2019 STP 500 Odds, Preview & Expert Prediction

Posted by Derrick Harper on March 22, 2019 in

The 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series enters Week 6 on Sunday at iconic Martinsville Speedway for the 2019 STP 500. With five of the 36 races on the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series schedule having been completed, the series is set to head to Martinsville Speedway for the STP 500, which is the first of two scheduled races at the track this year.

The tightly-cornered, half-mile track always provides some of the most exciting racing on the NASCAR schedule. Kyle Busch is coming off back-to-back wins where he led more than half the race in Phoenix and Fontana. He also has 15 career short-track wins, so he’s installed as the 8-5 favorite in the latest 2019 STP 500 odds. Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski are next on the 2019 NASCAR at Martinsville odds board at 5-1, and the checkered flag drops at 3 p.m. ET. However, short tracks provide plenty of drama and excitement.

2019 STP 500 Odds, Preview & Expert Prediction

Hamlin Good Choice

I personally am pretty high on Denny Hamlin, who makes a strong run at the checkered flag despite going off at 10-1 odds. The 2019 Daytona 500 champion has run well at short tracks throughout his career, with 46 top-10 finishes in 77 starts at tracks shorter than a mile. And Martinsville, in particular, is Hamlin’s best venue.

Hamlin’s five wins at Martinsville Speedway are more than he has at any other track in his career. He also has 13 top-fives and 19 top-10s in 26 starts at the track. He finished second in Martinsville in October.

Interesting Finish

The 33 full-time drivers, including the 32 who are eligible to score points in the Cup Series and the one who is not, who have competed in each of the first five races of the season are all set to compete in this race, as is the one other driver, a part-time driver, who has competed in each of the season’s first five races as well.

The lone full-time driver who is not eligible to score Cup Series points is Ross Chastain. Chastain is not eligible to do so as a result of the fact that he is also a full-time Xfinity Series driver and he is eligible to score points in that series.

Other Contenders

Of those listed above, I am particularly high on Brad Keselowski and Denny Hamlin, but what about the Busch boys? There’s no way that Kyle Busch can extend his impressive run with a third straight win this week… is there? There was a lot of talk about Busch being in tough to make it two straight last week but he won at California, pulling out his 200th career victory.

Busch has won here before back in 2016, and was also a runner-up at this race in each of the last two years. Coming off back-to-back wins, along with recent course figures that read 1-2-2 in his last three appearances at Martinsville, Busch is a good bet here. As for Kurt, I’d avoid him in this one. He has some tempting long shot odds, but his performance as of late and on this particular track does not warrant taking a flier on him.