So, the Round of 8 starts this weekend, but who wins on Sunday? It likely will be among the playoff contenders. With so much on the line, why would a non playoff driver reach victory lane on Sunday evening?
Team Penske and Joe Gibbs Racing make the most sense to produce a winner. They took four of the top five finishing spots in the spring race and have five of the still eight eligible drivers in the playoffs right now. They’ve also won four of the last five races on the Virginia paperclip as well.
Brad Keselowski has five top five finishes in his last nine starts on the season and seven straight top 10 finishes in Martinsville including leading 446 of 500 laps in a dominating day back in March. He’s also had a top five in six of those seven races as well. He wants to play spoiler.
Joey Logano won this race last year and has three top six finishes in his last five Martinsville starts.
Ryan Blaney led 145 laps in last year’s spring race to go along with his last four Martinsville finishes being eighth, third, 10th and fourth respectively.
That’s a good group for Penske.
JGR has a good group too. They’ve won exactly half of the races during the regular season and half of the playoff races run this postseason as well.
Kyle Busch hasn’t finished outside of the top five since 2015. That’s 10 starts. Denny Hamlin was runner-up last year and fifth in the spring race. His last four playoff finishes at Martinsville have been – third, third, seventh and second respectively. That leaves Martin Truex Jr. who’s never won at Martinsville but did sweep both races this year at Richmond. He also has a top 10 finish in eight of his last 10 Martinsville starts including being second, fourth, third and eighth respectively in his last four.