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Fantasy Racing: Martinsville

Nick Bromberg | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, March 26 2010

Goody’s Fast Pain Relief 500
Martinsville Speedway
Sunday March 28. 1PM ET, Fox

Race Facts: Even though it’s harder to pass at Martinsville than Bristol, the top 10 starter winning percentage is considerably less at the paperclip. 72% of winners have started in the top 10, compared to about 80% at Bristol… With a win, Hendrick Motorsports can tie Petty Enterprises with the most wins by an organization at Martinsville at 19. Of course, King Richard had 15 of those wins himself… Three races have had only one caution. That’s for sure not happening on Sunday.

Five to Drive:

Tony Stewart: Stewart has six top 10 finishes in the last eight races at Martinsville, and should be good for another one. However, a win may be out of the realm of possibility given how a certain driver has dominated this half mile lately.

Denny Hamlin: Hamlin has only finished outside the top 10 once in his career at Martinsville and that was for a crash. If a certain Hendrick driver doesn’t tie Petty Enterprises, then it will be Hamlin in victory lane.

Kevin Harvick: Harvick’s been pretty consistent at Martinsville but he hasn’t cracked the top five despite seven career top 10s. Given RCR’s success so far, he’s probably a good choice for another top 10.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Before a 29th place finish in last year’s fall race at Martinsville Junior was on a roll of four straight top 10s. And isn’t he supposed to be much better with the spoiler anyway?

Jamie McMurray: McMurray finished sixth and 10th here last year, but he is driving the McDonald’s car for the first time since he and Juan Pablo Montoya crashed at Las Vegas. Hopefully for McMurray’s sake, the red car and yellow M don’t make Montoya think payback.

Two to Boo:

Paul Menard: The run has to end sometime, doesn’t it? To be fair, Menard hasn’t been horrible in his five Martinsville starts (he hasn’t finished lower than 27th) but his highest finish is 16th. This may be the race that he falls out of the top 12 in.

Kurt Busch: The last time that the elder Busch brother scored a top 10 at Martinsville was 2005. Since then he also has three finishes below 30th. Since he’s an A driver, stay far far away.

Stone Cold Lock of the Week:

Jimmie Johnson: Well, you saw that one coming, didn’t you? At this point I wouldn’t be surprised to see Vegas giving equal odds on Jimmie and the field. That’s how freaking good he is at Martinsville. Johnson has won five of the last eight Martinsville races and in 16 career Martinsville starts has (also) only finished outside of the top 10 once. Yes, you read that correctly.

Nick Bromberg | Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Friday, March 26 2010
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