Saturday, October 27, 2012

Final Martinsville Driver Ratings Following All Practice Sessions

Micah Roberts’ Top 10 Driver Ratings
Tums Fast Relief 500
Martinsville Speedway
Sunday, October 28, 2012 -  11:16 a.m. (PDT)

Rating    Driver     Odds        Practice 1     Qualified    Practice 2    Practice 3

 1. Brian Vickers 50/1                1st                 2nd               1st               1st      
Thoroughly dominated all practice sessions; fastest 10-consecutive lap average in Practice 2.
 2. Jimmie Johnson 4/1             7th                 1st                4th               6th 
Six-time winner with 5.8 career average finish; using brand new chassis this week.
 3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 12/1        2nd                20th              8th               2nd 
Using chassis that he’s raced in past four Martinsville races to a fourth-place average.
 4. Denny Hamlin 7/2                 3rd                 5th              11th               5th 
Four-time winner with a 6.4 career average; 20-points behind in Chase, needs this one bad.
 5. Jeff Gordon 7/1                     4th                11th              2nd              3rd 
Seven-time winner with 7.1 career average; best 10-consecutive lap average in final practice.
 6. Kyle Busch 10/1                    8th                 3rd               5th               4th  
Career best of third-place in 2011, finished fourth four times; good showing in all practices.
 7. Clint Bowyer 15/1                  5th                 8th               6th              10th 
Only one top-five finish in 13 starts, but MWR cars have something working well this weekend.
 8. Tony Stewart 8/1                 12th                 7th              12th             22nd 
Three-time winner, the last in 2011; using chassis that finished third and fourth at Richmond.
 9. Ryan Newman 25/1             13th               17th              20th              8th 
Won the spring race in April; using chassis that has raced to three top-10 finishes in four starts.
10. Paul Menard 100/1               6th                 9th               7th               7th 
Career best of 13th in 2010, but looked great in practice; using chassis from first race in April.

Note: This is the second race of the season held on the flat half-mile track. The first race was held on April 1, won by Ryan Newman.

Odds courtesy of the LVH Super Book.

Micah Roberts, a former sports book director, has been setting NASCAR lines in Las Vegas since 1995. For more Roberts insights on the race, go to The Linemakers on or follow on Twitter: MicahRoberts7. 

Betting Notes
Brian Vickers no longer at 50/1 odds (Getty)
I can’t remember the last time there looked to be so many solid candidates to win at Martinsville. There are at least nine drivers that I could see that have a legitimate chance at winning Sunday’s race. In normal instances, the list is only about three drivers and they usually go onto to win, which is why the odds are always so low. A great case can be made for the three -- Denny Hamlin, Jimmie and Jeff Gordon -- this week, but I’m taking a shot with Brian Vickers, Dale Earnhardt Jr and Clint Bowyer.

I’m a little late to the party with Vickers -- missing out on the 50-to-1 odds, but I’ll be happy with 12 or 15-to-1 odds. At Martinsville you want your driver to be able to get out front early and then take off. Before you know it, he’ll be making his last pit stop, and the race will be almost over. He’s got the look of a car in practices that looks dominating in the same way Hamlin, Johnson and Gordon have when they rolled to wins.

The only question mark with Vickers is that he doesn’t have a great record at Martinsville. No top-5 finishes over his career in 14 starts. But then again, he never had a car this good, either.

No comments: