NASCAR at Martinsville 2022: Odds, Preview and Top Storylines

Maurice Bobb@@ReeseReportFeatured ColumnistApril 8, 2022

NASCAR at Martinsville 2022: Odds, Preview and Top Storylines

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    Wade Payne/Associated Press

    When the NASCAR Cup Series rolls into Martinsville Speedway in Virginia this Saturday for the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400, it will mark the 3rd night race hosted by the .526 mile oval in Cup Series history.

    The Paperclip under the lights event promises to be a lot of beating and banging as drivers try to get into the corners of the short, tighter track.

    Martin Truex Jr., who has yet to log a win this season, has been tapped as the odds-on favorite to come in first, with last week's winner, Denny Hamlin, just a few spots later at fourth.

    Drivers will have the unique challenge of racing on asphalt on the straightaways with zero degrees of banking and concrete in the turns with only 12 degrees of banking.

    This is also early practice for drivers getting prepared for the postseason as Martinsville is a playoff track where tickets to Phoenix are punched later in the season.

    Here's a quick overview of everything race fans need to know about Saturday night at Martinsville.

Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 Information

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    Meg Oliphant/Getty Images

    Date: Saturday, April 9

    Start Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

    TV: Fox Sports 1

    Live Stream: Fox Sports app


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    Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

    Martin Truex Jr.: +550 (bet $100 to win $550)

    Chase Elliott: +700

    Ryan Blaney: +900

    Denny Hamlin: +900

    Kyle Busch: +1000

    Kyle Larson: +1000

    Joey Logano: +1000

    William Byron: +1100

    Christopher Bell: +1400

    Alex Bowman: +1400

    Complete list of odds available at DraftKings Sportsbook.


Preview and Top Storylines

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    Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

    With it still being short track season, it makes sense that Martin Truex Jr is this week's betting favorite.

    The Joe Gibbs Racing stalwart brandished the kind of speed he'll need last week at Richmond, where he could have won if not for the poor choice of the one-stop strategy late.

    Truex has won three of the last five races at Martinsville and he's ranked No. 1 in driver rating at the asphalt track, so he's a no-brainer as the pick to finish first. 

    One of the key matchups to keep an eye on is the one between Truex and William Byron.

    The two drivers put on an exciting show at Richmond Raceway as Byron was doing his best to hold off Truex during the final 20 laps.

    Things will be heavily in Truex's favor as he's ranked first on all short tracks, while Bryon ranks eighth.

    Another matchup to watch is Chase Elliott vs. Denny Hamlin.

    Hamlin's coming off a win last week, while bettors believe Elliott will come in second on Saturday.

    "You’ve got to figure out how to lead the last lap, that’s pretty much all that matters," Hamlin told Zach Albert of Yahoo Sports last year after a fifth-place finish at his hometown track per

    If Hamlin can overcome his no-so-good luck at Richmond, he'll win back-to-back races for the first time since June 2010.

    Still, with the NextGen cars, this race could be up for grabs if it weren't for the fact that the same drivers keep leading the pack on these short tracks.

    Ryan Blaney, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Kyle Busch all do well during short track season.

    That said, look for Truex to get his first win of the season at Martinsville.