NASCAR Picks for Martinsville
Kevin Harvick, #29 Budweiser/Rheem, Richard Childress Racing [Yahoo Class A]
It is really tough to know what to expect out of Harvick this weekend. After all, he finished 19th and 32nd at the track last year, but in his three starts prior, he finished fourth or better three times and picked up a win. As a result, expecting more than a top-15 finish this weekend could leave you disappointed.
Greg Biffle, #16 3M/Bondo, Roush Fenway Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Plain and simple, Martinsville is not one of his better tracks. In his last 20 starts, he has managed just three top-10s to go along with a 21.4 average finish. On the plus side, one of his top-10s came last fall, and he has finished in the top 15 in his last three starts at the track. Biffle still isn't an elite option at Martinsville by any means, but at least he isn't killing fantasy owners either.
Carl Edwards, #99 Fastenal/Aflac/UPS/Subway, Roush Fenway Racing [Yahoo Class B]
His 16.1 average finish at Martinsville isn't terrible, but Edwards has never shown a lot of upside at the track. He has managed just one top-five finish in 17 starts and only has five top-10s. Edwards should have a decent showing Sunday, but fantasy owners can get way more bang for their buck by saving him for a later date.
Kurt Busch, #78 Furniture Row, Furniture Row Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Although he has gone 14 straight starts at Martinsville without cracking the top 10, Busch could make a nice sleeper pick this weekend. For starters, he finished 15th at the track last fall while driving for Furniture Row Racing. He also brings a little momentum in the race, having finished in the top five at Bristol and Fontana. A top-five finish may be asking a bit much, but another top-15 is certainly possible.
Aric Almirola, #43 Smithfield Foods, Richard Petty Motorsports [Yahoo Class B]
I think it is safe to say that Almirola was comfortable at Martinsville with Richard Petty Motorsports. After all, he finished eighth at the track in the spring and followed it up with a fourth-place run in the fall. Inconsistency can still be an issue for Almirola, but he has definite top-10 upside this weekend.
Martin Truex, Jr., #56 NAPA Auto Parts, Michael Waltrip Racing [Yahoo Class B]
His career numbers at Martinsville aren't great, but Truex has been better than his 21.5 average finish suggests in recent years. He has finished eighth or better in two of his last three starts at the track, and finished a career-best fifth at Martinsville last spring. Longevity isn't on his side, but owners willing to trust his recent improvements could be rewarded with a top-10.
Joey Logano, #22 Shell-Pennzoil, Penske Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Logano definitely has some fantasy value this weekend. He has finished in the top 20 in six of his eight starts at Martinsville; more importantly, he has four top-15s -- including a second-place run. That being said, Logano is also prone to bad outings on a consistent basis, and a short track could be a tough place for a guy that just made a couple more enemies for himself.
Jamie McMurray, #1 McDonald's/Cessna, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing [Yahoo Class B]
It has been a mixed bag for McMurray at Martinsville. In his last eight starts at the track, he has finished 11th or better four times; on the flip side, he has finished outside the top 15 in his last three starts. If you want to gamble a bit, McMurray does have a little upside.
Jeff Burton, #31 Caterpillar/Cheerios, Richard Childress Racing [Yahoo Class B]
His career numbers at Martinsville are solid, but on the same note, he failed to crack the top 20 in both starts at the track last year for the first time since 2006. Richard Childress Racing as a whole kind of struggled at Martinsville last season, so it is iffy as to whether or not he will rebound this weekend.
Juan Montoya, #42 Target, Earnhardt Ganassi Racing [Yahoo Class B]
After opening his Cup career at Martinsville with several strong finishes, Montoya has cooled off considerably lately. He has finished 19th or worse in five of his last six starts at the track and has finished 20th or worse in his last three. Montoya was once worth the risk at Martinsville, but the good hasn't outweighed the bad for several years.
Paul Menard, #27 Menards, Richard Childress Racing [Yahoo Class B]
Although he did finish a career-best 12th at Martinsville last fall, Menard's history at the track doesn't bode well. He has gone 11 starts without a top-10 finish and has finished outside the top 20 seven times. Menard has a 22.0 average finish at Martinsville, and fantasy owners shouldn't expect much more than a top-20 this weekend.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr., #17 Best Buy/Valvoline/Zest, Roush Fenway Racing [Yahoo Class C]
It will be interesting to see how Stenhouse handles his Martinsville debut. After all, Roush Fenway Racing has never had a ton of success at the track, and the organization has had several successful drivers that have been average at the paperclip. Asking a rookie to break the trend in his first start at the track is asking a lot.
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