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Fantasy win odds for the 2013 Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500

Updated on October 23, 2013
Johnson, winner of eight events at Martinsville, testing his new ride. And yes, he could probably take it to victory lane here
Johnson, winner of eight events at Martinsville, testing his new ride. And yes, he could probably take it to victory lane here | Source
Martinsville Speedway; this is why they call it "The Paper Clip"
Martinsville Speedway; this is why they call it "The Paper Clip" | Source

Talladega proved to be a relatively tame affair with few damaged race cars and little change in the overall point standings. While the two championship front runners finished deep in the field, they remain far ahead of the competition. Only four races remain before a champion is crowned and the paper clip that is Martinsville Speedway may well be the last chance for those ranked third through sixth to reel in Kenseth and Johnson. The only problem is just how good Johnson in particular has been at the half mile track. Will the #48 take home yet another grandfather clock or will Father Time ring its bell for someone else?


Before going any further, a quick note. We'll be looking at the statistics over the past ten races, all courtesy of racing-reference.com. Going any further back takes us into fourth generation cars and a completely different race environment in terms of competition on the track. We're also in no way advocating gambling in any way shape or form. These odds are purely for informational purposes only.

Watch last year's fall Martinsville race in full!

The last time Johnson visited one of his favorite tracks? The win at Dover
The last time Johnson visited one of his favorite tracks? The win at Dover | Source

The Favorites:

Driver: Jimmie Johnson

Team: Hendrick Motorsports

Odds of Winning: 1-3

It's impossible to understate just how good Jimmie Johnson has been at Martinsville over the years. He's won four of the last ten races, with seven top five finishes to boot. His average finish is 4.5 and he's finished on the lead lap in all ten events. He's led over 26% of the laps and started on the pole twice. Career-wise he has eight wins at Martinsville, more than any other active driver. The last time Johnson showed up at a track where's he's been dominant was Dover, where he dominated the second half of the race and won going away. In all likelihood we'll see more of the same this week.


Driver: Denny Hamlin

Team: Joe Gibbs Racing

Odds of Winning: 10-1

The only driver to show any real ability to challenge Johnson's domination at Martinsville is Denny Hamlin. He's won three of the last ten events with six top five finishes. He too has started on the pole and led over 20% of the scheduled laps. His average finish of 7.3 would be even better were it not for a lone DNF. His odds would be better if not for the absolutely horrible season Hamlin finds himself mired in. But there's nothing like a favorite track to snap a driver out of his funk and Martinsville qualifies for Denny.

Few tracks are as deep in Hamlin's comfort zone as Martinsville
Few tracks are as deep in Hamlin's comfort zone as Martinsville | Source
As good as Gordon has been at Martinsville in the past, his kids had yet to be born the last time he won here
As good as Gordon has been at Martinsville in the past, his kids had yet to be born the last time he won here | Source

The Sleepers:

Driver: Jeff Gordon

Team: Hendrick Motorsports

Odds of Winning: 25-1

While Gordon is second among active drivers with seven wins at Martinsville, none of those wins have come in the last ten races here. At fifth in points he cannot afford to finish behind either Johnson or Kenseth again if he wants to remain in the hunt. He's led over 19% of the laps during the last ten races and scored seven top five finishes. He was one Clint Bowyer dive-bomb away from winning here last year and may yet match Johnson with an eight Martinsville win.


Driver: Dale Earnhardt Jr

Team: 40-1

Odds of Winning:

Earnhardt Jr. has quietly made Martinsville one of his better tracks. It hasn't hurt being able to share technical information with Gordon and Johnson but Junior has made the most of it. He has three top five and six top ten finishes over the last ten events. He's also survived the beating and banging with zero DNFs and eight lead lap finishes. Finally, his average finish of 11.8 is fifth overall; he's been consistently good here and if the favorites falter, Earnhardt will be in position to pick up the pieces.


Driver: Clint Bowyer

Team: Michael Waltrip Racing

Odds of Winning: 65-1

Bowyer is another driver that has run well at the half mile paper clip and is likely overdue a win. With seven top ten finishes and only one finish outside of the lead lap, Clint knows how to navigate through (or recover from) the various spins and wrecks. His average finish of 12.3 is inside the top ten among active drivers and he's led a very respectable 5.05% of the laps run. The championship is likely beyond his grasp but a win at Martinsville is very much a possibility for Bowyer


Driver: Danica Patrick

Team: Stewart-Haas Racing

Odds of Winning: 150-1

No, it's not a certainty. It's not even a likelihood. But Patrick, for all her struggles at the intermediate tracks, has a chance to do well here. She finished in 12th place and on the lead lap in her only other Cup event at Martinsville. She made up 20 positions in that race after starting deep in the field. She's also not afraid to bump and run and her aggressiveness pays dividends at a track where spinning out doesn't necessarily end your day. Keep your eye on the GoDaddy car; this may well be her best finish of the year.

If Patrick learns from Johnson, she could well be a factor on Sunday
If Patrick learns from Johnson, she could well be a factor on Sunday | Source
Sadler (right) will replace Vickers (left) in the Aaron's Dream Machine for the remaining four races this season
Sadler (right) will replace Vickers (left) in the Aaron's Dream Machine for the remaining four races this season | Source

The Suckers Bets

Driver: Elliott Sadler

Team: Michael Waltrip Racing

Odds of Winning: 750-1

While the reasons behind it are not (and best wishes to Brian Vickers on a speedy recovery), it's great to see Elliott Sadler get an extended run in a Cup car once again. He was the victim of a numbers game at Richard Petty Motorsports, where it took a lawsuit for the team to honor the last two years of his contract. Yet this isn't the best possible return for the veteran. He's run five of the last ten Martinsville events and has failed to lead a single lap during that span. He's been running at the finish but has been off the lead lap every time. At an average finish of 29th, Sadler would count his blessings to be in the top 15 when the checkered flag flies.


Driver: Kasey Kahne

Team: Hendrick Motorsports

Odds of Winning: 600-1

Luck is an important factor of surviving 500 laps at Martinsville and Kahne's has been virtually all bad in 2013. His average finish of 22.4 is second worst of the 13 Chase drivers during the last ten races here. He's led a whopping 13 laps during that period and has 3 DNFs and only five lead lap finishes. Kahne's driving style may well explain why he's done so poorly at the track. Martinsville requires a patient aggression where drivers need to know when to use the chrome horn and when to let someone else by. Kahne tends to do neither and it costs him.


Driver: Kurt Busch

Team: Furniture Row Racing

Odds of Winning: 500-1

The only driver with a worse average finish at Martinsville over the last ten events at the track is Busch at 22.5. And unlike Kahne, his finish isn't the result of DNFs; he has only one in ten races. He just simply hasn't found a setup that lets his driving talent flourish. He has zero top ten finishes, only 19 laps led and four lead laps finishes in ten events. The only consolation is that the driver he replaced at Furniture Row, Regan Smith, had an even worse record during the same timeframe. But given his history here, expecting a win out of the Outlaw this weekend is probably expecting too much.

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Now it's your turn!

Who will win Sunday's race in Martinsville?

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