Fantasy Picks ~ Martinsville
Week’s Recap and Results
Auto Club 400
For a short time Sunday, Kevin Harvick again looked like Superman. Unfortunately, a lap 37 side-draft of Kyle Larson went bad, which proved to be Superman’s Kryptonite. Just like that his bid for four wins in a row ended. PattyKay, Vivian, J. L. and Mitch were all riding the K-Train as it steamed into the Michigan clone at Fontana, but Kevin’s uncharacteristic 35th-place finish there shuffled our points standings once again.
Martin Truex Jr. won the race in Championship form, as he lapped all but 10 cars. This gave David his first race win of the season and the 40 points collected put him back on the point. Berra was right on his heels with his Kyle Busch pick finishing third, immediately followed by Vicq and Kez in fourth and Frank with Denny Hamlin in sixth. Bubba Wallace cruised in with a top 20 finish, as Tim continues to close the gap.
A full Fontana rundown, results and new points totals follows-
It’s time for the traveling circus to get on the right side of the Rockies and get back to its roots... and that means Martinsville. NASCAR has been racing at the flat half-mile since 1949. This will be the 139th edition there for the big cars. Of the active drivers, Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, Jimmie Johnson, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman and Kevin Harvick have all collected at least one Grandfather Clock, with Jimmie Johnson holding the largest collection with nine, followed by Hamlin at five. So will JJ make it a nice round ten, or can the 11 make it a six-pack? Can Harvick return to Victory Lane and make it four for five for the season or will we see a new face take the clock? Kyle Busch won here last-can he make it two in a row there and finally get into Victory Lane for 2018?
Lots of possibilities for our flat track prognosticators. Let’s see what they think will happen this week at Martinsville.
OK, so Kevin is human and he went boom last week, at the track and in the standings, taking many of us with him. He’d still be a good pick at Pretty Little Martinsville, but he’s not mine this week. There is one driver that stands out as being so far above the rest he can’t be ignored. Over the past 6 races, his average finish is 2.8! That’s two wins, a second and a pair of fives! He wasn’t able to race in one of the last 6, but didn’t need to. My pick for Martinsville is Kyle Busch!
Ray Hendrick in the #11 is my pick. Oh, I can't pick a deceased driver or a modified car? Well, just be that way! My BACKUP pick is Kyle Busch in #18. Almost picked Kez, almost picked JJ ('cause he drives for Rick HENDRICK), but while Busch doesn't have Rapid Ray's easy-going personality, he has the ability to get around the paperclip like few others, so here's hoping the spirit of my hero is munching on M&Ms and riding with Kyle this weekend.
Martinsville, hopefully, will be a good race. With any luck at all, we will get to see a lot of the actual competition since it is smaller than the last track they raced on. Maybe even, the broadcast crew will talk about more of the competitors. Am I dreaming? Probably... but while I am dreaming, I think I will just dream that #42, Kyle Larson will win that race.
J. L. Steele
Last week Jimmie Johnson said he wanted to get a top 10 at Auto Club Speedway. He did that. With a little momentum behind him and with his history at Martinsville, it might be the perfect time for him to win another grandfather clock and take a big step forward for 2018. I'm going with Jimmie Johnson.
Looked back and history and thought long and hard on this one, even though I despise the Toyotas I am going with Denny Hamlin for the win.
So now the west coast swing is over, what to take away from the first 4 weeks (Daytona still doesn't count!)??
First HMS boy with "Jimmie 7 times" is still behind on the aero - sensitive high down force tracks and with the lack of data this will take a while to correct, IMHO this is a trend we sew last year after SHR left for the Fords!!
And by now the pit - times have dropped a bit but it still doesn't take much to make a mess of it! A few more weeks and we'll see some more security.
However this week it’s Martinsville and maybe the best chance for the Chevy guy to get the win anytime soon!! So what to pick this week?? I really don't know!!! I’d so much like for Kevin Harvick to win another championship But Kevin you just CAN NOT lose you cool like you did last weekend!!! Also Kyle Busch is most likely still mad at his crew for adjusting the car the wrong way on the last pit-stop! I've got a feeling watching the race on Sunday that Jimmy J and #48 team will take the win this week at Martinsville where he done so well over the years so I have to go with that feeling and pick the #48 to win!!!
I thought I'd play the numbers game this week, was checking the stats to see who's the toughest at M'ville in recent years - looks like Kez, JJ, Hamlin, and KyBu.
So I was digging around in all the junk on my computer desk, tryin' to find my trusty four sided coin to flip, when what should greet my ears but the horn of the FedEx guy, doing his part for the Amazon-to-Ruiz pipeline.
"Must be an omen" sez I to myself. Guess it's Denny Time this Sunday.......
My pick, every week, will be Bubba Wallace. My reasoning is my hope is that Richard Petty will have a successful year with his team and I'm supporting that hope every way I can.
Over the years, this little half mile has been known for its rammin’, bammin’ and frammin’ and no one can ram, bam or fram here better than Kyle Busch. He showed that in his early truck racing days here when he took out Johnny Benson Jr. (and himself) on the last lap. Plus he won the last race here, so everything should point to him as the pick to win.
Normally, I’d suck it up and go with him as my pick, but I just can’t. Short track, quick lap times, tight pit stalls, puts intense pressure on the over the wall gang. The six M&M’ers performance on stops have been less than stellar. Wrong adjustments, loose lug nuts, driving off without lug nuts on... you name it, they have done it and you just can’t do that and win here.
That said, I’ll go with the next best rammer, bammer, frammer-Brad Keselowski. So put me down for the Deuce to finish first at the paperclip.
this week’s picks for the STP 500 from Martinsville.
You’ve seen our picks-now make yours below!