2019 First Data 500 Race Preview, Betting Odds, and Prediction
by Kent Whitaker Scores & Statson
Talladega and Kansas are behind us in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs and it’s time to return to short track racing at Martinsville. This is the series second trip to the track this season after Brad Keselowski won the Spring race earlier in the year. As far as odds go, not much has changed as Keselowski is still among the favorites despite not making the next round of the playoffs. But, he’s further down the odds list this week.
America's Bookie's odds to win the First Data 500 are listed below in full but here are the top-favored drivers to win outright. Make a note, they are all Toyota drivers from Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR).
Martin TRUEX JR
For the record, Martinsville is the first of three races in the last playoff round. Only eight drivers are still eligible to win the Cup Series Championship. Those drivers are; Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson, Ryan Blaney.
Trends matter! That’s why the Finest Online Sportsbooks, such as America's Bookie Sportsbook Review, start posting odds. One of those trends would have to be manufacture wins at the same track. However, there may be a different stat taken into consideration this week and that’s the average active driver rating at a track for the last five races.
Here are the last five race winners at Martinsville.
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing is the lone Toyota winner over the last five races. He and any Joe Gibbs Racing wheelman can’t be counted out at Martinsville.
Now, here’s the driver rating average over the last five Martinsville races. Once again, take note that Kyle Busch leads the pack.
Martin Truex, Jr.
Predicting the First Data 500 at Martinsville
Chase Elliott once again appears on the above list as a driver that has had great runs at Martinsville. His Roval win came after driving his car head-on into a barrier wall and being forced to the back of the pack. That kind of patience, when moving from the back to the front, is needed at Martinsville. Elliott could be the shining star this weekend for Chevrolet Racing.
Denny Hamlin won the checkered flag at Kansas propelling him into the round of eight. Hamlin comes in as the third-best driver at the track over the last five Martinsville races. If he unloads strong, and his team continues to avoid mistakes that plagued them earlier in the season, then Hamlin can punch his ticket to the Championship race at Homestead.
Martin Truex Jr. and Kyle Busch both have amazing driver rankings at Martinsville but those averages are short on actual wins at the short track during the last five races. Busch has one while Truex has come close. Either driver can win if they can turn long lead runs into being upfront when the checkered flag flies. Both need to avoid mistakes in the pits to keep track position. It’s been eighteen races since Busch has won a race – Martinsville could break that streak.
third-best Harvick, Joey Logano, and Ryan Blaney are all Ford drivers that are still in the playoff picture following Kansas. Any of the three could win at Martinsville but they’ll have to beat Brad Keselowski who is the defending Martinsville winner. He’s been booted from the playoffs which make him the perfect spoiler.