1963 through the spring of 1965.  Jimmie Johnson is the most recent driver to win consecutive races (fall of 2012 / spring of 2013) at Martinsville.
·        Kyle Busch competed at Martinsville Speedway 21 times before winning in 2016; the longest span of any the seven active Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series winners.
·       
Rank
OEM Martinsville Winners
Wins
1
Chevrolet
56
2
Ford
26
3
Plymouth
12
4
Dodge
10
5
Oldsmobile
8
6
Pontiac
8
7
Toyota
6
8
Buick
3
9
Chrysler
3
10
Hudson
2
11
Mercury
2

Three active winners have made 10 or more attempts before their first win at Martinsville Speedway: Kevin Harvick (19), Ryan Newman (20) and Kyle Busch (21).
·        11 drivers posted their first career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win at Martinsville Speedway; the most recent was Ricky Craven (10/15/2001).
·        A total of 11 manufacturers have won in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Martinsville. Chevrolet leads series in wins at Martinsville Speedway with 56 victories; followed by Ford with 26 wins and Toyota has six.

Additional Finishing Positions
·        NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt leads the series in runner-up finishes at Martinsville Speedway with seven; Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers with four, followed by AJ AllmendingerBrad Keselowski,Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin, Jamie McMurray and Matt Kenseth each have two. 
·        Richard Petty leads the series in top-five finishes at Martinsville Speedway with 30; Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers with 19, followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. with 13.
·        Jeff Gordon lead the series in top-10 finishes at Martinsville Speedway with 38; Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers with 24.
·        Two active drivers have a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series average finish inside the top 10 at Martinsville: Jimmie Johnson (7.300) and Denny Hamlin (9.227).

Track Event Specific Stats
·        There have been five MENCS NASCAR Overtime finishes at Martinsville Speedway: fall 2007 (500/506), fall 2008 (500/504), fall 2009 (500/501), spring 2010 (500/508), and spring 2012 (500/515).
·        Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions eight times in the Monster Energy NASCAR Series at Martinsville Speedway; the most recent was the fall race of 2011.
·        Since the advent of electronic scoring, the closest margin of victory in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Martinsville Speedway is the April 1, 2007 race won by Jimmie Johnson with a MOV of 0.065 second over second-place Jeff Gordon.

Female Competitor Stats
·        Danica Patrick is the only female driver to compete at Martinsville Speedway in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Below are Patrick’s stats at Martinsville.   
Driver
Starting Position
Finishing Position
Date
Driver Rating
Danica Patrick
24
24
10/30/2016
53.2
Danica Patrick
28
16
4/3/2016
69.2
Danica Patrick
16
40
11/1/2015
49.8
Danica Patrick
16
7
3/29/2015
86.9
Danica Patrick
30
34
10/26/2014
61.3
Danica Patrick
10
32
3/30/2014
52.4
Danica Patrick
41
17
10/27/2013
64.7
Danica Patrick
32
12
4/7/2013
72.6
Averages
24.6
22.8

63.8

NASCAR in Virginia
·        There have been 497 NASCAR national series races among 10 tracks in the state of Virginia.
·        Martinsville Speedway hosted the very first NASCAR national series race in the state of Virginia on Sept. 25, 1949 – Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event was won by Red Byron (Oldsmobile).
Track Name
City
MENCS
NXS
NCWTS
Total Races
Martinsville Speedway
Martinsville
136
34
36
206
Richmond International Raceway
Richmond
121
66
11
198
South Boston Speedway
South Boston
10
35
3
48
Langley Field Speedway
Hampton
9
14
0
23
Old Dominion Speedway
Manassas
7
0
0
7
New River Valley Speedway
Dublin
0
4
0
4
Southside Speedway
Richmond
4
0
0
4
Starkey Speedway
Roanoke
4
0
0
4
Norfolk Speedway
Norfolk
2
0
0
2
Princess Anne Speedway
Norfolk
1
0
0
1
Totals

294
153
50
497


NASCAR In Virginia
·        177 drivers that have made at least one start in a NASCAR national series race have their home state recorded as Virginia.
·        Joe Weatherly and Wendell Scott are both from Virginia and have been inducted into the 2015 Class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame.  
·        Glen Wood from Stuart, Va. was inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame in 2012 and his brother Leonard Wood, also from (Stuart) Virginia, was inducted in 2013.
·        19 drivers from Virginia have won at least one race in NASCAR’s three national series. 11 of the 19 Virginia native NASCAR winners have won in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Driver
MENCS
NXS
NCWTS
Denny Hamlin
29
15
2
Joe Weatherly
25
0
0
Ricky Rudd
23
1
0
Jeff Burton
21
27
0
Curtis Turner
17
0
0
Ward Burton
5
4
0
Glen Wood
4
0
0
Elliott Sadler
3
13
1
Emanuel Zervakis
2
0
0
Lennie Pond
1
0
0
Wendell Scott
1
0
0
Tommy Ellis
0
22
0
Jimmy Hensley
0
9
2
Rick Mast
0
9
0
Hermie Sadler
0
2
0
Elton Sawyer
0
2
0
Stacy Compton
0
0
2
Jon Wood
0
0
2
Jeb Burton
0
0
1



Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Milestones
Drivers
Has
Needs
Milestones
Brad Keselowski
274
1
Attempt to make his 275th MENCS career start (95th all-time)
Jimmie Johnson
80
3
Tie Cale Yarborough for sixth on MENCS all-time wins list
Kyle Busch
38
1
Tie Tim Flock for 18th on all-time MENCS wins list
Matt Kenseth
38
1
Tie Tim Flock for 18th on all-time MENCS wins list
Kevin Harvick
35
2
Tie Bobby Isaac for 21st on MENCS all-time wins list
Kurt Busch
29
3
Tie Dale Jarrett for 24th on all-time MENCS wins list
Denny Hamlin
29
3
Tie Dale Jarrett for 24th on all-time MENCS wins list
Ryan Newman
51
3
To tie Bill Elliott for eighth on the all-time MENCS poles list
Jimmie Johnson
35
1
Tie Rusty Wallace and Rex White for 17th on all-time MENCS poles list
Kasey Kahne
27
1
Break the tie with Terry Labonte to become solely 25th on all-time MENCS poles list
Denny Hamlin
24
1
Break the tie with Alan Kulwicki to become solely 28th on all-time MENCS poles list
Kevin Harvick
48
1
Break the tie with Lee Petty and become solely 10th on all-time MENCS second-place finishes list
Jimmie Johnson
46
2
Tie Lee Petty and Kevin Harvick for 10th on all-time MENCS second-place finishes list
Kyle Busch
36
1
Tie Bobby Isaac and Ned Jarrett for 17th on all-time MENCS second-place finishes list
Matt Kenseth
29
1
Tie Ricky Rudd for 25th on all-time MENCS second-place finishes list
Matt Kenseth
172
3
Tie Bill Elliott for 19th on all-time MENCS top-five finishes list
Dale Earnhardt Jr
148
2
To become the 23rd driver to post 150th MENCS top-five finishes
Kyle Busch
148
2
To become the 23rd driver to post 150th MENCS top-five finishes
Jimmie Johnson
331
1
Tie Lee Petty for 12th on the MENCS all-time top-10 finishes list
Kurt Busch
8,863
137
To become 20th MENCS driver all-time to lead 9,000 or more laps
Brad Keselowski
4,944
56
To become 39th MENCS driver all-time to lead 5,000 or more laps
Ryan Newman
4,711
289
To become 39th MENCS driver all-time to lead 5,000 or more laps
    
Track Specific Milestones
Drivers
Has
Needs
Milestones
Jimmie Johnson
2,838
162
To become fifth driver in series history to lead 3,000 or more laps at Martinsville Speedway
Jimmie Johnson
1
1
If Johnson leads 162 or more laps he will tie Darrell Waltrip (2) for the fourth most number of tracks to lead 3,000 or more laps at. (see below chart)
Denny Hamlin
5
1
Tie Fred Lorenzen, Dale Earnhardt and Cale Yarborough for the sixth-most series wins all-time at Martinsville Speedway


Number Of Tracks With 3,000 Or More Laps Led
·        Seven drivers have posted 3,000 or more laps led in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at one or more tracks, below is the breakdown:  

Rank
Driver
No. of Tracks with 3,000 or more laps led
Tracks
1
Cale Yarborough
5
Bristol, Martinsville, Rockingham, Nashville Fairgrounds, Atlanta
2
Richard Petty
4
North Wilkesboro, Richmond, Nashville Fairgrounds, Rockingham
3
Rusty Wallace
3
Bristol, Martinsville, Richmond
4
Darrell Waltrip
2
Bristol, Martinsville
5
Jimmie Johnson
1
Martinsville
6
Dale Earnhardt
1
Bristol
7
Jeff Gordon
1
Martinsville

NASCAR