NASCAR: 2021 Martinsville playoff race

The starting lineup is set for the final race of the round of 8 of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs this Sunday afternoon. Who are the favorites?

The third and final race of the final pre-Championship 4 round of the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series playoffs is scheduled to take place this Sunday afternoon.

This race, the Xfinity 500, will determine the three drivers set to join Hendrick Motorsports’ Kyle Larson in the Championship 4 at Phoenix Raceway next Sunday.

Where is the Xfinity 500?

The Xfinity 500 is a 500-lap race around the four-turn, 0.526-mile (0.847-kilometer) Martinsville Speedway oval in Ridgeway, Virginia. This track also hosted a race back in April, one which was won by Joe Gibbs Racing’s Martin Truex Jr.

Martinsville broadcast information

NBC is set to broadcast the Xfinity 500 live from Martinsville Speedway beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET this Sunday, October 31. Start your free trial of FuboTV today!

Who is on pole at Martinsville?

For the final time in 2021, NASCAR used the starting lineup formula, which was created last year to replace qualifying, the determine the starting lineup for this Sunday afternoon’s race.

Based on this formula, it is Larson who is set to start from the pole position behind the wheel of his #5 Chevrolet.

Set to join him on the front row behind the wheel of his #9 Chevrolet is teammate Chase Elliott, who ranks highest among the seven remaining championship contenders who have not yet solidified a spot in the Championship 4.

Here is the full starting lineup for the 2021 Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway.

Starting Lineup
1st – Kyle Larson
2nd – Chase Elliott
3rd – Denny Hamlin
4th – Martin Truex Jr.
5th – Joey Logano
6th – Brad Keselowski
7th – Kyle Busch
8th – Ryan Blaney
9th – Kevin Harvick
10th – Kurt Busch
11th – William Byron
12th – Christopher Bell
13th – Alex Bowman
14th – Austin Dillon
15th – Chris Buescher
16th – Ross Chastain
17th – Bubba Wallace
18th – Tyler Reddick
19th – Michael McDowell
20th – Daniel Suarez
21st – Chase Briscoe
22nd – Aric Almirola
23rd – Matt DiBenedetto
24th – Cole Custer
25th – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
26th – Ryan Preece
27th – Ryan Newman
28th – Erik Jones
29th – Corey LaJoie
30th – B.J. McLeod
31st – Cody Ware
32nd – Anthony Alfredo
33rd – Josh Bilicki
34th – Joey Gase
35th – Justin Haley
36th – Quin Houff
37th – Garrett Smithley
38th – Timmy Hill

Martinsville betting odds

Take a look at the betting odds for the eight remaining championship contenders in Sunday afternoon’s race, courtesy of WynnBET.

  • Martin Truex Jr.: +350
  • Kyle Larson: +500
  • Chase Elliott: +500
  • Denny Hamlin: +500
  • Ryan Blaney: +550
  • Joey Logano: +650
  • Brad Keselowski: +700
  • Kyle Busch: +700

Martinsville betting prediction

+500 odds for Kyle Larson may seem attractive considering the three-race winning streak he is on, but Martinsville Speedway has never been a great track for him. A rather uneventful race there back in April led to a fifth place finish, which was just his third finish inside the top 13 in 13 starts at the track.

Plus, the #5 team know that they really don’t need to be great here; they know they are locked into the Championship 4 regardless. Of course, I said the same thing last week and he won anyway, but even then, that was at Kansas Speedway. Larson has been strong on 1.5-mile tracks with the 550-horsepower package, and Martinsville Speedway isn’t that.

Make your pick now on WynnBET.

The last four races at Martinsville Speedway have been won by either Martin Truex Jr. (+350) or Chase Elliott (+500). Truex has three of those four wins, while a late issue prevented him from challenging Elliott in the other. Elliott has four top five finishes, including three top two finishes, in his last five starts at the track, with his only poor result coming due to a mechanical issue.

As for potential dark horse picks among the championship contenders, don’t overlook any of the three Team Penske drivers.

Ryan Blaney (+550) finished in second place in both races at Martinsville Speedway last year and won both of the first two stages there back in April. Joey Logano (+650) hasn’t finished outside of the top eight there since March 2019, and Brad Keselowski (+700) was on a run of five straight top five finishes there until an accident ended his race in April.

As for the other two championship contenders, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch, there is a reason why there isn’t much separation in this week’s odds. Hamlin dominated the race at Martinsville Speedway in April only to come up shy in third place, but he is always a threat there as a five-time winner.

Martinsville Speedway isn’t one of Busch’s best tracks, but both of his wins there have come in the last six seasons, and before a recent stretch of four finishes of ninth place or worse, he was on an eight-race run of top five finishes at the track.

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