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Martinsville 400 Race Preview

Written by Gabriel Tsui, Edited by Sean McKean

Welcome to the month of April, and keeping up with the theme of short track racing, we will be heading to Martinsville for the eighth race of the season. After an exciting overtime finish in Richmond Raceway that saw Denny Hamlin get the edge over Joey Logano and Martin Truex Jr, will we see the same exciting action here in Martinsville?

Richmond 400 Race Debrief

The race started off with Kyle Larson leading the field under wet conditions, and Chase Elliott held the lead briefly until Larson retook the lead on lap six. A competition caution on lap 30 was waved after NASCAR decided that the track was dry enough for slicks, before restarting on lap 49.

Larson led the way for the rest of stage one, then winning the stage under caution after Josh Berry and Daniel Suarez made contact in turn one.

After the stage break, Kyle Larson continued leading the field, and decided to gamble by not making a green flag pit stop and stretching the set of tires by an extra 20 laps. After Larson pitted, Martin Truex Jr. took the lead and led the rest of the stage, winning stage two.

On the restart, Truex Jr. held the lead and mostly for the rest of the way. The final stage of the race was mostly uneventful, before on the penultimate lap, Larson was spun out by Bubba Wallace, bringing out the caution flag for overtime.

Denny Hamlin took the lead on the restart after his teammate Truex Jr. had a slow stop under caution, and led for the rest of the overtime and took his second win of the season.

Track Preview

Located in Ridgeway, Virginia, 15 minutes south of the city of Martinsville, and a few minutes away from the border between Virginia and North Carolina. This track hosts two races every year, one in the early part of the season and another in the playoffs. This is also one of the oldest tracks in the calendar, built in the year 1947.

This race has been held since 1950, and this year will mark its 75th year of hosting a NASCAR race. It is one of the shortest tracks on the calendar, with a distance of 0.526 miles (0.847 kilometres). The turn has a banking of 12 degrees, lower than similar tracks such as Bristol Motor Speedway, where there is a banking of 24-28 degrees on the turns. 

The weather report shows that the temperatures will be ranging from 11 to 19 degrees Celsius (51 to 66 degrees Fahrenheit), with little to no precipitation. The race will commence on the Sunday of April 7th, at 15:00 ET (12:00 PT, 21:00 CET).

Race Predictions

This track is familiar territory for Chevrolet. They have won this race in the past two years with William Byron in 2022 and Kyle Larson in 2023.

They have incredible performances throughout the short track weekends, and even though they do not have a win, they have proven to be exceptional in short track races this season. They might have a chance at the win if the Toyotas are out of contention, and that is a huge if.

Toyotas have been dominating the short tracks, and especially Denny Hamlin. He has won in Bristol, he has won in Richmond, and he might win in Martinsville. His teammate Martin Truex Jr. is also a dominating force in short tracks, coming in second in Bristol and leading for 228 laps in Richmond.

Truex has also won twice in Martinsville, in 2020 and 2021. There is no reason to not list these two as the top favourites of the race, so the prediction will be either Martin Truex Jr. or Denny Hamlin taking the win in Martinsville, continuing their domination in short tracks.


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