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Johnson tries to dominate at Martinsville yet again
By: Brian Graham - StatFox
Published: 10/27/2013  at  4:56:00 AM
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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 Powered by Kroger

Sunday, October 27 – 1:30 p.m. EDT
Martinsville Speedway – Martinsville, VA

The NASCAR circuit moves to Virginia on Sunday afternoon to the slowest track on the circuit, Martinsville Speedway. The Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 Powered by Kroger will be the fourth-to-last race in the Chase for the Cup. This oval-shaped short track is just 0.526 miles long with 12-degree banking on the turns, and flat equidistant straights (800 feet, or 0.15 miles, each). This track hasn’t seen many winners in the past decade, as Jimmie Johnson (8 wins), Denny Hamlin (4 wins) and Jeff Gordon (4 wins) have won 16 of the past 21 races at Martinsville. Johnson has won the past two races at this track, both last fall and in April.

Odds to Win Race

(For the latest Odds, connect to Sportsbook.com)

Jimmie Johnson9-to-5
Jeff Gordon6-to-1
Kyle Busch7-to-1
Matt Kenseth8-to-1
Kasey Kahne10-to-1
Clint Bowyer12-to-1
Kevin Harvick12-to-1
Denny Hamlin12-to-1
Brad Keselowski12-to-1
Dale Earnhardt Jr.18-to-1
Ryan Newman25-to-1
Greg Biffle30-to-1
Joey Logano30-to-1
Martin Truex Jr.30-to-1
Carl Edwards30-to-1
Kurt Busch30-to-1
Jamie McMurray50-to-1
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.100-to-1
Mark Martin100-to-1
Jeff Burton100-to-1
Juan Montoya100-to-1
FIELD (Any other driver)100-to-1
Danica Patrick100-to-1
Kyle Larson100-to-1
Marcos Ambrose100-to-1
Paul Menard100-to-1
Elliott Sadler100-to-1
Aric Almirola100-to-1

Drivers to Watch

Dale Earnhardt Jr. (18/1) - Junior has been on a roll recently with the third-most driver points over the past four races as he's finished 2nd, 8th, 15th and 2nd again last week at Talladega. He is also ninth in driver points over the past four starts in Martinsville, highlighted by finishes of 7th and 3rd. Earnhardt is usually near the front of the pack on short tracks with a 12.9 average finish, four wins, 26 top-5's and 40 top-10's in his 84 short-track races. At 18-to-1, he is our pick to win Sunday's race.

Jimmie Johnson (9/5) - There is no good reason to ignore Johnson this week. Sure the odds are miniscule, but his track record in Martinsville is just silly: 23 starts, 8 wins, 16 top-5's (70%) and 20 top-10's (87%). He has finished no worse than 12th in 22 straight Martinsville races and has led for more than 60 laps in each of his past five starts at this track averaging 155.2 laps led per race over this stretch. He hasn't been too shabby this season either with five wins and 13 top-5's to put him at the top of the Chase for the Cup standings. A small wager is certainly warranted here.

Ryan Newman (25/1) - Only six drivers have won at Martinsville since 2005 and Newman is one of them, taking home the checkered flag in the spring of 2012. That was one of seven career top-5's at this track, where he's also won three poles. Newman has also raced extremely well late in the season with six top-10's in his past eight starts, including a 3rd-place showing at the last short-track race in Richmond. At 25-to-1, Newman represents the best value on the board.

Clint Bowyer (12/1) - Bowyer is always a threat on the short track, finishing as the runner-up both at Richmond and at this Martinsville track this season. He also placed 5th in this race last fall after leading for 154 laps, giving him nine top-10's in the past 12 starts at this Virginia venue, including three in a row. That also boosts his career total on short tracks to 11 top-5's in 47 starts. The odds aren't too favorable, but Bowyer is still worth dropping a unit on for Sunday's race.

Jamie McMurray (50/1) - The longshot for Sunday's race has to be McMurray, who earned his first win of the season last week at Talladega. This was his third top-5 showing in his past seven starts, which includes finishing fourth at the most recent short-track race at Richmond. McMurray also finished seventh at this Martinsville track in the spring, giving him 11 top-10's in 21 career starts at this venue. Considering he went off at 20-to-1 last week, McMurray is an even wiser wager this week.

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