NASCAR Cup Series Picks: Maximum Pain Relief 500 From Martinsville

Who’s ready for the demolition derby?

I am!

Some rubbing and racing at The Paperclip!

You know, NASCAR has some pretty rad names for some of their tracks.

Martinsville is not one of them. wrote a piece on a few new nicknames for Martinsville Speedway.

I also have to give much street cred for spelling “wack” correctly. They accurately stated that the current Martinsville nickname is “wack”.

Like “This song is wack!” Mom, these green beans are wack, yo!”

Not “whack”. I’m just commenting on the weak, silly, and sometimes boring nature of your music.

I’m not hitting you over the head or “whacking” you with a baseball bat.

Now, moving on from the English lesson that likely nobody needed, some of these nicknames are kinda fun.

The track is the smallest in NASCAR by .07 miles more than Bristol and is named The Paperclip because of its shape.

The Baguette is a cool name but this is NASCAR, people, not the South of France.

The Corn Dog. Now that’s a little better.

The Dachshund!

I think we have a winner.

We are racing The Dachshund this week.

This is a race that is dominated by a handful of drivers each year.

Brad Keselowski and Kyle Busch, two of the best short track racers in the Cup Series, each have 8 top-five finishes in their last 10 starts at The Dachshund. has the betting odds and these two men are unsurprisingly at the top of the list.

Jimmie Johnson has 9 career wins here and Virginia boy Denny Hamlin has 5.

Before we get to our picks for Wednesday night’s race under the lights, let’s recap how things went for us on the betting front this past Sunday.

NASCAR Betting Atlanta Race Recap

Well, we got a much-needed win yesterday!

After winning the first two races of the season, we lost the next two and the lockdown followed.

We won the first race back betting on Kevin Harvick to get it done at Darlington.

He did and that put us at 3 wins out of just 5 races.

We lost the next 4, though!!

We came close a couple of times and won some matchups, but we couldn’t pick a winner over those races.

Yesterday was big, though. We took Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick to win.

Logano struggled but Kevin Harvick completely dominated the race for a 5 to 1 payout.

We also took Martin Truex Jr to finish inside the top 3 for a surprisingly high payout of (+275).

I thought that was probably the most valuable bet on the board before the race started.

We have another excellent top three pick for you this week.

To cap yesterday off, we picked Kurt Busch to out-race Jimmie Johnson for (-110).

JJ had him all day but pitted just a bit early on the last stop for tires. This gave him a solid 2 second lead over Kurt who came to pit road about 7 laps after the 48 car.

In the final five laps of the race, Johnson’s tires were just too worn and that’s when Kurt overtook him.

I knew we had the other two bets won so I wasn’t as concerned but after a bad weekend of MMA picks, I will take every win I can get.

Let’s get to this week’s betting preview for NASCAR’s Cup Series race at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia.

To Win

Martin Truex Jr (+650)

Marty from New Jersey is coming off of his best finish of the season and that usually means he is about to go on a tear.

Truex got a new crew chief this year and I think it took the two longer than expected to gain chemistry together.

The lockdown break in the middle of the 9 races we have had so far probably didn’t help much.

Historically, Martin Truex hasn’t been a top performer at this track but he does have a win here.
Over the past 10 races (5 years):

  • 8 top tens
  • 4 top fives
  • One Martinville win.

That is pretty solid.

Kyle Busch has led the most laps in the last 10 races with 937. Brad is next up at 873 but Marty is not far behind the short track killers at 775.

His average finish is 7.1, only bested by Brad and Kyle who are at 6.5 and 4.1, respectively.

Martin won the Fall race here last year.

While his numbers aren’t quite those of Keselowski and Kyle Busch, he does have something in his back pocket.

Nobody has won more night races over the past 10 years than Martin Truex Jr.

But this is Martinsv….

There are no night races.

Hold you shifter, boss.

This is 2020!

I’ll take Martin Truex Jr to swing through victory lane for his second career win at The Dachshund.

To Win
Martin Truex Jr

Denny Hamlin (+700)

Sticking with Joe Gibbs Racing here because why not?

The big three of Denny, Martin, and Kyle all finished inside the top 5 this past Sunday at


Hamlin had only 1 top ten finish in his last 6 starts in Hotlanta before this past weekend’s race.

The team did pretty well at the only other short track race of the season about 10 days ago at Bristol.

Denny led over 100 laps, Kyle did as well, and Erik Jones made his way to fifth place by the time the checkered flew.

I get it. This is Martinsville so everybody wants to talk about Kyle Busch and hey, he might win but without a victory this season, it’s hard to back him.

I say that as I am picking Martin Truex Jr to win after just his first top 5 finish of the season.

Both Busch and Truex run the night races very well.

I’m getting 50% more potential winnings for my money with the Truex pick as well.

Back to Denny.

He is from Virginia and has always run the VA short tracks at a high level.

With 5 career wins here at Martinsville, it’s hard to argue against a pick for the FedEx #11.

Team JGR looked amazing last week and at Bristol as well.

Hendrick cars were all the talk for the first 5 races of the year. Then, the Penske cars were getting some love from some solid performances from Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney.

These past two races, though…

Joe Gibbs Racing appears to be coming on.

Hamlin is 4th, 5th, and 2nd in his previous three starts at The Dach.

With nearly double payout of Kyle Busch, I like the Denny Hamlin pick in this situation.

I see JGR mostly dominating with guys like Keselowski, Chase Elliott, and maybe Ryan Blaney making some noise as well.

To Win
Denny Hamlin

Top 3 Finish

Ryan Blaney (+350)

Ryan Blaney had two very impressive performances at Martinsville in 2019.

He finished 4th and 5th.

I’m not sure why his odds are this high.

I would think maybe (+250) or so.

Martin Truex Jr was our first top 3 bet we wanted to hit and I thought the price was off there as well.

Ryan Blaney is a guy who seems to be there in the end.

Only Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin, and Kevin Harvick have more top five finishes in 2020 than the #12 Penske Ford currently sitting 7th in the Monster Energy Cup Series points standings.

So, his price is good.

Minus the Bristol race this year when he was wrecked and DNF, the third generation race car driver has finishes of 4th at Atlanta and two 3rd place finishes at the two Charlotte races.

Good price.

Great form.

Track history?

4 top tens including 3 top fives in 8 starts here.

He has progressively improved every time he has competed at Martinsville.

It might come down to him and his best friend Chase Elliott but I think there’s more than a 22% chance the #12 Ford snags a third place finish.

His betting odds of (+350) denote that 22% implied probability to win.

I love the value we are getting with Blaney in this spot.

There is even more so with another driver…

Top 3 Finish
Ryan Blaney

Clint Bowyer (+700)

You don’t hear me place too many bets on Clint Bowyer but I like his position here as well as the price.

He finished runner up at Bristol just days ago.

I am a little concerned about his recovery from Sunday’s long race.

He is 41 which isn’t ancient by any means but I think there is still cause for concern.

How has he performed on short rest since the lockdown?

Well, that second place performance was on 3 days rest.

The next shortest track we have run this year behind Martinsville and Bristol is Phoenix, and he snagged a top 5 there.E

The Kansas native has really only been a threat on the small tracks this year and I expect a good run from him at Martinsville on Wednesday.

He did win the Spring race here two years ago.

The race before that, he finished 3rd.

His betting line of (+700) denotes an implied probability of 12%.

I think he is a top three finisher once in every five starts. That gives us a nice edge on the books.

Top 3 Finish
Clint Bowyer

In Conclusion

Let’s make it two races in a row picking a winner and that will put us at 5/10 NASCAR Cup Series winners on the year.

I would be more than thrilled with those numbers.

Picking a NASCAR race is not that easy but you do get tracks like Martinsville that require so much skill and experience that you only see a handful of drivers actually making it to victory lane.

As I said in the introduction, this is a demolition derby.

  • The track is ever so slightly shorter than Bristol.
  • Martinsville has lower banking in the turns so the cars will be slower.
  • Racers are constantly navigating their way through lapped traffic.

Expect some wrecks but we can just hope they go our way.

Kyle, Brad, and Chase are all usual suspects but I like the drivers we picked.

I feel like they have similar chances to win but much more inflated and valuable betting odds.

Get your bets in now and tune in this Wednesday night for some night action at The Dachshund in  Martinsville, VA.

Mike Pruitt / Author

Mike has been covering sports professionally since 2017 but on the amateur scene for 25 years since when he was 12. Before the internet changed the world, he would keep detailed statistical box scores of NFL and NBA contests, write recaps, and voluntarily commentate games and fights alone in his room. Mike's military experience, Bachelors Degree, and employment thereafter were always rooted in engineering, science, and teaching. Now he enjoys being able to express himself through writing about football, golf, and car racing among other sports but most of all fighting as his life has been rooted in mixed martial arts including competing and teaching for the past 15 years.