|First short track race of 2016 is at Martinsville Speedway Sunday.|
In 25 of the past 26 races on the flat half-mile layout, one of the short favorites has won. The only payout higher than 12/1 odds was Ryan Newman at 30/1 in 2012. Chevrolet has won nine of the past 10 races there and 20 of the past 26, with Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon grabbing the bulk of the wins. The non-Chevy to do well over that span is Denny Hamlin who has won five times in his Joe Gibbs Toyota, including last spring.
Who wants to bet the favorites? That's no fun, but at the same time with so many of them cashing, you'd be kind of stupid to not structuring your wagers accordingly for what is almost a certainty to happen again.
It used to be that racing at Martinsville was an equalizer for drivers where the best equipment didn't always win like happens at most other tracks. It was all about the driver and who could stick the car around the 1,000 turns the best while keeping their brakes fresh.
From a betting standpoint, it opened up all kinds of awesome possibilities. For a brief stretch, we witnessed winning payouts with Bobby Hamilton at 25/1, Ricky Rudd at 30/1, John Andretti at 45/1 and Ricky Craven and 40/1.
But since then, it's been basically three drivers dominating, one of which is eight-time winner Johnson who comes in as the 9/2 favorite to win Sunday's STP 500.