Playoff drivers who have the best chance to win at Martinsville
By Brian DeGruchy
October 29, 2017
With eight drivers remaining in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs, the room for error is becoming less and less for each team.
The remaining drivers can all win next week at Martinsville Speedway as each driver has posted at least one top 10 in the past five races—except for Ryan Blaney who hasn’t finish better than 19th at Martinsville.
Which driver will be earning the famous Martinsville in Victory Lane this week?
Joe Gibbs Racing’s Kyle Busch has finished inside the top five in each of the last four races at the speedway, including a victory in the spring of 2016.
Denny Hamlin has finished inside the top five at Martinsville in three of the last five races, including a win the spring of 2015.
Chase Elliott has finished better in every race he has been in. Elliott has finished 38th, 20th, 12th, and third in his last four races at Martinsville.
Will Elliott improve and possibly win his first career race at Martinsville?
Brad Keselowski has also been in the top five in for of the last five Cup Series races at the track, including a win in 2017.
Martin Truex Jr. has three top-10 finishes at Martinsville in his last five races. His best finish at Martinsville is fifth-place on two occasions.
The past three races for Kevin Harvick he has been unhappy, finishing outside the top 15.
In the two previous races before the streak outside the top 15, he finished eighth in both prior races.
Jimmie Johnson has one win and two total top-ten finishes in the last five races at Martinsville. His other finishes have been 35th, 12th and 15th.
The win did came in last year’s fall race, securing Johnson’s spot in the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway last year.
The big question is: Who will win the race out of the remaining drivers left in the playoffs to secure their spot in Homestead like Johnson did last year?
My four front runners will be Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin and Chase Elliott.
I would place my bet that Brad Keselowski will sweep the Martinsville races this year. Team Penske only has the 2012 champion in playoff contention so they will make sure Keselowski has the better car and they will focus more on him.
The other three drivers have other teammates in the playoffs while Keselowski is the only one for Team Penske.
Joey Logano has done well in the past at Martinsville and will work with his teammate Keselowski to try and secure him a spot in the final round of the playoffs at Homestead.
DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
Matt Courson/The Racing Experts Dante Ricci/The Racing Experts Dominic Aragon/The Racing Experts