The 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season continues tonight with the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 at Martinsville 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: Martin Truex Jr.- Truex has been the absolute king of Martinsville of late, with 3 wins in his last 5 starts at the track to go along with 8 top 10’s here in his last 10 starts. Leading over 1,000 laps throughout his career at Martinsville, Truex has been trending in the right direction in 2022, finishing 8th, 7th, and 4th in the last 3 races. He may be starting mid-pack tonight, but I predict that Truex will work his way to the front early on and earn himself a 4th grandfather clock with a victory tonight!
Top 10: William Byron- Byron has quietly been doing well at Martinsville, with back-to-back top 5’s and 4 top 5 finishes in his last 5 starts at the track. Coming off of a strong 3rd place finish at Richmond last weekend and a win in the Truck Series race here on Thursday, I predict that Byron will finish inside the top 10 tonight.
Dark Horse: AJ Allmendinger- Making his first Cup Series start here since 2018, Allmendinger was on a bit of a heater at the end of his full-time Cup career, with 4 top 10’s and 8 top 15’s in his last 10 starts at the track. Allmendinger will be coming from outside the top 30 to start the race, but can still make his prescience known easily. I predict that Allmendinger will work his way into the top 15 by race end.
Driver to Fade: Daniel Suarez- Suarez has been slumping at Martinsville Speedway of late, with 5 straight finishes outside the top 25. Suarez has had a nice 2022 to date, with 3 top 10’s in 7 starts, but he didn’t show much pace in either Practice or Qualifying. I expect Suarez to do slightly better than he has at Martinsville in recent years, but I predict that he will still finish outside the top 20.