Bet Saturday Night NASCAR: The Eckel 4 pick the Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500, favor Martin Truex, Jr.
Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500, Martinsville, Va. 7:30 p.m. TV: Fox
Will a driver get to Victory Lane for a second time this season, or will we have an eighth different winner in eight races?
NASCAR is headed toward record territory as it enters its eighth race without a repeat winner. The last time the circuit has gone this long without a driver winning two races was 2003 when it went nine races before Kurt Busch won for the second time. The longest streak ever, in modern times, came in 2000 when it went 10 races before Dale Earnhardt Jr. won for the second time.
Saturday night in Martinsville such notable drivers as current points leader Denny Hamlin, last seasons’ points leader Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and last year’s cup champion Chase Elliott will all look to make it eight winners in eight races.
On the other side Martin Truex Jr., Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano to name a few will try to end the streak with their second win of the season.
Keselowski, who won this race in 2019 and finished third last year, has a chance to make it eight in eight.
“I’m pumped,” Keselowski told NASCAR.com. “When we got out of Bristol, I left with a smile on my face, knowing that we had Martinsville, we had Richmond — those are two of my best race tracks. At Martinsville, we’ve been just so solid the last few times, and then Richmond was kind of a dominant race for us last fall.”
Truex Jr., who won earlier this year in Phoenix and also won here last year, is the 11-2 favorite this week to end the streak of a different winner a week.
“Martinsville has become one of our better tracks,” Truex said. “I just feel like, working with the same group for so long, we’ve hit on something the past few years and been able to keep fine-tuning that and put ourselves in position to run up front.’’
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. (11-2): Two of “The 4’’ put Truex on top this week. If he wins he won’t just be the first driver to win twice this year; he would be the first driver to repeat here since Rusty Wallace (1995-96).
Chase Elliott (6-1): Three of “The 4’’ included last year’s champ to continue the streak with “Left Turn’’ putting him up top. He finished fifth here a year ago and second in 2019, so he has had success on this track.
Denny Hamlin (7-1): That’s pretty good odds for Hamlin, who has done everything (six top five finishes in seven races) but win this season. “Tobacco Road’’ thinks this is his week.
Brad Keselowski (6-1): It’s hard to overlook Keselowski’s success here — he took home the grandfather clock in 2019. And he has three top five finishes this season.
Longshot Plays: Christopher Bell (30-1), Kurt Busch (25-1)