Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 Picks, Odds & Predictions 4/9/2022
Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400
Saturday, April 9, 2022
7:30 PM EST
Last week was a reminder to the new drivers on the block that the vets weren't ready to pass the torch quite yet. Between Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin, it felt like we were taking a trip back to 2020 again where it felt like these two drivers going at it over the course of the entire race for the whole day. However, Hamlin got the win with only leading the final five laps. Ryan Blaney had the most laps led with 128 and took the first stage of the race.
The Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 has NASCAR teams going from a short track to the shortest track they'll see this season. It will be quite an adjustment for all drivers, no matter their experience level. It would be an understatement to say that Martinsville has tight corners and each one of them leads to big time deceleration and allows for change amongst driver positions. There will need to be a balance of consistency and risk to set up these drivers for a solid performance.
Overall, this should be a fun race where skill and strategy are a big part of the day.
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Toyota Owners 400 Recap
It was a great time for Denny Hamlin to get his first win of the season as this was his hometown track. With just five laps remaining, Hamlin was able to take the lead from William Byron and win by .552 seconds over second place finisher, Kevin Harvick. Not only was this Hamlin’s first win of the season (which puts him in the playoffs), it was his first top-10 finish of the young season. Hamlin has raced well in Richmond, and this marks his fourth win at the .75-mile track. As for the Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team, it was the sixth win in the last eight races at Richmond.
This race was also a victory for all older drivers out there as it stopped a 12-race streak of drivers 30 and under winning and this went back to last season.
William Byron had his leader spot taken with just five laps to go and it could have been a result of some late race choices. He chose to stay out on older tires for the last 90 laps when he had a 5 second lead at one point of the race. As the race went on and other drivers chose to go for fresh tires during late green flag pits, it was becoming more and more apparent that Byron was going to have to work hard to keep his lead. It ended up not paying off when with 47 laps to go, Hamlin got new tires and was able to weave his way all the way to the front of the pack.
NASCAR Playoff Standings
Add a new driver to this list of men that have earned a win this season, and thus, taking up another playoff spot. As we sit, William Byron still sits at the top with 218 points. Ross Chastain comes in behind him with 214 points and Alex Bowman is in the third spot with 212 points. Rounding out the top 5 as we sit are Chase Brisco with 192 points and Kyle Larson with 183.
Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 Odds
Martin Truex Jr. - +550
Chase Elliott - +700
Ryan Blaney - +900
Kyle Busch - +900
Denny Hamlin - +900
Joey Logano - +900
William Byron - +1,200
Kyle Larson - +1,200
Alex Bowman - +1,400
Tyler Reddick - +1,600
Ross Chastain - +1,600
Christopher Bell - +1,600
Kevin Harvick - +2,000
Chase Briscoe - +2,500
Brad Keselowski - +2,500
Aric Almirola - +5,000
Kurt Busch - +5,000
Erik Jones - +5,000
Austin Dillon - +7,000
Austin Cindric - +7,000
Daniel Suarez - +8,000
Chris Buescher - +8,000
Martin Truex Jr. is always a threat to win on a short track and this weekend will be no different. He won stage 2 last weekend and led for 80 laps and the choice to take newer tires late in the race ended up costing him. There are a few drivers that fare well on these short tracks, but Truex Jr should be right at the top.
Tony's Pick: Take Martin Truex Jr (+550)
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