The remaining three spots in the NASCAR Cup Series Four will be decided on Sunday’s 500 lap race at Martinsville Speedway (2 p.m. ET, NBC), the upcoming event of the season.
Joey Logano Locked in place in the last four before Winning at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Two races ago. non-comma driver Kyle Larson won last Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, denying the other seven drivers a win and automatic entry to the final round.
The fact that Lugano is the only playoff winner in the eighth round with his first two races means that at least two of the four places in the championship will be awarded points. If any of the remaining seven drivers win at Martinsville, he will move on to the Phoenix Raceway Championship race. If none of the seven wins on Sunday, the top three drivers on points will take the lead.
Also on the Martinsville schedule is Saturday’s race (3 p.m. ET, NBC) for the Xfinity Series. Noah Gregson And the Josh Perry Qualify for the Xfinity Championship Race on November 5th in Phoenix. Two points remain open for six eligible drivers.
Is Hamlin Martinsville’s Favorite?
Of the eight drivers remaining in the Cup Qualifiers, Denny Hamlin He is the only one to have more than one victory in Martinsville. Hamlin has won the short track five times. Joey Logano, William Byron And the Chase Elliot You have one win each, and the other four drivers – Ryan BlaneyAnd the Ross ChastainAnd the Chase Brisco And the Christopher Bell – They are looking for their first victory in the big paperclip.
Does that make Hamlin Sunday a favourite? Not so fast. Hamlin’s wins have occurred in Martinsville in 2008, 09, 10 (twice) and 15. In the past five races in Martinsville, he has finished 11th or worse four times.
Obviously Hamlin could still win on Sunday, but his latest record pales in comparison to his best years in the half-mile. It was 28 in the April race in Martinsville (Won by Byron) He failed to reach the top ten during the race.
No more fonts?
Three top drivers who have built big winning streaks from year to year are flocking to Martinsville this week with those records in jeopardy.
Brad KiselowskiRoush Fenway Keselowski Racing, who moved into team ownership this year, has won at least one race for 11 consecutive seasons. His fifth place finish at Homestead last Sunday was his best of the season.
Kiselovsky won twice in Martinsville.
Martin Truex Jr., who has also not achieved a win this season, has been plagued by a web of problems this year, a fact underlined by the pit road case at Homestead. He has won at least one race for seven consecutive years.
Truex has three wins in Martinsville.
Ryan Blaney, no win this year except Victory in the All-Star RaceHe has a five-season winning streak on the line. His best finish in Martinsville came in second place twice.
More laps, more work?
The April race in Martinsville, a first on a next-generation car track, has been widely criticized for a lack of competition.
On a narrow half-mile track that results in convincing races, there were only four leaders: Winner William Byron scored 212 lapsChase Elliott 185, Ryan Blaney five, Austin Dillon One. There were five major changes, compared to 15 in last year’s fall race.
There was little competition for the top spot in April. Byron beat Joey Logano in overtime for the win.
The spring race was scheduled for 400 laps (last 403 laps due to overtime), the first Martinsville scheduled for less than 500 laps since 1958. Sunday’s race is scheduled at the traditional 500 distance.
Schedule and forecast for this week
(all times east)
Friday October 28
Climate forecast: partly cloudy. height 62.
- 4 – 4:35 p.m. – Xfinity Series Training (USA Network)
- 4:35 – 5:30 p.m. – Xfinity Series Qualifiers (USA Network)
Saturday October 29
Climate forecast: Mostly cloudy. High 62. Probability of rain 4%.
- Noon – 12:45 p.m. – Cup Series practice (12:30 p.m. USA Network, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
- 12:45 – 2pm – Cup Series Qualifiers (USA Network, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
- 3 p.m. – Xfinity Series Race (250 laps, 131 miles; NBC, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)
Sunday October 30
Climate forecast: Overcast weather with occasional showers. High 63. 60% chance of precipitation.
- 2 p.m. – Cup Series Race (500 laps, 263 miles; NBC, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)