[media-credit name=”Matt LaFlair” align=”alignright” width=”224″][/media-credit]Under the gun with a very important deadline this week, Matty’s Picks will be very brief and uneventful, much like last week’s Auto Club 400.
Last week was another dismal performance for me picking winners, much like this week’s winner pick’s start to the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. I picked Matt Kenseth as my winner pick last week because of the domination of the Ford FR9 engines early this season, but again I was let down. Kenseth finished the 112 lap sprint 17th, and I received zero points for my efforts.
My Dark Horse finished in the top-10 and without my stat book in front of me I can not tell you exactly how many times that has happened this year. I picked Martin Truex Jr. last week as my Dark Horse, but he is steadily working his way into the ranks of not qualifying as a Dark Horse. At any rate, he scored an 8th place finish last week, keeping him inside the top-5 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series points standings.
Everyone knows the history of the paper-clip in Southern Virginia, so I don’t need to re-iterate how excited I am to watch all 500 laps tomorrow afternoon. It’s probably the only true short-track left on the circuit, and the race Sunday is surely going to be one of the more exciting stanzas of the season.
He’s off to a slow start this season but I’m thinking his luck is about to turn around. Sitting in 25th place in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Standings, Jeff Gordon needs to get his act together quickly as we’re almost a quarter of the way to the start of the 2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup. He’s been the guy to beat all weekend at Martinsville Speedway, winning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Final Practice by two-tenths of a second. When you’re talking a flat short -track, two-tenths is an eternity. He’ll start 9th tomorrow, and in order for the Drive to End Hunger team to be in the big dance at the end of the season, Jeff Gordon has to turn his luck around soon.
Dark Horse Pick
This one might be a long shot this week, but in order to win big, you have to bet big. Kurt Busch is another guy that if he didn’t have bad luck this season, he wouldn’t have any at all. He’s starting way back in the field, and will need the combination of solid pit strategy, a good race car, and a bit of lady luck this weekend in Martinsville to come up with a solid finish. The paper-clip in Southern Virginia has not been the kindest of places for Busch historically, with an average finish of just 20.8. One of his 7 career short-track wins has come at Martinsville, but he’s got a tall task ahead of him if he’s to leave Old Dominion with a solid finish.
That’s it for this week, and until next time…You Stay Classy NASCAR NATION!