We make our first of four scheduled trips to Virginia for the STP 500, a race that debuted in 1950 and is held at the Martinsville Speedway, the shortest track in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. We landed another winner last week with Kyle Busch and +500 odds, so let’s keep this winning streak going.
Here are five drivers to consider throwing on this week’s card.
Kyle Busch, +160 - We’ve cashed on Kyle Busch each of the last two weeks, so if it’s not broken don’t fix it, right? With his two wins, Busch is averaging a finish of 2.6 this season and has finished no worse than sixth in his last seven races overall. Busch won this race in 2016 and has finished runner-up each of the last two years. Busch has also finished no worse than fifth in each of his last seven appearances at the Martinsville Speedway. There’s a really good chance Busch will win his third straight race this weekend.
Clint Bowyer, +1100 - If you’re looking for a dark horse this week, Clint Bowyer may be your guy. While finishing outside of the top-10 in four of his five races this season, Bowyer is the defending champion at the STP 500 and has top-10 finishes in nine of his last 11 appearances at this event. Bowyer has also finished ninth or better in eight of his last 13 appearances at the Martinsville Speedway. With the odds you’re likely going to get with Bowyer this week, he’s worth a consideration.
Brad Keselowski, +525 - Brad Keselowski has finished third or better in three of his last four races and returns to a track he’s had a lot of success at over the years. Keselowski won this race in 2017 and has finished sixth or better in four of his last six appearances. In six of his last eight trips at the Martinsville Speedway, Keselowski has finished no worse than fifth. Don’t be shocked if Keselowski wins in Atlanta and Ridgeway for the second time in the last three years.
Denny Hamlin, +1100 - Denny Hamlin hasn’t won since the Daytona 500, but he’s been consistently nibbling around the top-10 and is averaging a finish of 6.8 through five races this season. Hamlin is holding his own early in the Driver’s Championship standings and now returns to a race he’s won three times, most recently in 2015. Only Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip and Rusty Wallace have won this race more than Hamlin, who has also won twice at the Martinsville Speedway in the Camping World Truck Series. Hamlin has a chance to win two races within the first six events for the first time in his career.
Chase Elliott, +2200 - Chase Elliott isn’t off to the best start in the world with just one top-10 finish this season, but he’s had consistent success at the Martinsville Speedway, which includes three top-10 finishes in his last four appearances. Elliott is averaging a finish of sixth place in his last two trips in this particular race. Elliott also has a victory and a runner-up finish at this track in the Camping World Truck Series, so there’s a pattern here of him showing up in Ridgeway. I like Elliott as a dark horse this weekend.