Sunday, Nov 28

NASCAR National Series News & Notes - Martinsville Speedway

NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: Xfinity 500

The Place: Martinsville Speedway

The Date: Sunday, October 31

The Time: 2 p.m. ET

The Purse: $7,778,099

TV: NBC, 1:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Distance: 263 miles (500 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 130),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 260), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 500)

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

Next Race: Dead on Tools 250

The Place: Martinsville Speedway

The Date: Saturday, October 30

The Time: 6 p.m. ET

The Purse: $1,325,013

TV: NBCSN, 5:30 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Distance: 131.5 miles (250 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 60),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 120), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 250)

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

Next Race: United Rentals 200

The Place: Martinsville Speedway

The Date: Saturday, October 30

The Time: 1 p.m. ET

The Purse: $674,952

TV: FS1, 12 p.m. ET

Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Distance: 105.2 miles (200 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 50),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 100), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 200)

 

NASCAR Cup Series

 

Final chance for Playoff contenders to make the Championship 4 Round

This Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race, the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, is the last chance for the eligible postseason contenders to earn a spot in the 2021 Championship 4 Round. 

 

Currently, Kyle Larson is the only NASCAR Cup Series Playoff contender to secure his spot in the Championship 4 and did so by winning the first two races in the Round of 8 at Texas and Kansas. It’s the first time in his career he has advanced the Playoffs’ final round. That leaves just three spots up for grabs among the seven remaining Playoff challengers and since the introduction of the ‘elimination-style’ format in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2014, racing your way into the Championship 4 Round in the ninth and final cutoff race of the Round of 8 has proven to be much more difficult than one might expect with only three drivers accomplishing the feat.

 

2014: Heading to Phoenix Raceway (the ninth race of the Playoffs) in 2014, Kevin Harvick was ranked eighth in the Playoff standings, six points back from NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon in the fourth and final transfer position to the Championship 4 Round. Kevin Harvick won the race at Phoenix and automatically advanced to the final round. Jeff Gordon finished runner-up, but it wasn’t enough and was bounced out of the Playoffs. Harvick would go on to win his first NASCAR Cup Series title in 2014.

 

2015: The four drivers below the Championship 4 Round cutline heading into the ninth race of the 2015 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8 elimination race at Phoenix Raceway – Carl Edwards (-7 points from cutoff), Brad Keselowski (-19), Kurt Busch (-28) and Joey Logano (-63) – all failed to advance to the Championship 4 and were eliminated from the Playoffs following the Phoenix race. At Phoenix, Logano finished third, Kurt Busch finished seventh, Keselowski finished ninth and Carl Edwards finished 12th.

 

2016: The four drivers below the Championship 4 Round cutline without a win heading into the ninth race of the 2016 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8 elimination race at Phoenix Raceway – Matt Kenseth (-1 point from the cutoff), Denny Hamlin (-2), Kevin Harvick (-18) and Kurt Busch (-34) – all failed to advance to the Championship 4 and were eliminated from the Playoffs following the Phoenix race. At Phoenix, Harvick finished fourth, Kurt Busch finished fifth, Hamlin finished seventh and Matt Kenseth finished 21st.

 

2017: The four drivers below the Championship 4 Round cutline heading into the ninth race of the 2017 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8 elimination race at Phoenix Raceway – Denny Hamlin (-19 points from the cutoff), Ryan Blaney (-22), Chase Elliott (-49) and Jimmie Johnson (-51) – all failed to advance to the Championship 4 and were eliminated from the Playoffs following the Phoenix race. At Phoenix, Elliott finished second, Blaney finished 17th, Hamlin finished 35th and Jimmie Johnson finished 39th.

 

2018: The four drivers below the Championship 4 Round cutline heading into the ninth race of the 2018 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8 elimination race at Phoenix Raceway – Kurt Busch (-3 points from the cutoff), Chase Elliott (-17), Aric Almirola (-35) and Clint Bowyer (-51) – all failed to advance to the Championship 4 Round and were eliminated from the Playoffs following the Phoenix race. At Phoenix, Almirola finished fourth, Elliott finished 23rd, Kurt Busch finished 32nd and Clint Bowyer finished 35th.

 

2019: Heading to Phoenix Raceway (the ninth race of the Playoffs) in 2019, Denny Hamlin was ranked fifth in the Playoff standings, 20 points back from Joey Logano in the fourth and final transfer position to the Championship 4 Round. Denny Hamlin won the race at Phoenix and automatically advanced to the final round. Joey Logano finished ninth, but it wasn’t enough and was tossed out of the Playoffs. Hamlin would go on to finish the season fourth in the championship standings.

 

2020: Heading to Martinsville Speedway (the ninth race of the Playoffs) in 2020, Joey Logano had secured his spot in the Championship 4 Round by winning at Kansas Speedway in the Round of 8 leaving three spots up for grabs. The drivers ranked below the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Championship 4 Round cutline were Alex Bowman (-25), Chase Elliott (-25), Martin Truex Jr. (-36) and Kurt Busch (-81). Chase Elliott would go on to win the Playoff race at Martinsville Speedway clinching his spot in the Championship 4 and bouncing Kevin Harvick (17th-place finish) out of the final round. Kurt Buch (fifth-place finish), Alex Bowman (sixth) and Martin Truex Jr. (22nd) all failed to make the Championship 4 Round and were eliminated from the Playoffs following Martinsville.

 

Martinsville Speedway and the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs

The 2021 season marks the second time Martinsville Speedway has hosted the penultimate race (Race No. 9) in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs – the Round of 8 elimination race.

 

Since the inception of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs in 2004, Martinsville Speedway has occupied three different positions on the postseason schedule. From 2004 – 2010 (seven seasons) Martinsville Speedway hosted the sixth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs and from 2011 – 2019 (nine seasons) Martinsville hosted the seventh race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. Last season (2020) was the first time Martinsville Speedway hosed the ninth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. Martinsville Speedway is the third different track to host the ninth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs; joining Darlington Raceway (2004) and Phoenix Raceway (2005-2019).

 

A total of nine different drivers have won a NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Martinsville Speedway. Jimmie Johnson leads the NASCAR Cup Series in postseason wins at Martinsville Speedway with six Playoff victories (2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2016). Denny Hamlin leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in postseason wins at Martinsville Speedway with two Playoff victories (2009, 2010). Five of the current eight drivers in the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs Round of 8 have previously won a Martinsville Speedway Playoff race.

 

NASCAR Cup Series Martinsville Speedway Playoff Race Winners

Track

Playoff Race Winner

Date

Race No.

Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, October 24, 2004

32

Martinsville

Jeff Gordon

Sunday, October 23, 2005

32

Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, October 22, 2006

32

Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, October 21, 2007

32

Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, October 19, 2008

32

Martinsville

Denny Hamlin

Sunday, October 25, 2009

32

Martinsville

Denny Hamlin

Sunday, October 24, 2010

32

Martinsville

Tony Stewart

Sunday, October 30, 2011

33

Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, October 28, 2012

33

Martinsville

Jeff Gordon

Sunday, October 27, 2013

33

Martinsville

Dale Earnhardt Jr

Sunday, October 26, 2014

33

Martinsville

Jeff Gordon

Sunday, November 1, 2015

33

Martinsville

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, October 30, 2016

33

Martinsville

Kyle Busch

Sunday, October 29, 2017

33

Martinsville

Joey Logano

Sunday, October 28, 2018

33

Martinsville

Martin Truex Jr

Sunday, October 27, 2019

33

Martinsville

Chase Elliott

Sunday, November 1, 2020

35

 

Seven times the winner of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Martinsville Speedway has gone on to win the title that same season – the most of any track on the Playoff schedule.

 

  • In 2006, Jimmie Johnson won from the ninth starting position at Martinsville Speedway and went on to win his first of seven NASCAR Cup Series championships. It was only win during the 2006 Playoffs.

 

  • In 2007, Jimmie Johnson won from the fourth starting position at Martinsville Speedway and went on to win his second consecutive NASCAR Cup Series championship. The Playoff victory was the first of a record setting four straight postseason wins during the 2007 Playoffs (Martinsville, Atlanta, Texas and Phoenix).

 

  • In 2008, Jimmie Johnson won from the first starting position at Martinsville Speedway (Qualifying was cancelled) and went on to win his third consecutive NASCAR Cup Series championship. The win was his second of three victories during the 2008 Playoffs.

 

  • In 2011, Tony Stewart won from the fourth starting position at Martinsville Speedway and went on to win his third NASCAR Cup Series championship. The win was one of a record setting five Playoff victories for Stewart during the 2011 postseason. 

 

  • In 2016, Jimmie Johnson won from the third starting position at Martinsville Speedway and went on to win his record tying seventh NASCAR Cup Series championship. The win was his second of three Playoff victories during the 2016 postseason.

 

  • In 2018, Joey Logano won from the 10th starting position at Martinsville Speedway and went on to win his first NASCAR Cup Series championship.

 

  • In 2020, Chase Elliott won from the eighth starting position at Martinsville Speedway and went on to win his first NASCAR Cup Series championship.

 

The worst finish in a NASCAR Cup Series Playoff race at Martinsville Speedway by a driver that went on to win the title that same season was 33rd by Kevin Harvick in 2014 – that season Martinsville Speedway was the eighth race in the Playoffs.

 

Twice non-Playoff drivers have won the Playoff race at Martinsville Speedway:

 

  • In 2005, Jeff Gordon was ranked 15th in the points at the time of his Playoff win at Martinsville.

 

  • In 2014, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 11th in points at the time of the win. Earnhardt Jr. had made the Playoffs in 2014 but was eliminated in the Round of 12.

 

The significance of the ninth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs

The elimination race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs’ Round of 8 has played a pivotal role in helping decide the outcome of the postseasons through the years and this season will be no different. Last season, Martinsville Speedway joined Darlington Raceway (2004) and Phoenix Raceway (2005-2019) as just the third different track to host the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs’ Round of 8 elimination race adding to the prestige of the series’ penultimate event.

 

A total of 10 different drivers have won the ninth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs. Jimmie Johnson (2004, 2007, 2008, 2009) and Kevin Harvick (2006, 2012, 2013, 2014) lead the NASCAR Cup Series in wins in the ninth race of the postseason with four victories each.

 

NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Race No. 9 - Race Winners

Track

Race Winners

Date

Darlington

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Phoenix

Kyle Busch

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Phoenix

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Phoenix

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Phoenix

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Phoenix

Jimmie Johnson

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Phoenix

Carl Edwards

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Phoenix

Kasey Kahne

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Phoenix

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Phoenix

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Phoenix

Kevin Harvick

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Phoenix

Dale Earnhardt Jr

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Phoenix

Joey Logano

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Phoenix

Matt Kenseth

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Phoenix

Kyle Busch

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Phoenix

Denny Hamlin

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Martinsville

Chase Elliott

Sunday, November 1, 2020

 

Five times the winner of the ninth race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs has gone on to win the championship that same season: 

 

  • In 2007, Jimmie Johnson won from the sixth starting position at Phoenix Raceway and went on to win his second consecutive NASCAR Cup Series championship. The Playoff victory was the fourth of a record setting four straight postseason wins during the 2007 Playoffs (Martinsville, Atlanta, Texas and Phoenix).

 

  • In 2008, Jimmie Johnson won from the pole at Phoenix Raceway and went on to win his third consecutive NASCAR Cup Series championship. The win was his third of three victories during the 2008 Playoffs.

 

  • In 2009, Jimmie Johnson won from the third starting position at Phoenix Raceway and went on to win his fourth consecutive NASCAR Cup Series championship. The victory was his fourth during the 2009 postseason.

 

  • In 2014, Kevin Harvick won from the third starting position at Phoenix Raceway and went on to win his first NASCAR Cup Series championship. The win was his second of three Playoff victories during the 2014 postseason.

 

  • In 2020, Chase Elliott won from the eighth starting position at Martinsville Speedway and went on to win his first NASCAR Cup Series championship. The win was his second of three Playoff victories during the 2020 postseason.

 

The worst finish in the ninth race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs by a driver that went on to win the title that same season: At Phoenix, 38th by Jimmie Johnson in 2016 and at Darlington, sixth by Kurt Busch in 2004.

 

Four non-Playoff drivers have won the ninth Playoff race in the NASCAR Cup Series postseason.

 

  • In 2005, Kyle Busch was ranked 19th in the points at the time of the win at Phoenix.

 

  • In 2011, Kasey Kahne was ranked 14th in the points at the time of the win at Phoenix.

 

  • In 2015, Dale Earnhardt Jr. was seventh in points at the time of the win at Phoenix. Earnhardt Jr. had made the Playoffs in 2015 but was eliminated in the Round of 12.

 

  • In 2017, Matt Kenseth was seventh in points at the time of the win at Phoenix. Kenseth had made the Playoffs in 2017 but was eliminated in the Round of 12.

 

Penultimate race Clinch Scenarios: Martinsville Speedway

With the pressure of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs reaching its boiling point, the series turns to Martinsville Speedway for the Playoffs’ Round of 8 elimination race, the Xfinity 500 (Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) to decide who will battle it out for the title in the Championship 4 Round at Phoenix Raceway next weekend. Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson and NASCAR Cup Series Regular Season Champion is the only driver this weekend that can rest easy as he is already locked into the Championship 4 Round on his wins at Texas and Kansas to open the Round of 8. With just three spots available and seven drivers vying for those limited positions expect some aggressive racing this weekend as it is the last chance for them to keep their championship hopes alive.

 

Already Clinched

The following driver has clinched a spot in the 4-driver field of the next round: Kyle Larson.

 

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a repeat winner or a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the fourth winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin or Kyle Busch.

 

  • Chase Elliott: Would clinch with 20 points, 22 points if Kyle Busch wins.
  • Denny Hamlin: Would clinch with 23 points, 24 points if Kyle Busch wins.
  • Kyle Busch: Would clinch with 54 points.
  • Ryan Blaney: Would clinch with 55 points, would need help if Kyle Busch wins.
  • Martin Truex Jr.: Would clinch with 55 points, would need help if Kyle Busch wins.
  • Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano: Could only clinch with help.

 

If there is a new winner from Ryan Blaney or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the third winless driver in the standings.

 

  • Chase Elliott: Would clinch with 22 points
  • Denny Hamlin: Would clinch with 25 points
  • Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski: Could only clinch with help.

 

Can Clinch Via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: Chase Elliott, Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney, Martin Truex Jr., Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano.

 

Hendrick Motorsport’s Kyle Larson is having a historic Cup season

When Kyle Larson joined Hendrick Motorsports prior to the 2021 season everyone knew he would make a jump in success in the NASCAR Cup Series, but few envisioned the leap would be this astronomical.

 

Prior to the 2021 season, Kyle Larson’s best season statistically in the NASCAR Cup Series was 2017 when he put up four wins, 15 top fives and 20 top 10s. He led 1,352 laps and posted an average start of 11.3 and an average finish of 13.3. He finished the 2017 season eighth in the final standings. His best season in the Cup driver point standings/Playoffs was 2019 where he finished sixth after collecting one win, eight top fives and 17 top 10s. But neither of those seasons even come close in comparison to Larson’s stellar performance in 2021.

 

This season, Larson’s list of accolades is fairly long. He has produced career-bests in every single traditional statical category – wins (nine), top fives (19), top 10s (25), laps led (2,397), average start (6.4) and average finish (9.2). He also leads the series in key season-to-date Loop Data categories like Driver Rating (112.3), and Fastest Laps Run (1,198).

 

But that’s not all Larson has been able to accomplish, his performances this season have allowed him to etch his name alongside some of the sport’s greatest in the record books.

 

For example, his win last weekend at Kansas Speedway made him the fourth different driver in NASCAR Cup Series history to win three or more consecutive races multiple times in a single season; joining NASCAR Hall of Famers Dale Earnhardt (1987) and Richard Petty (1967, 1971) and David Pearson (1968).

 

NASCAR Cup Series Consecutive Victories (Three Or More Multiple Times A Season)

Rank

Driver

No.

From

To

Season

1

Richard Petty

3

Thursday, July 13, 1967

Sunday, July 23, 1967

1967

 

Richard Petty

10

Saturday, August 12, 1967

Sunday, October 1, 1967

1967

2

David Pearson

4

Sunday, May 5, 1968

Saturday, May 18, 1968

1968

 

David Pearson

3

Thursday, August 8, 1968

Sunday, August 18, 1968

1968

 

Richard Petty

3

Sunday, March 7, 1971

Sunday, March 21, 1971

1971

 

Richard Petty

3

Thursday, April 15, 1971

Sunday, April 25, 1971

1971

 

Richard Petty

6

Wednesday, July 14, 1971

Sunday, August 8, 1971

1971

3

Dale Earnhardt

4

Sunday, March 29, 1987

Sunday, April 26, 1987

1987

 

Dale Earnhardt

3

Saturday, August 22, 1987

Sunday, September 13, 1987

1987

4

Kyle Larson

3

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Sunday, June 20, 2021

2021

 

Kyle Larson

3

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Sunday, October 24, 2021

2021

 

This weekend Larson is looking to become just the ninth different NASCAR Cup Series driver in the Modern Era (1972-Present) to win four or more races consecutively and the 13th different driver to accomplish the feat all-time.

 

Rank

Driver

No.

From

To

1

Richard Petty

10

08/12/1967

10/01/1967

2

Richard Petty

6

07/14/1971

08/08/1971

3

Bobby Allison

5

05/30/1971

06/23/1971

4

Billy Wade

4

07/10/1964

07/19/1964

5

David Pearson

4

04/03/1966

04/11/1966

6

David Pearson

4

05/05/1968

05/18/1968

7

Cale Yarborough

4

09/12/1976

10/03/1976

8

Darrell Waltrip

4

09/27/1981

11/01/1981

9

Dale Earnhardt

4

03/29/1987

04/26/1987

10

Harry Gant

4

09/01/1991

09/22/1991

11

Bill Elliott

4

03/01/1992

03/29/1992

12

Mark Martin

4

08/08/1993

09/05/1993

13

Jeff Gordon

4

07/26/1998

08/16/1998

14

Jimmie Johnson

4

10/21/2007

11/11/2007

 

Plus, Larson’s 2,397 laps led this season are the most in a NASCAR Cup Series single season since NASCAR Hall of Famer Jeff Gordon’s 2,610 laps led in 1996. Larson is only the fourth active driver to lead more than 2,000 laps in a single season; joining Kevin Harvick (2014, 2015), Kyle Busch (2017) and Martin Truex Jr. (2017).

 

And let’s not forget, Larson’s nine wins this season are tied with Kevin Harvick’s nine wins in 2020 for the most since Jimmie Johnson’s 10-win season in 2007. NASCAR Hall of Famers Jeff Gordon (1998) and Richard Petty (1975) hold the record for the most win in the NASCAR Cup Series in the Modern Era (1972-Present) with 13 wins each. If Larson wins either this week or next, he will become the only active driver with double digit wins in a single season and the 11th driver in the Modern Era to accomplish the feat. 

 

Larson has made 13 starts at Martinsville Speedway posting two top fives and three top 10s. He finished fifth at Martinsville back in April.

 

Playoff Bubble: The time to step up is now

Seven drivers vying for three spots with one last chance to make it happen. That’s the scenario the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Round of 8 drivers not named Kyle Larson are facing this weekend as the series heads to Martinsville Speedway for the Xfinity 500 (Sunday at 2 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

 

Win and advance is the only sure thing this weekend at Martinsville Speedway for the Playoff drivers and since Larson has won the first two races of the Round of 8 at Texas and Kansas at least two of the three open Championship 4 Round spots will be secured on points. And the points sure are tight along the cutline.

 

Currently two-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Kyle Busch holds the fourth and final transfer spot in the Playoff driver standings a mere one point up on Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney in the fifth position in the point standings – the first spot outside the Championship 4 Round cutoff. Then not far behind Blaney is Martin Truex Jr. (-3 points) in sixth, Brad Keselowski (-6) in seventh and Joey Logano (-26) in eighth.

 

NASCAR Cup Series Driver Playoff Outlook Following Kansas Speedway-2

Rank

Driver

Points

Race Wins

Stage Wins

Playoff Pts

Pts From Cutoff

1

Kyle Larson

4,181

9

17

65

In On Wins

2

Chase Elliott

4,107

2

4

22

34

3

Denny Hamlin

4,105

2

10

30

32

4

Kyle Busch

4,074

2

7

23

1

5

Ryan Blaney

4,073

3

4

24

-1

6

Martin Truex Jr.

4,071

4

5

29

-3

7

Brad Keselowski

4,068

1

2

8

-6

8

Joey Logano

4,048

1

5

13

-26

 

Kyle Larson has already secured his spot in the NASCAR Cup Series Championship 4 Round. It is the first time in his career he has advanced this far in the Playoffs. Larson has made 13 starts at Martinsville posting two top fives and three top 10s. He finished fifth at the half-mile track earlier this season.

 

Chase Elliott currently sits second in the Playoff standings with a 34-point edge on the Championship 4 Round cutoff. 2020 NASCAR Cup Series champion is looking to advance to Championship 4 Round for the second time in his career this season. Elliott has made 12 series starts at Martinsville collecting one win (2020), five top fives and seven top 10s; including winning this Playoff race last season. He finished runner-up to Martin Truex Jr. at the half-mile track earlier this season.

 

Denny Hamlin resides in third in the Playoff standings with a 32-point cushion above the Championship 4 Round cutline. Hamlin is looking to advance to the Championship 4 Round for the fourth time in his career (2014, 2019, 2020). Hamlin has made 31 series starts at Martinsville posting five wins (2008, 2009, 2010 sweep, 2015), 16 top fives and 22 top 10s. He finished third at the half-mile track earlier this season.

 

Kyle Busch heads to Martinsville fourth in the Playoff standings with just a one-point advantage on the Championship 4 Round cutoff. Busch a two-time series champion is looking to make the Championship 4 Round for a series leading sixth-time in his career (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019); he is currently tied with Kevin Harvick for the series-most Championship 4 Round appearances at five each.  Busch has made 32 starts at Martinsville grabbing two wins (2016, 2017), 16 top fives and 19 top 10s. He finished 10th at the half-mile track back in April.

 

Ryan Blaney finds himself fifth in the Playoff standings just one point back from Kyle Busch in the fourth and final transfer position to the Championship 4 Round. Blaney is looking to advance to final round of the Playoffs for the first time in his career. Blaney has made 11 series starts at Martinsville posting five top fives and six top 10s. He finished 11th at the half-mile track earlier this season.

 

Martin Truex Jr., the most recent winner at Martinsville Speedway (April, 2021), currently sits sixth in the Playoff standings a mere three points behind Kyle Busch in the fourth and final transfer position to the Championship 4 Round. Truex is looking to qualify for the Championship 4 Round for the fifth time in his career (2015, 2017, 2018, 2019). Truex has made 31 series starts at Martinsville putting up three wins (2019, 2020, 2021), eight top fives and 14 top 10s.

 

Brad Keselowski currently is seventh in the Playoff standings, six points back from Kyle Busch in the fourth and final transfer spot to the Championship 4 Round. The 2012 series champion is looking to make the Championship 4 Round for the ?? time in his career. Keselowski has made 23 starts at Martinsville amassing two wins (2017, 2019), 11 top fives and 16 top 10s. He finished 33rd at the half-mile track back in April due to a late race incident.

 

Joey Logano is last but not least in the Playoffs’ Round of 8 standings (eighth) with 26 points between himself and the Championship 4 Round. Logano is looking to qualify for the Championship 4 Round for the fifth time in his career (2014, 2016, 2018, 2020).  Logano has made 25 series starts at Martinsville producing one win (2018), eight top fives and 13 top 10s. He finished sixth at the half-mile track earlier this season.

 

The historic ‘Paperclip’ known as Martinsville Speedway

Opened in September 1947 by H. Clay Earles, Martinsville Speedway, originally a dirt track, is one of the oldest continuously-operating race tracks in the United States.

 

The first NASCAR-sanctioned race at Martinsville Speedway was on July 4, 1948. The first NASCAR Cup Series race was September 25, 1949 – the race was won by Red Byron in Raymond Park’s 1949 Oldsmobile.

 

The track was paved in 1955 and the first 500-lap event at Martinsville Speedway was in 1956. Concrete corners were added atop the asphalt in 1976 and the track added LED lighting during the 2016-2017 off season.

 

There have been 145 NASCAR Cup Series races at Martinsville Speedway, one race in the inaugural year and two races per year since 1950.

 

In total, 61 different drivers have won at least one pole at Martinsville Speedway. 28 of the 61 NASCAR Cup Series Martinsville Speedway pole winners have won multiple poles. NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip leads the NASCAR Cup Series in poles at Martinsville Speedway with eight poles (1979, 1976, 1980, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1992). Team Penske’s Joey Logano leads the series among active drivers with the most poles at Martinsville Speedway with five – 2015 sweep, spring 2016, fall 2017, spring 2019. 

 

A total of 54 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won at Martinsville Speedway. NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins at Martinsville Speedway with 15 victories (1960, 1962, 1963, 1967 sweep, 1968, 1969 sweep, 1970, 1971, 1972 sweep, 1973, 1975, 1979). Denny Hamlin leads the NASCAR Cup Series in wins among active drivers at Martinsville Speedway with five victories (2008, 2009, 2010 sweep, 2015). Nine of the 54 NASCAR Cup Series Martinsville Speedway race winners are active this weekend.

 

Rank

Active Martinsville Winners

Wins

Seasons

1

Denny Hamlin

5

2015, '10 sweep, '09, '08

2

Martin Truex Jr

3

2021, '20, '19

3

Brad Keselowski

2

2019, '17

4

Kurt Busch

2

2016, '02

5

Kyle Busch

2

2017, '16

6

Chase Elliott

1

2021

7

Joey Logano

1

2018

8

Ryan Newman

1

2012

9

Kevin Harvick

1

2011

 

The starting lineup for this weekend’s Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway was determined by Metric Qualifying and as a result Hendrick Motorsports drivers Kyle Larson will start from the pole and Chase Elliott will join him on the front row.

 

NASCAR Cup Series, Etc.

 

Sunoco Rookie of the Year Update – Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe currently leads the 2021 Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings by 307 points over Front Row Motorsport’s Anthony Alfredo. Briscoe has mathematically clinched the 2021 Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors but will not be officially awarded until he finishes the season in good standing, per the program guidelines and eligibility.

 

NCS Sunoco Rookie of the Year

 

Rookies

Points

Awards

Chase Briscoe

639

29

Anthony Alfredo

332

5

 

Briscoe’s rookie campaign has produced three top-10 finishes in 34 starts. His average starting position in 2021 is 22.2 and his average finish is 19.1. He has led 18 laps and has won 29 Sunoco Rookie of the Race awards. 

 

Manufacturers Championship Update – With Hendrick Motorsports driver Kyle Larson winning Chevrolet’s 17th race of the 2021 season last weekend, they are now 87 points ahead of Toyota and Ford and have mathematically clinched 2021 NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturers Championship.

 

Manufacturers Championship

OEMs

Wins

Points

Chevrolet

17

1,256

Toyota

10

1,169

Ford

7

1,169

 

Nine different manufacturers have won the NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturers Championship. This is Chevrolet’s series leading 40th NASCAR Cup Series Manufacturers Championship,

 

NCS Manufacturer Champions

OEM

No. of Manufacturers Championships

Most Recent

Chevrolet

40

2021

Ford

17

2020

Toyota

3

2019

Hudson

3

1954

Buick

2

1982

Dodge

2

1975

Oldsmobile

1

1955

Plymouth

1

1971

Pontiac

1

1962

 

 

Earnhardt Jr., Bowyer made laps in Next Gen car at Bowman Gray Stadium this week – Following a Next Gen car Goodyear Tire Test at Bowman Gray Stadium former drivers turned TV Sports Analysts Dale Earnhardt Jr. (NBC Sports) and Clint Bowyer (FOX Sports) got a chance to run some laps in the new Next Gen car at Bowman Gray Stadium. The opportunity provided the former drivers with a chance to get to know the Next Gen car better and be able to speak to its comparisons to the previous generation of race cars as the series prepares for the Next Gen car’s debut next season at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for The Clash on Feb. 6, 2022. For additional content on the Next Gen car please visit NASCARMedia.com at the following link: Next Gen Car Media Content Hub

 

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series

 

One Last Chance: Championship 4 spots still up for grabs

It was another win by a non-Playoff driver at Kansas Speedway last weekend, when Ty Gibbs took the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 54 Toyota to Victory Lane giving the team its series leading 11th win of the season and second in a row. The win marks Gibbs’ fourth win in his rookie Xfinity Series season. The win also means that all four Championship 4 spots are up for grabs with only one race left to make it into the round.

 

This weekend, the NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Martinsville Speedway, also known as “The Paperclip,” for the Dead On Tools 250 on Saturday, October 30 at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio closing out a Saturday doubleheader with the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series under the lights.

 

With all four spots in the Championship 4 Round available, all eight Playoff drivers still have a chance to make it in. By the end of Stage 1, there’s a possibility that some of the eight drivers will clinch a spot on points. However, for some, the only way they can make it in is with a win this weekend.

 

Aside from Gibbs’ win, Playoff drivers Austin Cindric, AJ Allmendinger and Justin Halley finished 2-4. Justin Allgaier finished ninth and Brandon Jones finished 11th. Daniel Hemric finished 15th and Harrison Burton and Noah Gragson finished 34th and 35th, respectively, after being involved in an incident on Lap 178.

 

The starting lineup for this weekend’s Xfinity Series race was set by Metric Qualifying and as a result Austin Cindric will lead the field to green with Ty Gibbs joining him on the front row. Gibbs and Michael Annett are the only drivers not in the Playoffs starting in the top 10. Allmendinger and Haley will take row two and Allgaier and Annett row three. Hemric, Jones, Gragson, and Harrison Burton will round out the top-10 starting spots.

 

The race will be 131.5 miles (250 laps) and will be broken up into three stages with the first stage ending on Lap 60 and the second stage ending on Lap 120.

 

Xfinity Facts and Figures: The Paperclip Edition

The NASCAR Xfinity Series takes on Martinsville Speedway on Saturday night under the lights for the Dead On Tools 250, the cutoff race for the Playoffs’ Round of 8 and the last chance for the Playoff drivers to secure their spot in the Championship 4 Round. Martinsville Speedway has quite the history, especially when it comes to great racing and crazy finishes. Here’s a look at some of the Virginia track’s facts and figures.

 

There have been 36 NASCAR Xfinity Series races in Martinsville history, with the inaugural race on March 28, 1982 won by Sam Ard. There have been 22 different race winners in those 36 races.

 

There have been 18 different pole winners and only six races have been won from the pole or first starting position. The last time a driver won the race from the pole was in 1987 by Jimmy Hensley.

 

Harrison Burton won this race last season and became the youngest winner in Martinsville Xfinity Series history at 20 years, 22 days. Harry Gant holds the record for the oldest winner at 51 years, nine months, 17 days in 1991.

 

Ard’s victory in 1982 is still the race record at 79.607 mph and Clint Bowyer holds the qualifying record from 2006 at 95.951 mph.

 

In the most recent Xfinity Series race at Martinsville Speedway, there were 40 cars entered and only 35 running at the finish. There were 13 lead changes among nine different leaders. There were 12 cautions for 75 laps and only 19 cars finished on the lead lap. The race winner, Josh Berry, led 95 laps and the Margin of Victory was 0.590 seconds.

 

The win marked Berry’s first Xfinity Series career victory. Brad Teague is the only other Xfinity Series driver who got their first win at the track. No drivers in history got their first pole at Martinsville.

 

Clinch Scenarios: Last Chance at Martinsville Speedway

The NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs Round of 8 ends this weekend at Martinsville Speedway but with a non-Playoff driver winning the first two events in the round, all eight drivers in the Playoffs are still fighting for their spot in the Championship 4 Round. Currently none of the eight drivers have clinched a spot in the final round.

 

Can Clinch Via Points
If there is a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the fifth winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among Austin Cindric, AJ Allmendinger, Justin Allgaier or Daniel Hemric.

 

  • Austin Cindric: Would clinch with 9 points
  • AJ Allmendinger: Would clinch with 9 points
  • Justin Allgaier: Would clinch with 47 points
  • Daniel Hemric: Would clinch with 49 points
  • Justin Haley, Noah Gragson, Brandon Jones and Harrison Burton: Could only clinch with help.

If there is a new winner from Justin Haley or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the fourth winless driver in the standings.

  • Austin Cindric: Would clinch with 15 points
  • AJ Allmendinger: Would clinch with 15 points
  • Justin Allgaier: Would clinch with 53 points
  • Daniel Hemric: Would clinch with 55 points
  • Justin Haley, Noah Gragson, Brandon Jones and Harrison Burton: Could only clinch with help.

Can Clinch Via Win

The following drivers would clinch on their win alone: AJ Allmendinger, Austin Cindric, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Daniel Hemric, Justin Haley, Harrison Burton, Brandon Jones.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series Playoffs Standings Post-Kansas:

Rank

Driver

Points

Race Wins

Stage Wins

Playoff Pts

Pts From Cutoff

1

Austin Cindric

3,139

5

11

44

47

2

AJ Allmendinger

3,139

5

11

50

47

3

Justin Allgaier

3,101

2

3

21

9

4

Daniel Hemric

3,099

0

9

16

7

5

Justin Haley

3,092

1

5

15

-7

6

Noah Gragson

3,075

2

3

17

-24

7

Brandon Jones

3,059

0

1

3

-40

8

Harrison Burton

3,048

0

2

8

-51

9

Jeb Burton

2,140

1

1

9

Eliminated From The Playoffs

10

Myatt Snider

2,129

1

0

5

11

Riley Herbst

2,091

0

0

1

12

Jeremy Clements

2,077

0

0

0

 

 

Exploring the 2021 Round of 8 Xfinity Playoff Drivers at Martinsville
This weekend’s race at Martinsville Speedway will conclude the Playoffs’ Round of 8 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Currently, there are no drivers locked into the Championship 4, so let’s take a look at the driver performances at Kansas Speedway.

 

Austin Cindric: The driver of the No. 22 Team Penske Ford has made two Xfinity Series starts at Martinsville. His first came at this race in the 2020 season when he started on the pole and finished 10th. Earlier this season, Cindric started sixth and finished sixth at the track. He has led 42 laps at the half-mile track, and he has an average start of 3.5 and an average finish of 8.0.

 

AJ Allmendinger: The driver of the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet will visit Martinsville Speedway for the third time in his career this weekend. His first start at the track was in 2020 and he started 36th and finished 26th. Earlier this season, he started third and finished 13th. In his two starts, he completed 498 laps of 500 attempted and led 68 laps total. He has an average start and finish of 19.5.

 

Justin Allgaier: The driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet will also make his third start on Saturday at Martinsville. In his first start in 2020, he started sixth and finished runner-up and earlier this season, he started second and finished ninth. He has an average start of 4.0 and an average finish of 5.5.

 

Daniel Hemric: The driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota will make his second career Xfinity Series start at Martinsville on Saturday night. His first start came earlier this season where he started fourth and finished third. He also led 28 laps during the 250-lap event.

 

Justin Haley: The driver of the No. 11 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet will also make his third career start at Martinsville on Saturday evening. In his first start in 2020, he started third and finished 12th and most recently, earlier this season, he started fifth and finished eighth. 

 

Noah Gragson: The driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet has made two Xfinity Series start at The Paperclip. In his first start in 2020, he started second and finished third and earlier this season, he started eighth and finished second. Gragson is very strong at Martinsville and has an average start of 5.0 and an average finish of 2.5.

 

Brandon Jones: The driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has made two starts at Martinsville in his Xfinity career. He started seventh in his debut in 2020 and finished ninth. Earlier this season, he started 24th and finished fifth. He has an average start of 15.5 and an average finish of 7.0.

 

Harrison Burton: The driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota is the only driver in the Playoffs with a previous win at Martinsville Speedway. He won last season in his first ever start at the track from the 10th position. Most recently, earlier this season, he started on the pole and finished seventh. He has led 133 laps of 500 completed at the track.

 

Sunoco Rookie of the Year Update: Gibbs extends lead after Kansas

It’s been a back-and-forth between rookies Ty Gibbs and Josh Berry for the entire 2021 season in the Sunoco Rookie of the Year standings. But, after another win last weekend at Kansas Speedway, Gibbs extended his lead in the standings to 120 with 10 awards and has mathematically clinched the 2021 Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors but will not be officially awarded until he finishes the season in good standing, per the program guidelines and eligibility.

 

Sunoco Rookie of the Year

Rookie

Points

Awards

Ty Gibbs

645

10

Josh Berry

525

8

Jade Buford

287

4

Ryan Vargas

285

3

Sam Mayer

281

5

 

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Ty Gibbs has made 17 series starts in 2021 putting up four wins, nine top fives and 10 top 10s.

 

NASCAR Xfinity Series, Etc.

 

Manufacturers Championship Update – Martinsville Speedway this weekend Chevrolet currently leads the NASCAR Xfinity Series Manufacturers Championship standings by 43 points over Toyota in second. If Chevrolet leaves Martinsville with at least a 41 point margin ahead of whichever manufacturer is ranked second, they will clinch the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series Manufacturers Championship.

 

NXS Manufacturers Championship

OEMs

Wins

Points

Chevrolet

15

1,150

Toyota

11

1,107

Ford

5

1,029

 

If Chevrolet wins the Manufacturers Championship in the NASCAR Xfinity Series this season it will be their series leading 22nd title in the series.

 

NXS Manufacturer Champions

 OEM

No. of Manufacturers Championships

Most Recent

Chevrolet

21

2020

Ford

4

2013

Toyota

4

2016

Oldsmobile

1

1991

 

Dale Jr. running ’22 Xfinity Spring Martinsville race: On the Dale Jr. Download this week, Dale Earnhardt Jr. announced he will make his single 2022 Xfinity Series start at Martinsville Speedway. He will drive the fifth JR Motorsports Chevrolet on Friday, April 8. Since retiring from full-time competition, Earnhardt has four Xfinity Series starts and three top-five finishes.

 

Preston Pardus making oval debut this weekend: Preston Pardus has 13 NASCAR Xfinity Series starts to his name but has never made a short-track or oval debut. That will change this weekend when he pilots the No. 90 DGM Racing Chevrolet. The last time Pardus raced on a track with only left turns was when he was a kid in a quarter midget. Over the past 30 days, Pardus won the NASA and SCCA championships and notched a career-best Xfinity Series finish of seventh at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL earlier this month.

 

Akinori Ogata making first start with BJ McLeod Motorsports at Martinsville: Akinori Ogata will return to the NASCAR Xfinity Series this weekend for the second time in 2021, this time at Martinsville Speedway with BJ McLeod Motorsports. Akinori, who is from Kanagawa, Yokohama has competed on a part-time basis in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series since 2014. His first Xfinity Series start was in 2018 and most recently, he competed at Richmond Raceway in 2021, finishing 34th. Shinano Pneumatic Tools will be back with Ogata as the primary partner this weekend.

 

Colin Garrett promoting veteran and active military health at Martinsville: Sam Hunt Racing announced that Colin Garrett will pilot the No. 26 Veterans Grow America Toyota in his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series start at his home track at Martinsville Speedway.

 

Garrett, an Elmo, Va. native, is a former South Boston Speedway track champion in the Limited Late Model division and current competitor for Sellers-Burton out of Danville, Va. in the NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series. Garrett will be representing the 11/11 Veteran Project campaign, a movement that means a lot to him.

 

The 11/11 Veteran Project serves as a way to expand access to veteran and active-duty military programs to prevent suicide and assist veterans, active-duty military and their families across the country. Veterans Grow America will also be on the No. 26 this weekend. VGA provides a forum for veteran and military spouses to showcase and grow their businesses by partnering with local, state and federal veteran organizations to increate brand awareness. Garrett comes from a family of veterans and active-duty military and has dedicated his life to promoting and finding resources for them and their families. Garrett is also a driving instructor for active-duty military and first responders alongside his partner Racing for Heroes Tactical Mobility in Danville. He instructs tactical mobility training at Summit Point Raceway in Summit Point, West Virginia.

 

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series

 

Penultimate Camping World Truck Series Playoffs race at Martinsville has arrived

The three weeks of preparing and planning has come to an end as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to action this weekend at Martinsville Speedway for the penultimate race of the season, the United Rentals 200 (Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) to decide who advances to the Championship 4 Round. 

 

With the first two races of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs Round of 8 being won by non-Playoff drivers – Christian Eckes at Las Vegas and Tate Fogleman at Talladega – none of the eight postseason contenders have secured a spot in the Championship 4 Round – which is the second-time since the inception of the Playoffs in the series in 2016 none of the Championship 4 drivers are locked-in heading into the Round of 8 elimination race; joining 2019.

 

Martinsville Speedway had participated in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs since its inception into the series in 2016. Martinsville Speedway has occupied three different spots on the postseason schedule. From 2016-2018 Martinsville hosted the fourth race of the Playoffs, in 2019 it hosted the fifth race and last season it hosted the sixth race of the Playoffs – the same event as this year.

 

The 2021 season marks just the second-time Martinsville Speedway has hosted the penultimate race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs (2020-2021). Martinsville Speedway is the second track to host the Round of 8 elimination race in Playoffs joining Phoenix Raceway (2016-2019).

 

The sixth race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs has produced five different winners in as many races (2016-2020). Only once has a non-Playoff driver won the sixth race in the seven-race NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs and that was Daniel Suarez in 2016, who had elected to run for the title in the NASCAR Xfinity Series that season. The last four winners in the sixth race of the Truck Playoffs catapulted them into the Championship 4 Round.

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff Race No. 6 Winners

Track

Race Winner

Date

Race Number

Martinsville

Grant Enfinger

Friday, October 30, 2020

22

Phoenix

Stewart Friesen

Friday, November 8, 2019

22

Phoenix

Brett Moffitt

Friday, November 9, 2018

22

Phoenix

Johnny Sauter

Friday, November 10, 2017

22

Phoenix

Daniel Suarez

Friday, November 11, 2016

22

 

The five NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff races Martinsville Speedway has hosted have produced four different winners, led by ThorSport Racing’s Johnny Sauter with two postseason victories at the half-mile track (2016, 2018).

 

Martinsville Speedway Playoff Race Winners

Track

Race Winner

Date

Race Number

Martinsville

Grant Enfinger

Friday, October 30, 2020

22

Martinsville

Todd Gilliland

Saturday, October 26, 2019

21

Martinsville

Johnny Sauter

Saturday, October 27, 2018

20

Martinsville

Noah Gragson

Saturday, October 28, 2017

20

Martinsville

Johnny Sauter

Saturday, October 29, 2016

20

 

Of the Playoff contenders this season, Halmar Friesen Racing’s Stewart Friesen is the only former series winner that has won the sixth race in the Playoffs to clinch his spot in the Championship 4 Round. He accomplished the feat in 2019 with a win at Phoenix.

 

The winner of the sixth race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs has gone to win the title that same season only once – Brett Moffitt accomplished the feat in 2018. Moffitt won at Phoenix Raceway in the penultimate event and then won again in Homestead-Miami for the championship finale to secure the title.

 

The winner of the Martinsville Speedway race in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs has gone to win the title that same season only once as well – Johnny Sauter accomplished the feat in 2016. Sauter won at Martinsville Speedway, then the fourth race in the postseason, and then went on to win the championship later that season.

 

This year’s Martinsville Speedway NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoff race will be 200 laps (105.2 miles) and will be broken up into three stages. The first two stages will be 50 laps each and the final stage will be 100 laps. ThorSport Racing’s Grant Enfinger is the defending winner of this event. 

 

This weekend’s starting lineup was decided by Metric Qualifying and as a result Kyle Busch Motorsports driver John Hunter Nemechek with start from the pole and Front Row Motorsport’s Todd Gilliland will join him on the front row.

 

Clinch Scenarios: Championship 4 Round still wide open at Martinsville

With non-Playoff drivers taking the first two races of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs Round of 8, the race for the Championship 4 Round is wide open and all eight drivers still have a shot at the coveted four spots as it all comes down to final race of the round at Martinsville Speedway.

 

Already Clinched

No drivers have clinched a spot in the 4-driver field of the next round.

 

Can Clinch Via Points

If there is a win by a driver who cannot advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 5th winless driver in the standings. The same point requirements listed below would hold true if a new win comes from among John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton or Sheldon Creed.

 

  • John Hunter Nemechek: Would clinch with 20 points
  • Ben Rhodes: Would clinch with 21 points
  • Matt Crafton: Would clinch with 46 points
  • Sheldon Creed: Would clinch with 51 points
  • Stewart Friesen, Chandler Smith, Carson Hocevar and Zane Smith: Could all only clinch with help.

 

If there is a new winner from Stewart Friesen or another winless driver lower in the standings but still eligible to advance to the next round, the following drivers could clinch by being ahead of the 4th winless driver in the standings.

 

  • John Hunter Nemechek: Would clinch with 25 points
  • Ben Rhodes: Would clinch with 26 points
  • Matt Crafton: Would clinch with 51 points
  • Sheldon Creed: Could only clinch with help
  • Stewart Friesen, Chandler Smith, Carson Hocevar and Zane Smith: Could all only clinch with help.

 

Can Clinch Via Win

All eight drivers would clinch on their win alone this weekend: John Hunter Nemechek, Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton, Sheldon Creed, Stewart Friesen, Chandler Smith, Carson Hocevar, Zane Smith.

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Driver Playoff Outlook Following Talladega Superspeedway

Rank

Driver

Points

Race Wins

Stage Wins

Playoff Pts

Pts From Cutoff

1

John H. Nemechek (P)

3,105

5

11

50

36

2

Ben Rhodes (P)

3,104

2

2

19

35

3

Matt Crafton (P)

3,079

0

0

4

10

4

Sheldon Creed (P)

3,074

3

7

26

5

5

Stewart Friesen (P)

3,069

0

0

1

-5

6

Chandler Smith # (P)

3,040

1

1

6

-34

7

Carson Hocevar # (P)

3,037

0

0

2

-37

8

Zane Smith (P)

3,034

0

3

9

-40

9

Todd Gilliland

2,187

1

4

15

Eliminated from the Playoffs

10

Austin Hill

2,147

2

1

21

 

First-time winners a trend in Camping World Truck Series

Young’s Motorsports’ Tate Fogleman was the fifth different first-time winner this season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with his surprising win three weeks ago at Talladega Superspeedway; joining Martin Truex Jr. (Bristol Dirt), Ryan Preece (Nashville), Chandler Smith (Bristol) and Christian Eckes (Las Vegas).

 

With Fogleman’s victory, the 2021 season becomes the third consecutive season and 14th overall (since 1995-Present) the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series has produced five or more first-time winners in a single season. Every season since the inception of the series in 1995 has it produced at least one first-time winner. The 2012 season holds the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series record for the most first-time winners in the series in a single season at nine.

 

Martinsville Speedway has been home to 11 different first-time winners in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the most recent was Todd Gilliland’s win in 2019.

 

First-Time Camping World Truck Winners at Martinsville Speedway

Track

First-Time Winners

Date

Martinsville

Todd Gilliland

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Martinsville

Noah Gragson

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Martinsville

Joey Logano

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Martinsville

Bubba Wallace

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Martinsville

Denny Hamlin

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Martinsville

Timothy Peters

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Martinsville

Bobby Labonte

Saturday, April 9, 2005

Martinsville

Ricky Craven

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Martinsville

Jamie McMurray

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Martinsville

Scott Riggs

Saturday, April 7, 2001

Martinsville

Bobby Hamilton

Monday, April 10, 2000

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Round of 8 Contenders at Martinsville

When the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to action at Martinsville Speedway expect a lot of beaten and banging on the race track as a lot will be on the line. Below is a quick look at the Round of 8 challengers at Martinsville Speedway.

 

John Hunter Nemechek currently leads the Playoff standings with a 36-point edge over the Championship 4 Round cutline. Nemechek is looking to advance to the Championship 4 Round for the first time in his career. Nemechek has made 12 starts at Martinsville posting one win (2018), four top fives and five top 10s.

 

Ben Rhodes currently sits second in the Playoff standings with a 35-point cushion above the Championship 4 Round cutoff. Rhodes is attempting to qualify for the Championship 4 Round for the first time in his career. Rhodes has made 10 series starts at Martinsville putting up three top fives and five top 10s.

 

Matt Crafton heads to Martinsville third in the Playoff standings with just a 10-point lead on the Championship 4 Round cutoff. Crafton is looking to advance to the Championship 4 Round for a series leading fourth time in his career (2016, 2017, 2019) – he is currently tied with Johnny Sauter and Brett Moffitt for the series-most Championship 4 Round appearances with three each. Crafton leads the series in starts at Martinsville with 37. His 37 starts have produced two wins (2014, 2015), 10 top fives and 21 top 10s.

 

Sheldon Creed, the defending series champion, finds himself in the fourth and final transfer position to the Championship 4 Round just five point ahead of Stewart Friesen in fifth – the first spot outside the final round’s cutoff. Creed is looking to make the Championship 4 Round for the second time in his career (2020). Creed has made four series starts Martinsville collecting one top-10 finish.

 

Stewart Friesen resides in the fifth position in the Playoff standings – the first spot outside the Championship 4 Round cutoff – just five points behind Sheldon Creed in the fourth and final transfer position to the final round. Friesen is looking to make the Championship 4 Round for the second time in his career (2019). Friesen has made seven series starts at Martinsville posting one top five and four top 10s.

 

Chandler Smith currently sits sixth in the Playoff standings 34 points behind Sheldon Creed in the fourth and final transfer spot to the Championship 4 Round. Smith, a rookie this season, is looking to make the Championship 4 Round for the first time in his career. Smith will have his work cut out for him this weekend, as he will be making his series track debut at Martinsville Speedway. 

 

Carson Hocevar is seventh in the Playoff standings heading to Martinsville, a stout 37 points back from Sheldon Creed in the fourth and final transfer spot to the Championship 4 Round. Hocevar, a rookie this season, is looking to make the Championship 4 Round for the first time in his career. Hocevar made his series track debut at Martinsville Speedway last season where he started 33rd and raced his way up to a 13th-place finish.  

 

Zane Smith heads to Martinsville Speedway ranked eighth in the Playoff standings, 40 points back from Sheldon Creed in the fourth and final transfer spot to the Championship 4 Round. Smith is in a ‘must-win’ situation this weekend. Smith is looking to make the Championship 4 Round for the second time in his career (2020). Smith has made just series start at Martinsville Speedway last season when he started second and finished third.

 

For more information about the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs including driver bios, postseason stats and elimination grids please visit the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Playoffs Media Content Hub at the following link on NASCARMedia.com.

 

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.

 

Manufacturers Championship Update – This weekend at Martinsville Speedway Toyota has the chance to clinch the 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Manufacturers Championship. Toyota is currently leading NCWTS Manufacturers Championship standings by 71 points over Chevrolet.

 

Manufacturers Championship

OEMs

Wins

Points

Toyota

14

762

Chevrolet

4

691

Ford

2

623

 

 

If Toyota clinches the title this season it will be the manufacturer’s series leading 12th OEM championship.

 

NCWTS Manufacturer Champions

OEM

No. of Manufacturers Championships

Most Recent

Toyota

11

2019

Chevrolet

10

2020

RAM

3

2004

Ford

2

2000

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