Cup Series’ Denny Hamlin, Xfinity Series’ Jeb Burton Among Martinsville Favorites

Posted on April 9, 2021

Some Virginia drivers are among the favorites at this weekend’s NASCAR weekend at Martinsville Speedway with the Cup Series and Xfinity Series.

Unlike most race weekends, the doubleheader takes place on Friday and Saturday, April 9-10, instead of Saturday and Sunday. Additionally, both night races will run under the lights for some prime-time action.

Saturday’s Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 is Virginia’s first NASCAR Cup Series race of 2021. Likewise, Friday’s Cook Out 250 is also the first NASCAR Xfinity Series race in the commonwealth this year.

Even better for VA race fans, the famed Martinsville Raceway short track will be at 30% capacity. After all, fans were shut out of Ridgeway, Virginia, racetrack during the pandemic-altered 2020 race season. And they’ve been anxious to see “The Half Mile of Mayhem” in person once again.

So, as we gear up for a big Virginia racing weekend, who are the favorites? Some seasoned vets and top prospects have the shortest odds. But oddsmakers clearly expect some of Virginia’s own to be in contention this weekend.

Xfinity Series, Cup Series, and WynnBET

Speaking of Virginia, this is the first of back-to-back NASCAR weekends here. After Martinsville, Richmond Raceway will be the epicenter of the NASCAR world next weekend.

And while race fans are here, they’ll see a soft launch of a new WynnBET sponsorship of the two Virginia racetracks.

Of course, the WynnBET mobile app is already live in the state. Therefore, any race attendee will be able to bet on NASCAR (or any other sports league) right from their computer or mobile device this weekend since they’ll be physically located in VA.

Ultimately, though, Martinsville Speedway and Richmond Raceway will both have WynnBET sports-betting lounges on site. Once the lounges open, race attendees will be able to watch the races and see the latest Xfinity Series and Cup Series odds.

This weekend, though, expect some heavy marketing and branding if you’re trackside. WynnBET and the Virginia racetracks are in it for the long haul.

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NASCAR Cook Out 250 odds

This weekend’s Martinsville Raceway races will be a homecoming for some familiar names.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series’ Cook Out 250 kicks off on Friday at 8 p.m. on FS1. The 250-lap and 131.2-mile race is new on the NASCAR schedule. From 1995 to 2020, Martinsville hosted a fall race only.

Justin Allgaier (+350) and A.J. Allmendinger (+450) are the favorites to win the race.

Virginia’s Jeb Burton is sixth in the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series standings. Fellow Virginian Brandon Brown has had a career season so far and is 11th. VA native Gray Gaulding, meanwhile, is 35th.

However, they all have long odds to win the Cook Out 250:

 DraftKingsFanDuelBetMGMWilliam HillBetRiversWynnBET
Jeb Burton+2500+3100+2500+2800+2500n/a
Brandon Brown+15000+15000+15000+30000+15000n/a
Gray Gaulding+25000+20000+25000+100000+25000n/a

With +3,100 odds at FanDuel, Burton backers would earn $310 profit on a $10 bet if he wins. With +30,000 odds at William Hill, Brown bettors would net $3,000 on a $10 bet. And at +100000 odds at William Hill, a winning Gaulding ticket would be worth $10,000.

Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 odds

The Cup Series’ Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500, meanwhile, takes place Saturday (7:30 p.m., FS1). Martin Truex Jr. (+500 at multiple sportsbooks) and Brad Keselowski (+600) are among the favorites.

However, Virginia’s Denny Hamlin (+750 at William Hill and WynnBET), who’s currently No. 1 in the 2021 Cup Series standings, isn’t far behind.

Hamlin (+750 at William Hill and WynnBET) won at Martinsville four times from 2008-2010 and took home a famed grandfather clock trophy each time.

Now, though, Hamlin is looking for his first victory here since 2015.

In addition to his odds to win, you can bet on Hamlin at DraftKings to finish in the top 3 (+200) or top 10 (-286) on Saturday night.

Quin Houff, who’s from Weyers Cave in north-central Virginia, is 31st in the Cup standings. He’s finished 33rd and 34th in his two starts in Martinsville. He’s available at odds of up to +150000 (bet $10 to win $15,000) for the Martinsville race.

Photo by AP / Lee Luther Jr.
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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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