NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: STP 500 at Martinsville

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Both with 4 - Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski
All with 3 - Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, and Kevin Harvick

By Track
All with 7 - Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano
All with 6 -  Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex Jr., and Kevin Harvick
Both with 5 - Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman

Recent Pole Winners:
2018 Rained Out
2017 Rained Out 
2016 & 2015 Joey Logano

Last Year's Race Winner: Clint Bowyer

The Likely Suspects:
 Time for my favorite kind of racing: short-track racing. Martinsville may be known for its odd-shaped track and its very pink hot dogs, but there is an exclusive list of drivers who have proven success here. These are my Martinsville go-tos: Joey Logano, Clint Bowyer, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman, and Ryan Blaney.
My Two Cents:  My no-brainer pick this week is a tie between Brad Keselowski and Clint Bowyer. My next picks are Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman and Denny Hamlin. I will complete my team with Michael McDowell and David Ragan. When finalizing your roster this week look for speed and road-racing experience.

My Final Four: Brad Keselowski, Ryan Blaney, Clint Bowyer, and Michael McDowell

Second-Look Driver: This week's second-look driver is Kurt Busch. Kurt has the 13th-best average finish at Martinsville with two wins, three top fives, six top 10s and one pole, plus he is great at road courses, plate tracks, and short tracks. Last week's second-look driver Erik Jones was fighting a tight car all day and had contact with another car in the first stage. He battled back into the top seven, but ultimately got trapped one lap back in the third stage when the caution flag flew while making a green flag stop. Jones finished in 19th.

Points to Ponder:
  • A total of 13 different drivers have won two or more consecutive poles at Martinsville Speedway; the most recent was Joey Logano who won three consecutive poles at Martinsville from 2015-2016. 
  • Chevrolet leads the series in poles at Martinsville with 53, followed by Ford with 34 and Toyota with five.  
  • Jimmie Johnson leads the series among active drivers at Martinsville Speedway with nine victories (2004, 2006, 2007 sweep, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2016).
  • Hendrick Motorsports leads the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Martinsville Speedway with 24 wins.
  • The first starting position is the most prolific starting spot in the field at Martinsville, producing more wins (21 victories - a winning percentage of 15.44%) than any other starting position. 
  • 36 of the 140 (25.8%) 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 the second starting position.
  • Jimmie Johnson leads all active drivers with four runner-up finishes at Martinsville, followed by Kyle Busch with three.
  • Jimmie Johnson (34 starts) leads the series among active drivers in average finishing positions at Martinsville Speedway with a 8.0; followed by Denny Hamlin with a 9.8 (26 starts).
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your picks by 8 a.m. ET on Saturday, March 23, and pick your starters by 2 p.m. ET on race day, Sunday, March 24.

Enjoy the race!

Carol D’Agostino wields fantasy-racing superpowers. Each week, Carol researches statistics and combs through her personal racing notes to provide fans with fantasy racing advice at NASCAR Fantasy Fusion, a column she has written for Skirts & Scuffs since October 2011. Carol also does race coverage for Skirts & Scuffs at Richmond Raceway, and occasionally at her home track, Dover International Speedway. This year she joins the NASCAR Expert Picks panel at
Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet When she isn’t crunching numbers, you’ll find Carol in business meetings or hammering out a news release or creating a marketing strategy at a small niche public relations firm she founded called Purple Cat.  

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: STP 500 at Martinsville NASCAR Fantasy Fusion:  STP 500 at Martinsville Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Thursday, March 21, 2019 Rating: 5