NASCAR Preview: 2020 Xfinity 500 Predictions

The rain-delayed Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway is in the books and Kyle Busch finally won a race this season. Busch’s win did little shake up the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs heading into the final elimination race at Martinsville. And it didn’t influence oddsmakers on who will win at Martinsville. Martin Truex Jr comes in as the lone favorite at +310.

Truex has won the last two races at the famed short track in Virginia. A win this weekend will push him over the cutline and onto the list of the final for drivers racing for the Cup Series Championship next week at Phoenix.

Following behind Truex is a nice group of drivers representing all three manufactures in the Series. Chase Elliott is the lone Chevrolet driver (at +850 and below) favored to win with the rest being Toyotas and Fords.

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As mentioned above, Kyle Busch won at Texas but he was eliminated from the Championship Playoffs during the last round. But the win did help move Busch back up the favorites list as he’s bunched in with Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano at +850. Here are the favorites according to Intertops.

Martin Truex Jr +310

Brad Keselowski +525

Denny Hamlin +550

Chase Elliott +750

Kevin Harvick +850

Kyle Busch +850

Joey Logano +850

Championship Playoff Drivers:

Not much changed after the Texas race as the remaining eight drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs hold the same spots. Logano was locked in due to his win in this round. Martinsville is the last race in this round and four drivers will be eliminated. The remaining four will race for the Championship next week at Phoenix.

1. Joey Logano

2. Kevin Harvick

3. Denny Hamlin

4. Brad Keselowski

Cutoff Line:

5. Chase Elliott

6. Alex Bowman

7. Martin Truex Jr

8. Kurt Busch

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2020 Xfinity 500 Preview

Track: Martinsville Speedway, Ridgeway, Virginia

Type: Oval, 0.526 miles, asphalt

Turns: 4

Banking: Turns; 12°. Straights; 0°

Race Distance: 263 miles, 500 laps

Defending Track Winner: Martin Truex Jr.


Start Time: Sunday, November 1, at 2:00 PM Eastern

2020 Xfinity 500 Picks

Kevin Harvick +850

Kevin Harvick’s lone win at Martinsville came in 2011 and it’s not considered one of his best tracks. However, this is a playoff cutoff race and only four drivers move forward. Harvick has a small advantage in points and a solid run could secure his advancement. But a win would cement it! And He’s not as bad as people say at Martinsville. Over the last ten races at the track, he’s finished in the top-ten six times.

Denny Hamlin +550

Denny Hamlin has won five times at Martinsville Speedway. Everything I said about Harvick above also applies to Hamlin – last chance of a win to move on. Hamlin has finished in the top-five 15 times and 21 times in the top-ten. He’s only had two DNFs at Martinsville out of 29 Cup Series starts.

Ryan Blaney +900

Ryan Blaney has four top-five finishes in his last six races at Martinsville. At the last Martinsville race, he finished second, and the race before that he came across the line in the fifth spot. Blaney seems to have figured something out about the Virginia racetrack.

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Others I like

Martin Truex Jr and Chase Elliott: I like both Martin Truex Jr and Chase Elliott at Martinsville but hiccups over the last few races have put a seed of doubt in my mind. They both need 100% perfect runs to score the win this weekend because coming back from a mistake is hard to do at Martinsville.

One Fantasy Driver

Here’s the guy I round out my fantasy team with this week – Bubba Wallace! NASCAR stats show that Darrel Wallace Jr has scored a bunch of points at Martinsville over the last two races at the track. There may not be too many passing points on the fantasy side at Martinsville, but the Wallace stats shows that he’s managed to finish stages well.

2020 Xfinity 500 Odds

Bet on the 2020 Xfinity 500 at the BetOnline Sportsbook or Americas Bookie.

Martin Truex Jr +310

Brad Keselowski +525

Denny Hamlin +550

Chase Elliott +750

Kevin Harvick +850

Kyle Busch +850

Joey Logano +850

Ryan Blaney +900

Alex Bowman +2000

Kurt Busch +2500

William Byron +3000

Clint Bowyer +3300

Jimmie Johnson +3500

Erik Jones +6000

Matt Dibenedetto +6000

Aric Almirola +7500

Austin Dillon +7500

Tyler Reddick +8000

Christopher Bell +10000

Cole Custer +15000

Ryan Newman +15000

Matt Kenseth +20000

Ricky Stenhouse +25000

Darrell Wallace Jr +30000

John Hunter Nemechek +30000

Chris Buescher +40000

Ty Dillon +50000

Brennan Poole +50000

Michael McDowell +100000

Ryan Preece +100000

Daniel Suarez +100000

J.J. Yeley +100000

Josh Bilicki +150000

James Davison +150000

Timmy Hill +150000

Quinn Houff +150000

Corey Lajoie +150000

Joey Gase +150000

About the Author

Kent Whitaker is an award-winning author, culinary writer and sports writer. Whitaker's books range from BBQ, Grilling, Tailgating and additional culinary titles to WWII history books, books about NASCAR and racing and titles for kids.

Whitaker, known as “the Deck Chef,” has a culinary, history and journalism background. He credits this for his cookbook writing style. “My books are people based. I interview, gather recipes from real people and sources – and combine the recipes with back-stories. My cookbooks are slices of culinary history.”

Whitaker can also be found on TV, Radio, Print, and as a celebrity spokesperson. He has appeared on radio and TV including Food Network. He’s the Emeril Live Barbecue Contest winner and columnist for the National Barbecue News.

Whitaker has covered NASCAR, IndyCar, ARCA Racing, The NFL, SEC Football, Professional Golf and more. His books include:

·      Great American Grilling – Ultimate Backyard Barbecue and Tailgating

·      The Gulf Coast Seafood Cookbook

·      Smoke in the Mountains - The Art of Appalachian Barbecue

·      Checkered Flag Cooking - Tailgating Stock Car Racing

·      The Hometown Cookbook Series; The Tennessee Hometown Cookbook, as well as Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, West Virginia, Alabama, and Florida.

·      The USS Alabama - The History of the Mighty A

·      Talladega Superspeedway

·      Bullets and Bread - Feeding the Greats and Grunts of WWII

·      Big Mo's Tennis Ball Hunt

·       Why Are the Mountains Smokey?

Kent has worked with several brands as spokesperson. Companies include Check Mark, ALPO, TimberTech, Vermont Castings, Pabst Blue Ribbon, E.H. Campbell Trading, Big Show Foods, and others. Whitaker, and his wife Allyson, hosted a NASCAR and racing themed show on ESPN Radio for several years. That show has morphed into a weekly short format tailgate show heard on over 50 affiliates nationwide.

Kent is also a member of the United States Coast Guard Auxiliary and severed on the National Staff as an AUXCHEF/AUX Food Service Specialist and National Branch Chief.

Kent and his wife Allyson live in Tennessee and have one ARMY Strong son, Macee. You can visit him online at and Twitter/Instagram @thekentwhitaker.