Thursday, October 26, 2017

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: First Data 500 at Martinsville

By Carol D'Agostino
Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Denny Hamlin - 4
All with 3 - Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Jamie McMurray, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer  

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

Recent Pole Winners:  
2016 Martin Truex Jr.
2015 Joey Logano

Last Year's Race Winner: Jimmie Johnson

The Likely Suspects: Martinsville isn't just about those unnaturally pink hot dogs wrapped in waxed paper. The racing at this track is fast and exciting. Add the dynamic of playoff racing, and it just turns the heat up a notch. My go-to drivers this week will be: Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson, Jamie McMurray, Matt Kenseth, Brad Keselowski, Clint Bowyer and Joey Logano.

My 2 Cents: And then there were eight. With some significant drivers on the outside looking in, we can see some exciting spoilers in the near future. I would keep my eye on Matt Kenseth in the potential spoiler category this week. When finalizing your team this week remember that road racers are good at short tracks.

My no-brainer pick this week is a tie between Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin. My next choices are Jamie McMurray, Clint Bowyer, A.J. Allmendinger and Ryan Newman. My final picks will be Ty Dillon and Michael McDowell.

My Final Four: Jimmie Johnson, Jamie McMurray, AJ Allmendinger and Michael McDowell.

Points to Ponder:
  • The first starting position is the most proficient starting spot in the field at Martinsville producing more wins (21) than any other starting position.
  • 36 of the 137 (26.3%) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from the front row: 21 from the first starting position and 15 from second starting position.
  • Joey Logano, Ryan Newman, Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson are tied among active drivers for the most Martinsville Coors Light poles with three each. 
  • 13 drivers have won two or more consecutive Coors Light poles at Martinsville Speedway; the most recent was Joey Logano who won three consecutive poles at Martinsville from 2015-2016. 
  • Hendrick Motorsports leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Martinsville Speedway with 24. Among active Hendrick drivers Jimmie Johnson has nine wins and Dale Earnhardt Jr. (one).
  • 99 of the 137 (72.3%) Monster Energy NASCAR Cup races at Martinsville Speedway have been won from a top-10 starting position.
  • Only eight active drivers have won at Martinsville. Jimmie Johnson leads the series among active drivers with nine wins at Martinsville; followed by Denny Hamlin with five.
  • 24 drivers have multiple wins at Martinsville Speedway; nine drivers have won five or more times; two are active: Jimmie Johnson (nine) and Denny Hamlin (five). 
  • Joey Logano (9.1), Ryan Newman (9.3), and Denny Hamlin (9.7) each have an average starting position at Martinsville inside the top 10.
  • Joey Logano (17 starts) leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in average starting position at Martinsville Speedway with a 9.118.     
  • Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers in runner-up finishes at Martinsville Speedway with four as well as top-five finishes with 19 and top 10s with 24. Dale Earnhardt Jr. trails Johnson in top-five finishes with 13.
  • Jimmie Johnson (31 starts) leads the series among active drivers in average finish at Martinsville Speedway with a 7.548.
Remember, if you're playing Yahoo! Fantasy Auto Racing, your pick deadline is Sunday, October 29, at 5 a.m. EDT.

Enjoy the race! Post your comments here or follow me on Twitter at @purplecatpr.

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