Mark Eckel and the “The Eckel 4” pick Sunday's penultimate NASCAR Cup race in Martinsville — The Xfinity 500
Where and when to watch: Xfinity 500, Martinsville, Va. at 2 pm on NBC
Barring an unforeseen series of events, three of NASCAR’s Final 4 are set.
Joey Logano, by virtue of his win in Kansas two weeks ago, is in. Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin have built up enough points that it would take a strange occurrence for either to be eliminated.
Harvick has a 42-point edge and Hamlin has a 27-point edge as NASCAR has its penultimate race Sunday in Martinsville. The Cup Finale is a week from Sunday in Phoenix.
As the day begins Brad Keselowski sits in the fourth spot and has a 25-point lead on Alex Bowman and Chase Elliott, who are tied for fifth.
Martin Truex Jr., in seventh and 36 points behind Keselowski and Kurt Busch, in eighth and 81 points behind Keselowski, need a win Sunday to advance.
Both drivers have had success here. Truex’s only win of the 2020 season came in Martinsville and he also won here in 2019. Kurt Busch also has two Martinsville wins on his resume.
Bowman and Elliott, who would also advance with a win, will be looking for their first trip to Victory Lane in Martinsville.
Here’s the way the Eckel 4, which as always includes Scott “Tobacco Road” Baker, Mike “Left Turn” Sweeney and Barry “Dr. NASCAR” Davis, see the race.
Martin Truex Jr. (3-1): He’s the favorite for a reason. Not only has he won the last two races here, he finished third in 2018 and second in 2017. Three of “The 4” picked him on top. The New Jersey native should certainly be in the mix.
Brad Keselowski (11-2): All of “The 4” mentioned Keselowski and “Left Turn’’ picked him to win. He has two wins here and will start on the pole.
Denny Hamlin (11-2): It’s hard to leave out a five-time winner at the track, and three of “The 4” put Hamlin on their list. Again, he should be right in the thick of the action.
Longshot Plays: Kurt Busch (25-1); Alex Bowman (20-1)