The NASCAR Cup Series continues tonight with the 2021 Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Motor Speedway. Read on below to see my prediction for who will win the race, as well as my top 10, dark horse, and driver to fade predictions.
Winner: Brad Keselowski- Keselowski has become the grand master of Martinsville Speedway in recent years, finishing in the top 5 in 9 of his last 10 starts here, including 2 wins, a runner up, and 2 third place results during that stretch. He also led 720 laps during that stretch and has led nearly 900 laps here in his career. With 3 top 5’s on the season so far, I believe that tonight will be the night the stars align and Brad Keselowski will find himself winning his third grandfather clock.
Top 10: Ryan Blaney- Blaney has shown remarkable prowess at Martinsville Speedway in his young career, with 6 top 10 finishes here in his last 7 starts, including back to back runner up finishes and over 200 laps led. Blaney has finished in the 10 in his last 4 starts this season and I expect that streak to continue tonight.
Dark horse: Ross Chastain- Although Chastain hasn’t had any success in his cup career at Martinsville, he raced well here in the trucks, with 4 top 10 and 6 top 15 finishes in 8 starts, including a runner up in his most recent truck series start here. Ross is an aggressive driver and isn’t afraid to use the bumper to move you out of the way, which is key to success at Martinsville. I believe a top 15 finish is realistic for Chastain tonight.
Driver to fade: Austin Dillon- Dillon has struggled in recent starts at Martinsville, finishing outside the top 20 in 5 of his last 6 starts here, including 3 finishes of 30th or worst. Although he had raced consistently well so far this season, I believe Dillon will struggle tonight and finish outside the top 20.