Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 Picks, Odds & Predictions 4/10/2021
Race: Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500
Date: Saturday, April 10, 2021 at 7:30 PM EST
Location: Martinsville Speedway
After a strange season full of upset wins and the first dirt race since 1970, the half-mile track at Martinsville Speedway will give us some kind of normalcy again. This track is known for rewarding those that stay out of trouble, get up front and minimize brake wear. Martin Truex Jr. will be one of the big favorites as he's won two out of the last three races here. However, the odds tell us that there will be a lot of good choices if you're a betting man.
Food City Dirt Race Recap
NASCAR hadn't seen the dirt since 1970 and it was on a Monday after the washout from a flash flood. There were a lot of issues had in the dirt and much of it might have been water related. However, it didn't stop Joey Logano from taking the checkered flag.
Denny Hamlin led the field into the green in the first stage and would quickly lose his lead to Kyle Busch. That didn't last long as Busch had overheating issues and had to pit on the third lap. This gave Martin Truex Jr. the opportunity to take the lead. Soon after, Aric Almirola spun out and the accident took out Corey Lajoie, Shane Golobic and Anthony Alfredo as well. Not long after that, Ryan Newman was hit by William Byron and it set off a bigger wreck including Kevin Harvick and Chase Briscoe.
Christopher Bell was the next driver to get loose in the first stage and took out Kyle Larson. Through all the madness, Martin Truex Jr. came out the winner of the first stage.
The second stage gave us some caution flags. Daniel Suarez was able to take the lead from Truex Jr. after a competition caution and not long after that, Michael McDowell, Kyle Busch, Alex Bowman and Ryan Blaney were all involved in a giant spin out. One of the strange things we saw in this race was NASCAR's decision to restart the drivers in a single file line. They did this because of the dust buildup and decided to keep it like that for the remainder of the race. Joey Logano ended up winning the second stage.
The final stage of this race was also different from most because it wasn't the longest stage of the race. Because of the tire wear issues on the dirt track, the last stage was only 50 laps. For the first 35, the race was clean until Bubba Wallace had a tire issue after getting contact from Rickey Stenhouse Jr. While there was no caution in this incident, there was one later when Mike Marlar spun out with just four laps left. This led to an overtime situation where Joey Logano finished with the win.
2021 Cup Series Standings Update
The win for Joey Logano pushed him into the second spot in the points race, just 58 points behind Denny Hamlin. Martin Truex Jr. comes in third with 247 points, while Kyle Larson and Brad Keselowski trail him with 242 points and 232 points, respectively.
Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500
Martin Truex Jr. - +500
Chase Elliott - +600
Brad Keselowski - +600
Denny Hamlin - +700
Joey Logano - +700
Ryan Blaney - +800
Kyle Busch - +1,200
Kyle Larson - +1,200
Kevin Harvick - +1,400
William Byron - +2,000
Alex Bowman - +2,500
Christopher Bell - +3,000
Kurt Busch - +3,000
Matt DiBenedetto - +6,600
Tyler Reddick - +6,600
Aric Almirola - +8,000
Austin Dillon - +8,000
Ryan Newman - +8,000
Bubba Wallace - +8,000
While he hasn't been great in most of his starts this season, Brad Keselowski has been competitive. He earned a second-place finish in Las Vegas and grabbed fourth at Phoenix. This tells us that on these traditional style tracks, Keselowski has as good a shot as any to get a win.
Josh's Pick: Brad Keselowski - (+250)
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