Can Anyone Stop Jimmie Johnson at Martinsville?

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Last week Jimmie Johnson was able to pass Matt Kenseth in the NASCAR standings at Talladega Superspeedway. He did so in a lackluster performance by finishing 13th but that was seven positions higher than Matt Kenseth. This week Jimmie Johnson and NASCAR return to Martinsville Speedway for the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500.

The Martinsville Speedway is a ½ mile track, .526 miles to be exact.  Many people refer to it as the paper clip track because if you look at it from above it looks exactly like a paper clip.  There is 12 degrees of banking in the turns and the straights are flat.  Since it is a short track the race is 500 laps not miles.

Jimmie Johnson and Jeff Gordon have driver ratings at Martinsville that is about as high as a driver can practically get at 123.8 and 120.7. Remember if a driver led every lap and won the race he would have a driver rating of 150. Johnson and Gordon’s driver ratings are for 17 races.

Johnson said, “Martinsville has been good to us in the past.  We’ve got to go there and race.  There is going to be a lot of strong competition.  We will make sure we get buttoned up and ready to go for this weekend’s race and go up there to that paperclip and see what we can do.

Matt Kenseth has a driver rating of 80.5, the 15th best. This is not a good track for Kenseth. He only has three top five and eight top ten finishes. Compared to Johnson’s 13 top five and 20 top ten finishes, Matt Kenseth has to be worried.

Jimmie Johnson has an incredible average finis at Martinsville of 5.3 in 23 races. Matt Kenseth’s average finish is 12.7 which is not bad but the way the Chase is going he just can’t give up six points to Johnson. Kenseth is already 4 points back. Johnson leads all active drivers with eight wins at Martinsville including the last two races.

If you can’t get to the Martinsville Speedway for the Goody’s Headache Relief Shot 500 it will be broadcast on ESPN at 1 PM ET Sunday October, 27th.

Brian Berg Jr. is a NASCAR writer for RantSports.com.

Follow him on Twitter @brian_jr1 during the race and throughout the week for more NASCAR news and commentary, or on Facebook, Pinterest, and Google.

Top 13 Driver Rating at Martinsville
Jimmie Johnson………………….. 123.8
Jeff Gordon………………………… 120.7
Denny Hamlin……………………… 111.6
Dale Earnhardt Jr………………….. 98.8
Tony Stewart………………………… 98.5
Kyle Busch…………………………… 96.6
Kevin Harvick……………………….. 92.6
Clint Bowyer…………………………. 91.9
Ryan Newman………………………. 88.5
Brad Keselowski……………………. 87.4
Jeff Burton…………………………… 87.3
Mark Martin………………………….. 85.8
Jamie McMurray…………………… 84.1
Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2013 races (17 total) among active drivers at Martinsville Speedway.


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