NASCAR Picks for Martinsville
Kasey Kahne, #5 Farmers Insurance/Quaker State, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
The good news for Kahne is that he has two top-four finishes in his last three starts at Martinsville. The bad news is that he has finished outside the top 10 in his other 12 starts at the track since 2007. During the stretch, Kahne has finished 25th or worse seven times; so although he has some upside, it comes with some serious risk.
Carl Edwards, #99 Fastenal/Aflac/UPS/Subway, Roush Fenway Racing [Yahoo Class B]
He has been solid at Martinsville throughout his career, but it has never been one of his stronger tracks. In 19 starts, Edwards only has one top-five finish and just five top-10s. Granted, he only has four finishes outside the top 20 at Martinsville, but there are definitely plenty of tracks where Edwards will provide owners with a little more bang for their buck.
Joey Logano, #22 Shell-Pennzoil, Team Penske [Yahoo Class B]
Logano has finished as high as second at Martinsville, but overall, he has been more a 15th-place driver at the track. In 10 starts, he has a respectable 15.9 average finish. He also has seven finishes of 18th or better, albeit with just two top-10s. Expect a decent run out of Logano, but his ceiling is somewhat limited.
Brian Vickers, #55 Aaron's Dream Machine, Michael Waltrip Racing [Yahoo Class B]
He has been mediocre at Martinsville for most of his career, but Vickers is coming off back-to-back solid runs. He finished eighth at the track in the fall of 2012 while driving for Michael Waltrip Racing, and he finished 11th last spring while subbing for the injured Denny Hamlin. Vickers could make a decent sleeper play this weekend.
Jamie McMurray, #1 McDonald's/Cessna, Chip Ganassi Racing [Yahoo Class B]
McMurray has been running well at Martinsville the past couple of years; in 2013, he finished in the top 10 in both starts at the track. Meanwhile, he has six top-20s in his last seven starts at Martinsville, logging four finishes of 11th or better during the stretch. McMurray could be the most surprising source of a top-10 this weekend.
A.J. Allmendinger, #47 Kingsford/Clorox, JTG Daugherty Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Although he missed both races at the track last season, Allmendinger could make some noise in his return this weekend. After all, he has four top-15s in his last five starts at the track, including a second-place finish in the spring of 2012. A top-five is probably asking a bit much with his current team, but don't rule out a top-15 run from Allmendinger.
Aric Almirola, #43 Smithfield Foods, Richard Petty Motorsports [Yahoo Class B]
Since becoming a full-time driver in 2012, Martinsville has been one of Almirola's better tracks. He has a 13.0 average finish in four starts, cracking the top 10 twice and finishing in the top 20 in all four starts. At the very least, he should be good for another top-20 run Sunday.
Kyle Larson, #42 Target, Chip Ganassi Racing [Yahoo Class C]
He actually made his Cup debut at Martinsville last fall, but an engine failure ended his day early. Still, any experience is only going to help the rookie, and he seems to be improving by the week. Larson just oozes potential, and he is always worth considering as a C-List option in Yahoo! leagues.
Kurt Busch, #41 Haas Automation, Stewart-Haas Racing [Yahoo Class A]
While he is actually a former winner at Martinsville, Busch has been awful for nearly a decade. He has gone 16 straight starts at the track without a top-10 finish, and during the stretch, he only has four top-15s compared to six finishes outside the top 25. If you have other options, you should probably use them.
Marcos Ambrose, #9 Stanley/Dewalt Power Tools, Richard Petty Motorsports [Yahoo Class B]
He has been enjoying a decent stretch at Martinsville, and in his last four starts at the track, he has three top-20s (including a pair of top-15s). Ambrose also finished a career-best eighth at the track last spring. He could be worth keeping an eye on this weekend.
Martin Truex, Jr., #78 Furniture Row, Furniture Row Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Aside from a few solid showings, Martinsville has been tough on Truex throughout his career. In 16 starts, he has a 22.3 average finish at the track and has only logged four top-10 finishes. More concerning is the fact that he has finished outside the top 25 seven times.
Austin Dillon, #3 Dow Chemical/Cheerios, Richard Childress Racing [Yahoo Class C]
The rookie will be making his Cup debut at Martinsville, and while he has been solid in 2014, owners may want to temper expectations this weekend. For one, the Nationwide Series only visits Martinsville once per year, so he hasn't experienced the track much coming up through the ranks. Meanwhile, Richard Childress Racing has been just average as a team at the track. It could be a long day for Dillon.
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