2007 NASCAR Fantasy Preview: Martinsville Speedway

Goody’s Cool Orange 500

Fresh Out Of Bristol

I’m a little late this week because I just got home from Bristol and watching the debut of the COT.

This was the first time I have ever attended a race at Bristol and I was very pleased with how everything went. The only disappointment to the weekend was how bad NASCAR screwed up during a caution in the Busch race on Saturday.

My Pick To Win Martinsville

The only thing that stood out during the Cup race on Sunday was how well Tony Stewart’s car handled compared to the other drivers on the track. The racing was still typical Bristol with drivers bumping the car in front of them to open a lane up. But, because of the way Tony’s car handled I am going to pick him to win this weekend at Martinsville in the second COT race of the year.

Frontrunners at Martinsville

Before the Bristol race I was going to pick Jeff Gordon to win at Martinsville and he will still run up towards the front all day. Jeff started on the pole at Bristol and lost the handle on the car right a way the team worked on it in the pits every chance that they got and had Jeff in contention to win at the end of the race. This team is looking good and Martinsville is one of Jeff’s favorite tracks.

Jimmie Johnson struggled for most of the race at Bristol but that was to be expected. Jimmie has never really run well at Bristol but this weekend will be another story if they have the handle figured out on the COT. Jimmie runs almost as consistently well as Jeff Gordon at Martinsville and won there last fall.

Jeff Burton sits second in the points race only 3 behind Jeff Gordon. Jeff really struggled last year at Martinsville but this track is similar to Phoenix where he usually runs very well. Look for Jeff to have a competitive car once again this weekend at Martinsville.

Speaking of Phoenix, Kevin Harvick swept the races there last season and also had a good handling COT during the race at Bristol last week. This is the type of track that Kevin excels at and this weekend should be no different.

Last weeks winner, Kyle Busch, should be a handful for the other drivers once again this week. I really believe that the best drivers will be the ones towards the front of the pack this weekend. I think that the COT will separate the great drivers from the competition until they get a few more races under their belts with it.

Denny Hamlin had another great run at Bristol until the end of the race when he had some type of a problem on a restart and didn’t get his car up to speed until he was out of the bottom groove and freight trained to the end of the lead lap cars. This should bode well for the young Hamlin as he heads to Martinsville 9th in the point standings.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a great streak at Bristol from 2002 until the first race of 2004 but has struggled a little bit since then. He only has 1 top 10 in the last 5 races here but showed that he could bring his car from the back of the pack to the front last week at Bristol.

Martinsville A Struggle For Roush Teams

Greg Biffle had a good run at Bristol but his car failed inspection for being too low after the race and NASCAR will hand out a penalty this week to this team. Greg has really struggled at Martinsville during his career with a best finish of 17th in 8 races.

Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards both struggle here also so it doesn’t look like a good weekend for the Roush teams.

The one bright spot for Jack Roush this weekend could come in the form of Jamie McMurray.

Jamie has always performed well at Martinsville and had one of his best runs of the year last weekend. Maybe this team is ready to break out this weekend at Martinsville.

Yahoo! Fantasy Picks

Group A

  • Tony Stewart (starter)
  • Jeff Gordon

Group B

  • Denny Hamlin (starter)
  • Jamie McMurray (starter)
  • Bobby Labonte
  • Kyle Busch

Group C

  • David Stremme (starter)
  • Jeff Green

Darkhorse

  • Jamie McMurray
  • Bobby Labonte
  • David Stremme

Stay Away From

  • Greg Biffle
  • Carl Edwards
  • Kurt Busch