Thursday, October 27, 2016

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Round of 8 Opener at Martinsville



Track Classification: Short Track
Similar Tracks: Bristol Motor Speedway • Dover International Speedway
Phoenix International Raceway • Richmond International Raceway
Distance: .526 Miles

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Jeff Gordon - 5
Both with 4 - Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin
All with 3 - Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick

By Track
All with 6 - Jeff Gordon, Clint Bowyer and Brad Keselowski
All with 5 - Matt Kenseth, Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Denny Hamlin
All with 4 - Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Jamie McMurray and Ryan Newman

Recent Pole Winners:  
2015 Joey Logano
2014 Jamie McMurray

Last Year's Race Winner: Jeff Gordon

The Likely Suspects: With drivers like Martin Truex Jr., Chase Elliott, Austin Dillon and Brad Keselowski now out of the running, will they become spoilers? I'm thinking yes, but we'll have to wait to see how the drama unfolds. As we roll into Martinsville, I am focusing on these drivers: Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Ryan Newman, Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski.

My 2 Cents: Jimmie Johnson and Martinsville Speedway go together like hot dogs and baseball (or the Martinsville hot dog and waxed paper!). However, my no-brainer picks this week give Johnson a little company: Jeff Gordon and Denny Hamlin. My next choices are Tony Stewart, Clint Bowyer, AJ Allmendinger and Ryan Newman. My final pick will be Regan Smith.

My Final Four: Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Ryan Newman and Jeff Gordon.

Points to Ponder:
  • A baker's dozen of drivers (13) have won two or more consecutive Coors Light poles at Martinsville Speedway. The most recent was Joey Logano who won the last three poles at the track.  
  • There are 49 different drivers who can boast wins at Martinsville Speedway, led by Richard Petty with 15. Jeff Gordon leads the series among active drivers with nine wins, followed by Jimmie Johnson with eight.
  • A total of 59 drivers have Coors Light poles at Martinsville Speedway, and Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers with seven.  
  • Three active drivers have a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series average finish in the top 10 at Martinsville: Jeff Gordon (6.761), Jimmie Johnson (7.517) and Denny Hamlin (9.524).
  • Jeff Gordon has participated in the most Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway without a DNF (46).
Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or follow me on Twitter at @purplecatpr.

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