The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series moves from the high-speed two-mile track of Automobile Club Speedway into the 0.5-mile paperclip Trail of Martinsville for the STP 500.
Last week, Kyle Busch became the first repeat winner of the season and oddsmakers believe he’s primed for a third win in a row since they have left him the favorite at +220.
BetOnline has Busch as the favored in +220 followed by Brad Keselowski at +500, Martin Truex Jr. at +600, Joey Logano at +750 and Denny Hamlin at +1000 to round out the top five drivers on the oddsboard.
Ford cars have won three of those last four races at Martinsville, including both runnings there last season.
Joey Logano appears to become the initial back-to-back winner in the paperclip since Jimmie Johnson won successive races there in 2012 and 2013.
The pole sitter at Martinsville hasn’t won at the past 11 races dating back to 2013. In eight of the last 11 runnings, the winner qualified fifth or worse.
You may be looking at Kevin Harvick as a value pick at +1600, however the California native has just one win in 35 starts at Martinsville and that success came in 2011. He hasn’t finished better than fifth there since that triumph in 2011.
Joey Logano has qualified on the pole in four of the past eight races at the paperclip but only finished on the podium twice over that interval, including the most recent conducting in October of this past year, he won.
Clint Bowyer won the spring race this past year at Martinsville, leading 215 of the 500 laps, and has finished in the top five in six of the 26 career starts at this course.
Kyle Busch has won just two of the previous six races at Martinsville and has finished fifth or better in each of the previous seven runnings there. Additionally, he has led the most laps in three of the previous six races.
My Very Best Bet for the STP 500
Kyle Busch +220
Though it is not a long-shot choice, I think that it’s the clever one. The Nevada native hasn’t finished worse than fifth in any of the previous seven races at Martinsville, including finishing first or second in four of those runnings. He’s carrying a lot of momentum into this weekend, having won the past two races on this season.
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