2008 NASCAR Fantasy Preview: Martinsville Speedway

Goody’s Cool Orange 500


After a week off for the Easter holiday we head to Martinsville, VA this week for the running of the Goody’s Cool Orange 500. This is a .526-mile paper clip track with 12 degree banking in the corners. This makes it hard to pass and most of the racing is boring in my opinion.

My Pick To Win

Everyone should have Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson on their rosters this week. These 2 Hendrick drivers have combined for 8 wins and 20 top 10’s in the last 10 races run here. When Tony Stewart won here in the spring of 2006 Jeff and Jimmie finished 2nd and 3rd. Jimmie has won the last 3 here but I’m giving the nod to Jeff Gordon this week because he has been having a little better year than Jimmie.

Martinsville Frontrunners

The Gibbs teams should give Hendrick a run this weekend. As stated above, Tony Stewart won here in 2006 while his teammates, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch each have 4 top 10 finishes in just slightly more starts than that. Denny has a 2nd and a 3rd and Kyle has a pair of 4th place finishes. That means that all of these drivers know how to get around Martinsville.

After those 5 drivers there is a major falling off as to drivers who are consistent at Martinsville. Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a streak of top 5 finishes starting back in 2002 and lasting until 2004. That gives hi 7 top 5 finishes in his last 12 starts at Martinsville, which isn’t bad. However, only 2 of these came in his last 7 races here.

Jeff Burton got his first win at Bristol 2 weeks ago and could really get around Martinsville when he drove fro Jack Roush. Now that he is with Richard Childress he has fallen off a bit with only 2 top 10 finishes in the 31 car.

Ryan Newman has 6 top 10 finishes in his last 9 races at Martinsville and finished runner-up here last fall. He is my dark horse for this weekend and it will still be a minor upset if he gets the win.

Top 35 Rule

Remember that this week we go by this years owners points as to who is in the top 35 and guaranteed a spot in the race. That leaves drivers like Jamie McMurray, Dave Blaney and Kyle Petty having to get in on qualifying times to make the race. This will change every week for the remainder of the year.

Yahoo! Fantasy Picks

Group A

  • Jeff Gordon (starter)
  • Jimmie Johnson

Group B

  • Ryan Newman (starter)
  • Juan Pablo Montoya (starter)
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr
  • Kyle Busch

Group C

  • Jeremy Mayfield (starter)
  • Scott Riggs

Stay Away From

  • Martin Truex Jr

Dark Horse

  • Ryan Newman