NASCAR fans are in for another mid-week treat when the Cup Series runs at Virginia’s Martinsville Speedway on Wednesday night for the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500. Team Penske and Joe Gibbs Racing have been the two dominant teams at this track.
Kyle Busch is the favorite to win with odds at 4/1 at most sportsbooks. But is it smart to wager on Busch in a night race at Martinsville Speedway? He’s yet to win a race this season, though he has five finishes in the top 10. He finished second last week in Atlanta.
Speaking after that result, Busch told reporters that his Toyota is performing well.
“We ended up second and not too far behind the 4 (Kevin Harvick), who was the best here,” Busch said. “Hard to beat him when you come to his home turf if you will – at Atlanta, they’re really fast. Overall, my guys did a great job.”
Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 Odds
|Martin Truex Jr.||25/4||13/2||6/1|
So who will take the checkered flag at Martinsville Speedway? We take a look at some of the drivers that gamblers might want to back, and others to skip this Wednesday night.
Drivers to Consider
Joey Logano (9/1)
History would suggest that either a Team Penske or a Joe Gibbs car is going to be victorious at Martinsville. We like Logano because he won here two years ago. He also won earlier this year at Phoenix using the same 750 horsepower package.
“I think it’s not necessarily gonna be because we’re under the lights that’s gonna produce better racing, it’s the rules package that’s gonna produce better racing,” Logano said.
Brad Keselowski (5/1)
Keselowski is another Team Penske member who should do well at this track. It doesn’t hurt that he’s one of the hottest drivers in NASCAR right now. He’s the defending champion of this race, and finished third in Martinsville in the fall.
Denny Hamlin (7/1)
Hamlin is the Joe Gibbs driver we like the best, and it’s because of his record at Martinsville Speedway. Hamlin has won five times in 28 starts at the track he calls his favorite. A Wednesday win would give him 40 career victories.
“It would be special to get it there for sure,” Hamlin said. “When we looked at all of the two-race week schedules, over the last few weeks, we really looked at the tracks, and said that we should be able to win two or three of these, not easily, but easily.”
Drivers to Avoid
Kevin Harvick (12/1)
Harvick is fresh off of his victory at Atlanta, but even with 12/1 odds, we don’t like him at Martinsville Speedway. He hasn’t won here since 2011 and finished seventh and sixth here last year.
Chase Elliott (8/1)
It’s true Elliott finished second at Martinsville last year in the spring race, but he also had a 36th-place finish at this track last year. That kind of discrepancy leads us to believe there are other drivers worth backing this week. We’re taking a pass on Elliott on Wednesday.