Championship 4 berths are wide open in NASCAR Xfinity Series
With only two more races remaining to set the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship 4 Round field, Saturday‘s Kansas Lottery 300 (3 p.m. ET on NBC/NBC Sports App, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) at Kansas Speedway will play a huge role in determining who advances. And it has been an unpredictable and tough place on the […]Three of the previous four Playoff races this year have been won by non-Playoff drivers — including John Hunter Nemechek last week at Texas Motor Speedway. The result has been tight and unpredictable Playoff standings — still led by Regular Season Champion AJ Allmendinger; but by a mere four-points over reigning series champion Austin Cindric.
Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway © James Gilbert Getty Image What to Watch: Full guide for Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway
(⏰ 2 p.m. ET | ???? NBC, TSN5 | ???? MRN, SiriusXM)
Everything you need to know for Sunday’s Round of 8 elimination race and 35th points-paying NASCAR Cup Series event of the 2021 season.
Where: Martinsville Speedway, located in Ridgeway, Virginia
Green flag: 2:12 p.m. ET
Grand Marshal: TBD
Flyover: The Bandit Flight Team
TV/Radio: NBC/NBC Sports App/Peacock, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio
Forecast: Mostly sunny, with a high near 64 degrees. Northwest wind 5-11 mph, according to NOAA.gov
Race Distance: 500 laps, 263 miles
Hope remains strong for those below cutline heading to Martinsville
After numerous struggles Sunday at Kansas, those below the cutline in the Cup playoffs carry hope with them into the Oct. 31 race at Martinsville.Such was the feeling for those who left Kansas Speedway below the cutline after Sunday’s playoff race.
Stages: 130 | 260 | 500
Pit-road speed: 30 mph
Caution car speed: 35 mph
Martinsville 101: Get the full lowdownStarting lineup: See the full lineupPit-stall assignments: See who is pitting where | Expert breaks down pit selections 2021 Martinsville
Five to watch
Here are five big storylines we’ll be following at Martinsville Speedway.
1. Four drivers are within six points of the NASCAR Playoffs elimination line entering the Round of 8 finale. At least two drivers will make the Championship 4 on points since Kyle Larson is the only one who has won in this three-race portion, meaning he’s the only one locked into the title battle. At risk of elimination: Ryan Blaney (fifth, -1), Martin Truex Jr. (sixth,-3), Brad Keselowski (seventh, -6) and Joey Logano (eighth, -26). Currently safe: Larson (qualified, two wins), Chase Elliott (second, +34), Denny Hamlin (third, +32) and Kyle Busch (fourth, +1).
Early odds list Martin Truex Jr. as PointsBet favorite for Martinsville
Martin Truex Jr. won three of the last four races at Martinsville, including this spring when he was also favored.Truex was also favored at Martinsville this spring with odds of +525 and Richmond Raceway in September with a line of +440. Those are two of Truex’s four wins this season, which is part of the reason that his odds were lowered +425 for the Sunday’s Xfinity 500. Truex has three Martinsville wins in his last four starts.
2. Martin Truex Jr. puts the “Martin” in Martinsville as of late. The driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota has won three of the last four races at the Virginia short track, including the one previously held this season in April. He was passed for the win in the other. Truex sits two spots and three points below the elimination line, in danger of not making the Championship 4. He could very well point his way in, but a win would guarantee him a spot with no stress. Martinsville’s place on the schedule just might be perfect for Truex.
3. A playoff driver below the elimination line has won the Round of 8 elimination race to advance in the Championship 4 three times. Kevin Harvick, who is no longer title eligible this season, did so in 2014; he was -6 at Phoenix Raceway. Denny Hamlin did from -20 at Phoenix in 2019. And then Chase Elliott did it last year at Martinsville when -25.
4. Kyle Larson has won the last three races in a row — starting at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval, then Texas Motor Speedway and continuing the trend at Kansas Speedway. The last driver to win four consecutive races was Jimmie Johnson in 2007, and he won his second of seven championships that year. Larson has never won at Martinsville in 13 starts and averages a 21.1 finish. He placed fifth there earlier this season.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to take on Martinsville and decide the Championship 4
After a three-week break in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule, the competitors return to action in the United Rentals 200 this Saturday at Martinsville Speedway (1 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) to decide which four drivers will advance to the Championship 4 Round and have a shot at the title. […]Five-race winner John Hunter Nemechek holds a 1-point advantage over two-race winner Ben Rhodes atop the standings, with three-time series champion Matt Crafton and defending series champion Sheldon Creed rounding out the current top four in the standings. Stewart Friesen in fifth, the first spot outside the Championship 4 Round cutoff, is only five points behind Creed.
5. Hendrick Motorsports’ 25 wins at Martinsville marks the most wins by a team at a track. The next-best tally is 21 by Junior Johnson and Associates at Bristol Motor Speedway but also Hendrick Motorsports at Dover International Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway. Hendrick Motorsports has two drivers still active in the NASCAR Playoffs: Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott. Only Elliott from the Hendrick Motorsports garage, which also includes Alex Bowman and William Byron, has won at Martinsville before.
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Martinsville 101: Trends, history, purse info, odds and more
The NASCAR Cup Series rolls into Martinsville Speedway on Sunday to officially set the 2021 Championship 4 grid. Ahead of the Xfinity 500 (2 p.m. ET, NBC/NBC Sports App/Peacock, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio), Kyle Larson remains the only driver whose ticket to compete for a title is punched. The remaining seven drivers in the Round […]LINING THEM UP
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• What are the odds?: Betting odds for Martinsville |
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• Play it LIVE: Full guide to 2021 NASCAR Fantasy Live game | Get the FAQ
Memories from Martinsville Tbt1998mville 922crop
NASCAR heads to the final race in the Round of 8 and second race at Martinsville Speedway, so let’s take a look back at some track history.
• All-time fall wins: Martinsville Speedway |
See the list
• 14 times: Martinsville fall winners who won title | See the champs• Memory lane: Most memorable moments at Martinsville |
Relive the moments
• Martinsville mayhem:
Noah Gragson holds off Cindric to win at Martinsville, advance to Championship 4
Noah Gragson took advantage of a pair of overtime restarts to win Saturday night‘s NASCAR Xfinity Series Round of 8 elimination race at Martinsville Speedway, advancing to the Championship 4. Gragson held off hard-charging Daniel Hemric following the second overtime restart. But it was Championship 4 driver Austin Cindric who he had to worry about […]RELATED: Unofficial results | At-track photos from Martinsville
Years of crumpled cars
|Relive the carnage
• A race to remember: Ricky Rudd, Jeff Gordon battle
| Watch 1998 NAPA Autocare 500
• One year ago: Chase Elliott cashes in on must-win to make Championship 4 | Full race recap
Hard-hitting, race-relevant statistics, brought to you by the experts at Racing Insights.
• Ford is winless in the last four Martinsville races after winning the three prior races.
• Joe Gibbs Racing drivers were passed for the win in the last two Martinsville races.
• The Stage 2 winner won four of the last six Martinsville races.
• Denny Hamlin won five of eight stages on short tracks this season but has not won a race.
• Four playoff drivers are within six points of the elimination line.
Next Gen update 2021 Nextgen Bowmangray
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Catch the pack
Read up on all the headlines from the week leading up to Sunday’s race.
• Two more races: Other national series set Championship 4 fields
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• Halloween heroics: Races ran on the spooky holiday
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• Big shots: Modern-era drivers to win 10 races in a season
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• One point away: Ryan Blaney aiming to hit next career milestone | Read more• Moving up: Austin Hill to run Xfinity season for RCR | Read more• Sponsor makes moves: GearWrench to back Kevin Harvick in 2022
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• He’s back: Dale Earnhardt Jr. sets lone 2022 Xfinity Series start
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• Philanthropic efforts: 2021 Comcast Community Champion of the Year finalist revealed
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• Man in charge: Joe Fowler named Michigan International Speedway’s new track president
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• Stacking Pennies: Corey LaJoie’s latest and greatest thoughts
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• Mark your calendars: ARCA Menards Series releases 2022 schedule | See the slate
Notable quotes from the stars of the sport heading into Sunday’s race. 2021 Bradkeselowski
• “Martinsville, I made my first-ever NASCAR start there in the Truck Series. It didn‘t go very well and I learned so much from it and it‘s been a great track for me ever since then. I‘ve had some tough breaks. One year we blew a tire and this past year we lost power-steering and had a mechanical failure and then got caught up in a wreck because I didn‘t have any steering, so that was not a good run, but outside of that, I feel like we‘ve ran 15 maybe 20 races there that have gone really, really well. It‘s been a great track for us.” — Brad Keselowski, driver of the No. 2 Team Penske Ford.
• “Martinsville has been a really tough track for me in the past. Earlier this year, we were really good there in Hendrick (Motorsports) equipment and I was able to run top five. That run helped my confidence a lot. I think if we can go there and have another good run and, heck, if we can get a win there, yes — I‘ll be feeling great going to Phoenix (Raceway).” — Kyle Larson, driver of the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.
• “I expect it to be pretty similar (to the April race). We‘ll just wait and see how it plays out. Martinsville is funny because it can change 10 or 15 degrees, or the start time of the race can be a little different and you can find yourself being a little off. It‘s a funny, quirky little place, but we have a lot of confidence and it‘s been good to us over the past few seasons. Hopefully, we can go there and get the job done.” — Martin Truex Jr., driver of the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota.
NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour announces 2022 schedule .
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Nov. 3, 2021) — NASCAR today announced 13 races in the 2022 schedule for the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, with additional dates and venues to be announced in the future. The schedule features some of the most popular short tracks in the northeast as well as historic tracks in Virginia and Florida. […]MORE: Whelen Modified Tour news