As NASCAR continues its third “win and you’re in” season for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, six currently winless short-track standouts will attempt to make their first visit to Victory Lane this year in Sunday’s STP 500 at Martinsville Speedway (1 p.m. ET on FS1) – Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Carl Edwards and Joey Logano.
Kyle Busch has logged a top-four finish in four of five races this season. He boasts nine career wins on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series’ three short
tracks (Martinsville, Bristol and Richmond), but has never won at Martinsville.
Like his younger brother, Kurt claims nine short-track wins as well. He has two wins at Martinsville, most recently in spring of 2014. However, his 2014 victory is his only top-10 finish at the .526-mile track in his last 20 starts there.
Kenseth has produced six short-track victories in his career, but has never won at Martinsville. The No. 20 Toyota driver could be due for his first grandfather clock though. He placed sixth or better in his four Martinsville starts before his 38th-place showing last fall.
A five-time winner at short tracks, Dale Earnhardt Jr. notched his first, and only, Martinsville victory in fall of 2014. Although he has just one win at “NASCAR’s Wrigley Field,” he claims the third-best average finish (11.9) and driver rating (99.4) among active drivers there.
Edwards has been strong this year with three top fives and four top 10s in the first five races. He has captured four career checkered flags at short
tracks, but has never won at Martinsville. The No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing driver has always struggled at the home of NASCAR’s most famous hot dog with just one top-five finish in 23 starts there.
A winner of three career short-track races, Logano looked like he would clinch his first Martinsville victory last fall, but was wrecked out of the contest after leading his race-high 207th lap. The 25-year-old Connecticut native finished in the top five in his three Martinsville starts going into last fall’s race.