We are now halfway through the Chase and Jimmie Johnson is in the lead once again heading into another great track for him this weekend at Martinsville. Carl Edwards has fallen off the pace a bit but last week’s race winner, Jeff Burton, has pulled himself into 2nd and will look to narrow that gap this weekend.
I predict that Jeff Gordon will get his first win of the season this weekend at Martinsville. Jeff finally looked good on an intermediate track last weekend at Charlotte and this team is hungry. Jeff has finished in the top 10 the last 11 times he started at Martinsville including 4 wins and 9 top 5 finishes.
Jeff’s closest competition will come from teammate and Chase leader, Jimmie Johnson. Jimmie has 12 straight top 10 finishes at Martinsville including 4 wins and 9 top 5 finishes himself. If you can get both of these guys in your lineup this weekend you have to!
Denny Hamlin is probably the next most consistent driver at Martinsville. Denny has only started 6 races here but has finished in the top 10 five times including a win here this spring. He has struggled a bit lately but should be a good pick this weekend.
Tony Stewart got a win 2 weeks ago and has a shot at going back to victory lane this weekend. Tony also has 5 top 10 finishes in his last 6 Martinsville starts including a win.
Jeff Burton is sitting right behind Jimmie in the point standings right now and needs a good finish this weekend to keep the pressure on Johnson. Jeff finished 3rd here in the spring but has been inconsistent lately at Martinsville with only 3 top 10 finishes in his last 9 races here.
Greg Biffle is the only other driver within 100 points of Johnson right now and doesn’t have a stellar record at Martinsville. Greg has only 1 top 10 finish in 11 starts here with his best finish being 7th and his next best finish being 17th. This team needs to turn something around here this weekend if they want to stay in contention.
Carl Edwards has been slipping the last 2 weeks like Kyle Busch did at the beginning of the Chase. Carl also has only 1 top 10 finish in his 8 starts at Martinsville but has steadily improved over the years.
Dale Earnhardt Jr. has been hit or miss at Martinsville over the past few seasons. In the spring he has finished 6th or better in his last 3 starts. In the fall his best finish has been 18th over the past 4 seasons.
Clint Bowyer has once again had a quiet Chase yet he sits 5th in the standings. He has finished 11th, 9th and 10th in his last 3 Martinsville starts and while this is good it isn’t in the realm of championship contender status. Give Clint a few more years and that should change.
Yahoo Picks for Martinsville
Jeff Gordon (starter)
David Ragan (starter)
Jamie McMurray (starter)
Juan Pablo Montoya
Regan Smith (starter)
Top 5 Overall at Martinsville
1. Jeff Gordon
2. Jimmie Johnson
3. Denny Hamlin
4. Tony Stewart
5. Jeff Burton
Dark Horse: Jamie McMurray
Stay Away From: Greg Biffle
As always you can Email me with any questions, comments or suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org. Good luck once again this weekend!