Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Johnson favored to win ninth Grandfather clock trophy

Chevrolet has won nine of past 10 Martinsville races.
LAS VEGAS -- We get our first 2016 taste of short track racing at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday where Jimmie Johnson is the 9-to-2 favorite by the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook to win his ninth race on the flat, half-mile layout.

There was an 11-race stretch from 1997 to 2002 with 11 different winners, but since then the races have been won a by a select few. Johnson has his eight wins and Denny Hamlin has five wins. Jeff Gordon is now retired, but he won nine times at Martinsville during his career.

With Gordon no longer driving, who will become that third driver to join Johnson and Hamlin as drivers to beat? The odds show Joey Logano (6/1) in his Penske Ford is ready to become that driver, even though a Chevrolet has won nine of the past 10 Martinsville races and 20 of the past 26.

Let's take a look at each of the driver's history at Martinsville:

JIMMIE JOHNSON 9/2 - It's been six races since he won the last of his eight Grandfather clock trophies at Martinsville, but when looking at his overall record, you can't helped but be impressed from a historical perspective on a track that's been running two races a year since 1950. In 28 career starts, he's had 18 top-five finishes with a 7.46 average. He's also led 2,747 laps, which is most among all active drivers. He's got a ways to go to catch Richard Petty's track record 15 wins, but his accomplishments in such a short span in a more competitive era is a testament to just how great Johnson really is.

DENNY HAMLIN 6/1 - A Chevrolet has won 20 of the past 26 Martinsville races and it's been Hamlin's Toyota that is responsible for five of wins that Chevy didn't take. The native Virginian has been racing at Martinsville his entire career, and it's proven to be his best type. He loves the short tracks and seems to have a bit of an edge entering and exiting turns at maximum speed without killing the brakes. His eighth-place average finish is second only to Johnson — the two are the only drivers with an average better than 10th-place. He won this race last season and finished it off with one of the most classic drifting burnouts ever seen in the sport.

Read More Here......Complete odds posted at TheLinemakers.com

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