Mar 23, 2014; Fontana, CA, USA; NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jeff Gordon (24) waves to fans before the Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Ice Picks - Martinsville

STOP THE PRESSES! Denny Hamlin told Jenna Fryer from the Associated Press that he will win on Sunday.

It’s not the first time Hamlin has made a promise, flash back to 2012 at Loudon New Hampshire when Denny Hamlin’s promise to win was an understatement. He didn’t just win-he obliterated the field.

For Denny, this is coming on the heels of missing last week’s race due to a piece of rusted metal in his eye causing dizziness. NASCAR’s medical staff determined Hamlin to be unhealthy to race at California.

Many fans question his commitment to racing, but Denny silenced those who question him by posting the fastest lap during practice and just missed the pole taking the second starting spot.

The pole went to Kyle Busch, who barely beat out his teammate in Hamlin and ends Team Penske’s stranglehold on front row starts.

With Rowdy taking the pole, you would think he’s a shoe-in for a possible win at Martinsville,  but in 18 career starts, he has led over 100 laps only three times with 5 top-fives and his best finish is second in 2012.

Twenty-one races have been won from the pole position in 131 races at Martinsville, with fifteen winners coming from the second spot and 73% of all winners coming from the top-ten.

Top Five practice speeds are as follows:

#11-Hamlin 100.021
#22-Logano 99.313
#20-Kenseth 99.173
#15-Bowyer 99.147
#14-Stewart 99.126

The four drivers to watch for at Martinsville have enough grandfather clocks to open up a store. Denny Hamlin starts second with 4 wins, Jimmie Johnson starts fourth with 7 wins, Jeff Gordon starts fifth with 5 wins and Tony Stewart starts seventh with 3 wins for their career at Martinsville. I think Stewart got a shot in the arm last week with a top-five finish and posted the fifth fastest time during practice.

Track position is everything for this race and there has been a fair share of green white checkers during the last few years. Weather won’t be a factor as mild temperatures and sunny skies await the drivers on Sunday.

Here’s my Ice Pick’s- Racing Points = Money for Martinsville:

 

A List

Jimmie Johnson- is a stud at Martinsville, history has proven this is his best track.

Jeff Gordon- is driving Chassis 24-788, the same chassis he won with last year at Martinsville.

Kyle Busch- should give you a top ten with his starting spot.

 

B List

Denny Hamlin- he promised

Tony Stewart- is driving Chassis 14-742, last driven to a seventh place finish at Loudon.

Joey Logano- is driving a new Chassis PRS-902, has a great starting spot.

Brian Vickers- is flat good at flat tracks and should get a top 15.

 

C List

 

Justin Algaier- has been steady with top 20 finishes in the Nationwide Series.

Groupings are based on last years final points standings. Comments always  welcomed.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @JoeIcemanNieves, Good Luck!

 

Tags: Martinsville Speedway NASCAR

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