Five Favorites at Martinsville: Denny Hamlin, Five-Time Winner, Is the Favorite

poses for a portrait during NASCAR Media Day at Daytona International Speedway on February 16, 2016 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

By Jared Turner

  1. Kyle Busch scored a long-awaited first career Sprint Cup win at Martinsville when he went to Victory Lane in the spring. Now, he returns as one of eight drivers in title contention.
  2. Joey Logano was out front and seemingly cruising to victory last fall at Martinsville before being deliberately wrecked by Matt Kenseth. Rest assured that the Team Penske driver hasn’t forgotten.
  3. Once dubbed “Mr. Martinsville” for his overwhelming success at the Virginia short track, Jimmie Johnson looks to punch his ticket to the Championship 4 with his ninth Martinsville win.
  4. Denny Hamlin, the last driver to transfer into the Round of 8, has a good shot of reaching the Championship 4. The main reason? Martinsville – a place he’s a five-time winner.
  5. Back in the No. 88 car as Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s sub, Jeff Gordon leads all active drivers in Martinsville wins, with nine. His most recent and possibly last career win came here one year ago.


Driver To Beat: Denny Hamlin

Team To Beat: Joe Gibbs Racing

Sleeper Pick: AJ Allmendinger