Nine of the 36 drivers, in Saturday night’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway, have won at the Virginia short track before.
The series visits the track twice a year – in the spring and during the playoffs for the penultimate race of the season.
MORE: Denny Hamlin leads active Cup Series field in wins at Martinsville
Martinsville is the only remaining track from the original NASCAR schedule in 1949. A win at the historic .526-mile track has eluded many drivers, including an active Cup Series champion and former Daytona 500 champions.
No. 5: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (18 starts)
In 2013, Stenhouse made his first Martinsville start, as a rookie driving for Roush-Fenway Racing.
The Mississippi native collected a pair of 10th-place finishes in 2017, but hasn’t finished inside the top-10 since.
Since joining JTG-Daugherty Racing in 2020, Stenhouse’s best finish was 15th last April. He has never led a lap at the track.
No. 4: J.J. Yeley (20 starts)
Yeley has driven for nine different teams at Martinsville – dating back to his first start in 2006, as a rookie, with Joe Gibbs Racing. He finished 20th in his first start, which is his best finish at the track.
Yeley will pilot a No. 15 Ford for Rick Ware Racing this weekend. He earned a 25th-place finish driving for RWR in last year’s Spring race.
No. 3: A.J. Allmendinger (21 starts)
Allmendinger will pilot Kaulig Racing’s No. 16 “all-star car” this weekend, in his first Martinsville start since 2018.
Allmendinger’s highest finish at the track came with Team Penske in April 2012, when he finished second to Ryan Newman during an overtime finish.
He has earned two top-5 finishes, seven top-10 finishes, led 50 laps and posted an average finish of 18.6. He has four top-10 finishes in his last six Martinsville starts.
No. 2: Michael McDowell (22 starts)
McDowell drove a No. 00 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota during his NASCAR Cup Series debut in 2008 at Martinsville.
McDowell’s highest finish at the track was a 14th-place, lead-lap finish while driving the No. 34 Front Row Motorsports Ford in the June 2020 race.
The 2021 Daytona 500 champion has never led a lap at the track and has only finished on the lead lap twice.
McDowell’s average finish at the track is 29.6, partly due to start-and-park efforts in the early 2010s.
No. 1: Aric Almirola (26 starts)
Almirola is the longest-tenured, active driver who has yet to win at NASCAR’s longest-tenured racetrack.
Almirola’s first Martinsville race was in Oct. 2007. Since then, he has earned one top-5 finish, six top-10 finishes and led 75 laps, including 53 in Oct. 2008.
Three of his six top-10 finishes have come since joining Stewart-Haas Racing in 2018, including a sixth-place finish last October.
Almirola’s highest finish was a 4th-place effort in Oct. 2012, while racing for Richard Petty Motorsports.
OTHER NOTABLE WINLESS DRIVERS AT MARTINSVILLE
Austin Dillon (16 starts – Best finish: 4th, April 2016)
Kyle Larson (14 starts – Best finish: 3rd, April 2016)
Ryan Blaney (12 starts – Best finish: 2nd, twice; June 2020, Nov. 2020)
William Byron (8 starts – Best finish: 2nd, Oct. 2019)
The Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 is scheduled for Saturday, April 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET (TV: FS1; Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
I am a co-owner and reporter for TheRacingExperts.com.