Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Joe Logano, Martinsville Speedway, NASCAR

Martinsville Recap

Well, I wasn’t even close!  I was feeling pretty good on Friday after my pick, Joey Logano, won the pole.  That feeling didn’t last long after they dropped the green.

I was actually a little worried about my pick after the Truck race when Kyle dominated on the same tire compound Cup used yesterday.  Apparently that worry was well placed because Kyle completely dominated the race yesterday.  Leading 352 laps!  Wow!  I thought I was watching an Infinity race for a while.

Not my favorite Martinsville race ever but I was happy to see AJ finish 2nd.  New drivers being relevant is always good for the sport.  I look for him to win a race this year and Austin Dillon too. Two new winners would be great!  Denny and Jimmie had sub par runs, especially Denny who killed himself with mistakes.

Tomorrow I am going to write about a young man, Ryan Ellis, getting a shot with BK Racing.  He is a good story!!

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Hendrick Motorsports, Jimmie Johnson, Martinsville Speedway, NASCAR


Yesterday I wrote about which JGR driver had the best shot at winning this Sunday in Martinsville.  The clear choice was Denny Hamlin with his 5 wins to 0 by his other teammates.

At Hendrick Motorsports the choice is almost as clear, almost.  Kasey Kahne has either forgotten how to drive or has lost his drive.  He hasn’t just not won anywhere he hasn’t run well.  He won’t be a factor this weekend in Martinsville.

Chase Elliot will run well at the clip but not for the entire race.  The circuit’s shortest track is a Marathon day requiring horsepower, a great setup, and patience.  Chase will have the first two but not enough of the third.  He will run well but won’t have the experience to win.

Jr. will have a great car but his qualifying has been off this season.  I think another bad qualifying day at the clip will put him too far back in the pack and give him too poor a pit stall to win.

Jimmie Johnson has Matinsville figured out, as he does a lot of tracks.  He has won 8 Grandfather clocks.  Three more than Hamilin’s 5.  He has had speed, speed, and more speed this year.  Look for Jimmie to qualify well and get a good pit selection.  This is going to make him tough to beat.

This is a big year for HMS and the 48 team.  Things are changing.  Jeff is in the booth and perhaps a up and coming superstar has taken his seat.  Jimmie arrived and passed a huge milestone in his Hall of Fame career catching and passing Earnhardt.  Let’s be honest, Jimmie won’t be around for more than a few more years.  I think he wants, very badly to win two more championships.  That doesn’t bode well for the other drivers at any track, especially Martinsville.

Denny Hamlin, Joe Gibbs Racing, Martinsville Speedway, Uncategorized

Martinsville/Joe Gibbs Racing

So this week I am going to break down the top three teams, that have a chance of winning at Martinsville, and which driver from that team will be in victory lane.  Only three teams?  Only one driver from each team?  Yes, that’s right.  It doesn’t take much research to figure it out.

I am gong to include the 78 car from Furniture Row racing in the JGR team because they are getting so much help from them and from Toyota.  However, it doesn’t really matter because there is only really one driver in the JGR camp who has a shot at being in Victory Lane Sunday afternoon.

When I first started looking at the success of the current JGR drivers I was a little shocked.  Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, and Matt Kenseth have combined for a grand total of 0 wins.  That’s right three of the best drivers over the course of the last ten to 15 years have never won at the paper clip.

Martinsville is a unique track in the Cup series.  It takes a driver with incredible patience and particular skill to drive these high power machines on short tracks.  Denny Hamlin grew up driving a series of tracks that taught him how to do it.  South Boston, Southside, Old Dominion, were tracks where the young Hamlin honed his skills.  This has translated to tremendous success at Martinsville.

Since breaking into the Cup Series Denny has won the second most races at Martinsville, 5.  As the week goes on you will see that he and another current driver are far ahead of the field at Martinsville.

Denny has the speed and power of the Gibbs and Toyota cars.  He certainly hasn’t forgotten how to win at Martinsville.  He has distanced himself from his teammates at Martinsville and clearly represents JGRs best chance to win this Sunday.

Tomorrow we will take a look at Hendrick Motorsports.

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