Oh what could have been.
The 2015 Chase takes teams to Martinsville for the final short track race of the 2015 Sprint Cup season. Looking at the NASCAR odds for Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500, it’s easy to see how wide open the Chase for the Sprint Cup might have been for some of NASCAR’s most popular names.
There are five drivers at 6/1. Kevin Harvick, Jeff Gordon and Joey Logano are in in the Chase at 6/1. Of the three, Gordon has the best track record at Martinsville by a country mile. In 45 career starts, Gordon has finished fifth or better an astonishing 28 times. Gordon also has eight wins in those starts. As tough as the 2015 Sprint Cup season has been for Gordon, he has a chance to make that Homestead race a whole lot more meaningful with another memorable Martinsville run Sunday.
Then there’s Denny Hamiln and Jimmie Johnson at 6/1. Both aren’t in this round of the Chase for varying reasons. The two have a combined 13 wins at Martinsville and are second and third when it comes to average finish. Both have to be kicking themselves for not racing Sunday with a chance to still win the Sprint Cup. It would be stunning if neither were in contention Sunday.
Kyle Busch at Matt Kenseth are each 7/1. Of the two, it’s Kenseth with the better average career finish. That said, in 51 combined starts at Martinsville, the two have zero wins.
Then there only three other names at less than 20/1. Brad Keselowski and Dale Earnhardt Jr. are 12/. Carl Edwards is 15/1. Chase drivers Kurt Busch and Martin Truex Jr. are 20/1. Of the cluster, the No. 88 has the best average track finish and is the only one of the group with a win.
Oddsmakers don’t give the rest of the field much of a chance. Names like Bowyer, Newman, Larson and Almiroma are 100/1. Longshots like Patrick and Bayne are 500/1. If Sprint Cup fans are looking for an upset, there are far better places to look than Martinsville. If you have to have some long shots, Bowyer has the best average finish; Newman has a win.
Here’s how your favorite Sprint Cup driver stacks up in the NASCAR odds for Sunday’s Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 at Martinsville. Enjoy the final short track race of the 2015 Sprint Cup season, and insert a random catchphrase here.