NOCO 400 at Martinsville Speedway NASCAR Preview
NOCO 400 AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY NASCAR PREVIEW – Welcome to our inaugural writeup for NASCAR. As the staff degenerate renaissance man, my number has been called to preview NASCAR events through the rest of the season. Some of you may remember some of my columns from the past where I’ve written up NASCAR, but we’ve never done a full, dedicated writeup. Until now.
Martinsville Speedway is often referred to as the “paperclip”. It’s pretty on-the-nose as far as nicknames go because, well, the track does resemble a paperclip. Two sharp turns with very little banking and relatively long straightaways characterize this track. Not to mention, it’s the shortest on the circuit at just a touch over half a mile in length.
Some guys specialize with shorter tracks, so it’s worth keeping an eye on folks who raced well in Phoenix where the track is less than a mile long and features relatively little banking or at the short track in Richmond so far this season.
William Byron and Denny Hamlin are the only two drivers with odds below 10/1 for this race. Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Chase Elliott all occupy the spot directly above them at +1000.
Enough with the intro, here are the picks.
NOCO 400 BEST BETS
WILLIAM BYRON TO WIN
Odds: +400 at DraftKings
I hate to be the guy that just picks chalk in his first NASCAR writeup, but this just feels like the only path. Byron was silly fast in practice yesterday and his record here is great. He’s finished in the top-8 in six of his last seven spins around the “paperclip,” so it’s clear he’s comfortable here.
Don’t forget he’s already having a great year as the only multiple winner this season. If anything, his last couple of mediocre results could actually be providing a bit of value at a track he’s very good at in a car that looks very fast at the moment.
CHRISTOPHER BELL TOP 5
Odds: +250 at DraftKings
Again, we aren’t setting the world on fire with longshots, but that’s just how it is sometimes. NASCAR isn’t quite like some other sports like golf where longshots have real value each week. Sometimes because of equipment advantages and track history, Cup racing is just relatively straightforward.
Bell is just red-hot right now. He’s coming off a win last week at the Food City Dirt Race and he hasn’t finished outside of 6th in any of his eight races this season. I’ll gladly take +250 on a guy who has been an absolute machine finishing in or just outside of the top-5 all season. Joe Gibbs Racing had a win here in the fall and their cars have been rockets all season. I won’t overthink this.
TY GIBBS TOP 10
Odds: +200 at WilliamHill
Ty Gibbs was a killer in his Xfinity races here last season, with three top-10s in four races, including a win. He’s been living in the top-10 for about a month, so I think it’s very fair to expect him to put up another one at a track he’s had success on.
His odds are long if you want to throw a dart on him at +7000, but I think I’ll just play it safe and hope for another top-10 finish this week. He’s still very young at 20 years old, so asking for a win right now might be asking too much.