On Sunday, November 1st, NASCAR will be live from Martinsville Speedway in Ridgeway, Virginia, for the Xfinity 500. This is the 35th race of the 2020 season and the final race in the Round of 3. The Xfinity 500 will determine which four drivers will go on to race for the Championship at Phoenix on November 8th.
Due to poor weather, NASCAR had to run Texas’ race on Wednesday, so drivers will only have a few days to prepare for Martinsville on Sunday. Kyle Busch pulled out the victory in Texas and extended his streak to 16 seasons with at least one win.
This weekend, Busch’s teammate Martin Truex Jr. is the odds on favorite to win the Xfinity 500 according to the majority of NASCAR betting sites. He’s followed by Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Chase Elliott and Joey Logano.
Martinsville Speedway is one of the sport’s most iconic tracks. It’s held NASCAR races since 1948 and is the perfect example of short track racing with a lap distance of 0.52 miles and all four turns with a banking of 12 degrees.
The following is a breakdown of Sunday’s Xfinity 500:
Total Miles: 263 miles
Total Laps: 500 laps
Stage 1: First 130 laps
Stage 2: 2nd 130 laps
Final Stage: Remaining 240 laps
The Xfinity 500 is set to begin at 2 PM ET and will air live on NBC.
With all of the racing action heading into the first weekend of November, the following storylines are worth keeping an eye on in the final race of Round 3:
Who will advance to the Championship race?
Can a non-Playoff driver win?
Can Joe Gibbs Racing win for 2nd straight year?
Who will get eliminated from the Playoffs?
Can Martin Truex Jr. win to get in?
2020 NASCAR Playoff Standings
The current Playoff standings (based on driver points) heading into Martinsville:
Kevin Harvick (4137)
Denny Hamlin (4122)
Brad Keselowski (4120)
Joey Logano (4094) already won a race in Round 3
Alex Bowman (4095)
Chase Elliott (4095)
Martin Truex Jr. (4084)
Kurt Busch (4039)
Previous Xfinity 500 Winners
Red Byron won the inaugural fall Martinsville race in 1949. Since then, four drivers have gone on to win this race a record tying six times: Richard Petty, Darrell Waltrip, Jeff Gordon, and Jimmie Johnson. Martin Truex Jr. is the defending race winner.
The following is a list of previous winners dating back to 2000:
Tony Stewart in 2000, 2011
Ricky Craven in 2001
Kurt Busch in 2002
Jeff Gordon in 2003, 2005, 2013, 2015
Jimmie Johnson in 2004, 2006-2008, 2012, 2016
Denny Hamlin in 2009, 2010
Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 2014
Kyle Busch in 2017
Joey Logano in 2018
Martin Truex Jr. in 2019
Six previous winners will take the field on Sunday, November 1st.
According to most NASCAR betting sites, the following drivers are considered the odds on favorites to win the Xfinity 500 from Martinsville Speedway on November 1st:
Martin Truex Jr
Martin Truex Jr (+325)
Top 3 (-106)
Top 5 (-195)
Top 10 (-670)
Martin Truex Jr. comes into this weekend’s race sitting 36 points below the cutoff line. He needs to win the Xfinity 500 race or have drivers like Brad Keselowski and Chase Elliott crash out.
At Texas, Truex had a shot to punch his ticket into the championship race, but he finished 2nd behind teammate Kyle Busch.
One more lap and Busch’s car would’ve run out of gas and Truex would’ve won the race. It’s a tough pill to swallow for the 2017 NASCAR Champion who has just one victory on the season.
At Martinsville, Truex is the defending champ for this race. In fact, he’s won the last two races at this track as Truex took the checkered flag at Martinsville earlier this year. It was his only win of the season.
Truex has six straight Top 8 finishes with four Top 3 results. Over the last 11 races at this track, Truex has led laps in eight of them.
Fortunately for the #19 car, he couldn’t ask for a better track to stave off elimination. I see Truex being a Top 10, Top 5 and Top 3 car this weekend. He will challenge for the checkered flag on Sunday and is the man to beat.
Brad Keselowski (+600)
Top 3 (+155)
Top 5 (-125)
Top 10 (-400)
The one man that Truex and the other drivers below the cutoff line are chasing after is Brad Keselowski. Unfortunately for them, Keselowksi not only races well at Martinsville Speedway, but he will also start on the pole for the Xfinity 500.
Keselowski had a subpar second round in the Playoffs, but has picked it up in the third round with a 4th at Kansas and a 6th at Texas. He’s held on to 4th place in the standings and continues to fight off the rest of the pack.
Like Truex, Keselowski has also won twice at Martinsville. Additionally, like the #19 car, Keselowski has had a dominant run over the last few years at this short track.
In the last nine Martinsville races, Keselowski has nine Top 10s, eight Top 5s, and two wins. He finished 3rd in this race last year and 3rd in the spring Martinsville race this year. He won the 2019 spring Martinsville race and the 2017 spring event.
Keselowski is going to be a tough one to beat on Sunday. You can pencil him in as a Top 10, Top 5 and Top 3 driver for this race.
Denny Hamlin (+600)
Top 3 (+155)
Top 5 (-125)
Top 10 (-400)
It’s pretty crazy to think that Hamlin could get eliminated from the Playoffs this weekend considering he’s been the second best driver all season long and the only man to compete with Kevin Harvick in 2020.
Yet, Hamlin is just 27 points above the cutoff line and only two points ahead of Brad Keselowski despite having seven wins on the season, 17 Top 5s and 10 stage wins. He’s been terrific the second half of the season, but needs another solid run this weekend to advance to the championship race.
Like Truex and Keselowski, Denny Hamlin has also raced well at Martinsville. Other than Jimmie Johnson, Hamlin leads all active drivers with five wins at this track. However, his last win came in 2015.
Since then, Hamlin has had six Top 10s and five Top 5s in the last 10 Martinsville races. He finished 24th in the spring event this year, which snapped a three race streak of finishing in the Top 5 at this track.
Fortunately for Hamlin, he doesn’t need to win on Sunday. However, Hamlin will need to finish high on both stages and most likely a Top 20 spot to ensure advancement. If he finishes in the middle of the pack then he runs the risk of missing out on moving on if other drivers win or finish Top 5.
I believe Hamlin will be a Top 10 and Top 5 car on Sunday. He will flirt with a Top 3 result and could be the man to upstage Truex and Keselowski this weekend.
Chase Elliott (+750)
Top 3 (+240)
Top 5 (+120)
Top 10 (-278)
Chase Elliott’s performance at Texas didn’t help him much. In fact, it cost him a spot in the standings as he finished 20th overall. With a spot in the championship race on the line, Elliott will need a win or a top result and other drivers ahead of him to crash out.
At Martinsville, Elliott has five Top 10s in 10 career starts. He’s never crashed out and has four Top 10 results in the last five races.
Elliott finished 5th in the spring race this year, but was 36th in this race last year. I see Elliott being a Top 10 car on Sunday, but I believe his ceiling will be a Top 5 spot. He’s going to need some luck this weekend in order to advance to the championship race in Phoenix.
Joey Logano (+750)
Top 3 (+240)
Top 5 (+120)
Top 10 (-278)
Of the eight remaining Playoff drivers, only Joey Logano has secured a spot in the championship round. This was due to his win at Kansas where he held of Kevin Harvick for the checkered flag. Logano followed that up with a 10th place result at Texas.
At Martinsville, Logano does have a 12.8 average finish along with one win, seven Top 5s, and 11 Top 10s in 23 starts. He’s also never crashed out of this race.
Logano won this race in 2018 and has four Top 8s in his last five Martinsville starts. In the spring event this year, Logano was 4th after leading 234 laps. It was a strong performance for the #22 car.
I see Logano finishing in the Top 10 and flirting with a Top 5 result. However, I don’t see the 2018 NASCAR champ being able to contend with Truex, Keselowski and Hamlin this weekend.
The Best Xfinity 500 Betting Value
The following NASCAR drivers offer betting value for the Xfinity 500 due to their current betting odds, their past success at Martinsville Speedway, and their 2020 season so far:
Kevin Harvick (+1000)
Top 3 (+275)
Top 5 (+140)
Top 10 (-240)
I say this every time, but if I can get odds on Harvick at +1000 or higher then it definitely offers value. He’s been the best driver all season long with nine wins in 34 races. I also see value with Harvick’s Top 5 odds as well.
In his last six races at this track, Harvick has five Top 10s, three Top 6s, and two Top 5s. He was 7th in this race last year and has been unstoppable this postseason. Harvick has already won twice in the Playoffs and could easily sneak his way into victory lane this weekend.
With that said, Harvick just needs to run a few laps in order to move on to the championship race in Phoenix on November 8th where he will be the betting favorite to win at a track that he’s dominated at in his career.
I see Harvick being a Top 10 car on Sunday with a Top 5 ceiling.
Kurt Busch (+2500)
Top 3 (+650)
Top 5 (+350)
Top 10 (-109)
Since his surprising win at Las Vegas, which advanced him to the third round, it’s been tough racing for Kurt Busch. He’s crashed twice in the last four races including two weeks ago at Kansas.
At Texas, Busch finished 7th overall, but he has a tall mountain to climb this Sunday if he wants to advance to the next round.
Due to how far behind he is in points, 98 points below the cutoff line, Busch’s only chance to compete for a championship at Phoenix is to win this weekend.
Busch does have two wins at Martinsville in his career with the last one coming in the spring of 2014. He also has three Top 9 results in the last four races at this track. Last year, Busch finished 6th in the Xfinity 500.
I believe Busch’s value is with his Top 10 odds. He will desperately try to win the race, but most likely settle for a Top 10 result.
Clint Bowyer (+3300)
Top 3 (+700)
Top 5 (+400)
Top 10 (+100)
Like with Busch, I think Clint Bowyer’s value is with his Top 10 odds of +100. In 29 starts, Bowyer has 16 Top 10s at this track. He also has a win coming in the spring of 2018. Over the last seven Martinsville races, Bowyer has four Top 10s, two Top 5s and a victory.
In the eight Playoff races so far, Bowyer has four Top 10 results. I think the #14 car will crack the Top 10 this weekend.
The Top Longshot to Win the Xfinity 500
Ryan Newman (+8000) is my longshot pick for the Xfinity 500.
Top 3 (+2000)
Top 5 (+1000)
Top 10 (+265)
In reality, I don’t see any non-Playoff driver winning this race except maybe Kyle Busch now that he’s ended his drought. And, I really don’t see anyone below Jimmie Johnson’s +3300 odds being a credible shot to win.
With that said, Newman has had success at Martinsville in his career. In 37 starts at this track, Newman has one win, eight Top 5s, and 17 Top 10s. He has three Top 12s in the last four races at this track including a 10th place result in this race last year.
Which Drivers Get Eliminated From the Playoffs?
Let’s start with the drivers that will advance to the next round. Logano has already earned a spot in the championship race. Kevin Harvick is virtually a lock to move on due to his points. I believe Hamlin will have a solid performance this weekend and move on as well.
That leaves five drivers fighting for the 4th and final spot in the championship race at Phoenix: Brad Keselowski, Alex Bowman, Chase Elliott, Martin Truex Jr. and Kurt Busch.
Right off the bat, we can eliminate Kurt Busch and Alex Bowman from the equation.
Kurt Busch is not winning this race, so we can say goodbye to the elder Busch brother as he will be eliminated from the Playoffs.
We haven’t talked much about Alex Bowman, but the #88 car has the worst average finish (22.0) among Playoff drivers at Martinsville. He has just two top 10s in nine starts and has never led a lap here. He will not advance to the next round.
In reality, the final spot in the next round will come down to Keselowski, Elliott and Truex. Of the three, Elliott has never won at this track and has not performed as well as the other two contenders. We can safely eliminate him as well.
It comes as no surprise that the two betting favorites for the Xfinity 500 are the two drivers fighting for the last spot in the championship race.
Let’s compare the two drivers to see who has the edge.
In the last eight races at Martinsville Speedway, Keselowski has two wins, seven Top 5s, and eight Top 10s. Over that same span, Truex has two wins, five Top 5s and seven Top 10s.
Martin Truex Jr. has a 5.2 average finish over the last eight Martinsville races and Keselowski has a 3.6 average finish.
These two men have combined to win the last three races at this speedway, but Keselowski has the slight advantage with more Top 5s, more Top 10s, and a better average finish.
In the first eight Playoff races, Truex has zero wins, three Top 5s, and five Top 10s. Keselowski has one win, two Top 5s, and three Top 10s. Truex’s average finish in the postseason is 11.6 and Keselowski is 13.1.
Although Keselowski has a win, Truex has more Top 5s, more Top 10s, and a better average finish in the Playoffs than the #2 car.
When comparing their stats for the season, Keselowski has more wins, three less Top 5s, the same amount of Top 10s, less DNFs, more stage wins, has led more laps, and has a better average finish.
After looking at all of these stats, and the fact that Keselowski has a 36 point advantage over Truex, the smart bet is on Keselowski to advance. Truex will need to win this race to beat out Keselowski and earn a spot in the championship.
Although possible, Truex hasn’t had the best of luck this year. The 2020 season marks his lowest win total and Top 5s since 2015. It’s also his second lowest Top 10 total since 2016. His 11.4 average finish on the season is higher than his last three years, which he was in the championship race for all three.
Martin Truex Jr.
Xfinity 500 Checkered Flag
I think this weekend’s Top 5 drivers will be Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick and the reinvigorated Kyle Busch.
However, I see the race win coming down to Truex, Keselowski and Hamlin. As much as I want Truex to get the victory, and I will certainly be rooting for him to win, I feel like Denny Hamlin is going to sneak his way into victory lane and steal the checkered flag from the two favorites.
Hamlin has done this already in 2020 and he needs to race hard to get into the next round. With all eyes focusing on Truex vs Keselowski, this is the perfect chance for Hamlin to capitalize on their battle to pick up his 8th win on the season.
The “Odd” option offers the best value for this race especially with drivers like Denny Hamlin (#11) and Martin Truex Jr. (#19) driving odd numbered cars.
Although the “Even” option has more potential winners like Keselowski, Harvick, Busch, Logano and Blaney, I like Hamlin and Truex this weekend over all those drivers except for Keselowski.
Car Number of Race Winner –Odd (+105)
Car Number of Race Winner
Over 11.5 (-150)
Under 11.5 (+112)
The Over is the favorite for this bet, but I like the Under. Hamlin and Keslowski (#2) drive cars under 11.5. Furthermore, Harvick (#4) and Chase Elliott (#9) also drive cars under 11.5.
I will take these four drivers over any other group of four drivers from Sunday’s field.
Car Number of Race Winner –Under 11.5 (+112)
Manufacturer of Race Winner
I picked a Toyota to win this race with Denny Hamlin. When you look at my Top 5, there are three Toyotas and two Fords. In my Top 3, there are two Toyotas and one Ford.
The odds are identical between Ford and Toyota, which means they both offer value. This is a good opportunity to hedge our bets here. Since I took Hamlin and his Toyota to win, let’s go with Ford for this prop bet, which includes all three of Team Penske’s drivers and Kevin Harvick.
Manufacturer of Race Winner –Ford (+135)
Team of Race Winner
Joe Gibbs Racing (+140)
Team Penske (+225)
Hendrick Motor Sports (+450)
Stewart-Haas Racing (+650)
Any Other Team (+1600)
Chip Ganassi Racing (+2000)
Richard Childress racing (+3300)
Roush Fenway Racing (+6600)
JTG Daughtery Racing (+12500)
This race is going to come down to Joe Gibbs Racing (Truex, Hamlin, Busch) versus Team Penske (Keselowski, Logano, Blaney).
I have three JGR drivers in my Top 5 and two in my Top 3 for the Xfinity 500. I will be taking JGR for this prop bet.
However, if you want, this could be another opportunity to hedge our bets. Since I’m taking Hamlin to win, you could always go with Team Penske’s three drivers including Keselowski who is the second odds on favorite to win on Sunday.
Team of Race Winner –Joe Gibbs Racing (+140)
Xfinity 500 Betting Recap
Kevin Harvick (+1000)
Kurt Busch (+2500)
Clint Bowyer (+3300)
Ryan Newman (+8000)
Denny Hamlin (+600)
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
The information found on Gamblingsites.org is for entertainment purposes only. It is a purely informational website that does not accept wagers of any kind. Although certain pages within Gamblingsites.org feature or promote other online websites where users are able to place wagers, we encourage all visitors to confirm the wagering and/or gambling regulations that are applicable in their local jurisdiction (as gambling laws may vary in different states, countries and provinces).
Gamblingsites.org uses affiliates links from some of the sportsbooks/casinos it promotes and reviews, and we may receive compensation from those particular sportsbooks/casinos in certain circumstances. Gamblingsites.org does not promote or endorse any form of wagering or gambling to users under the age of 18. If you believe you have a gambling problem, please visit BeGambleAware or GAMCARE for information and help.