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Martin Truex Jr.
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Statistically Speaking

To the Back: Martinsville

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: November 14, 2018, 7:27 am ET

Martin Truex is one of nine drivers who will fall to the back to start the First Data 500 at Martinsville Speedway after his car failed post-qualification inspection. Truex's qualification time was dissallowed due to the penalty, so his official starting position is 33rd and place differential points will be based on that - which makes him a good value in those games. 

Truex was scheduled to start sixth as he attempted to secure a victory that would propel him in the playoffs and end a 77-race streak of failing to win on short tracks. Truex enters the race 23 points above the cutoff line to make the championship finale, but he advancement is not guaranteed - especially if two or more drivers behind him in the standings win one of the next two races. 

David Ragan and Jimmie Johnson also failed Sunday morning's inspection and will drop to the back of the pack.

Ragan was  set to 14th. He has finished in the mid- to high-20s in five of his last six Martinsville races. 

Johnson, who has nine previous wins on this track, was scheduled to start 23rd. Johnson is looking to keep alive a 16-year streak of winning at least one race per season. Johnson has not cracked the top 10 at Martinsville in his last three starts. 


Paul Menard changed an engine before the race and will officially fall to the back. He was scheduled to start 39th. Menard has finished on the lead lap in five of his last six attempts, but that could be in jeopardy with the penalty.

Bubba Wallace crashed in qualification, but not before posting the 32nd-fastest time. He will also start at the rear. In his only other Martinsville start, Wallace finished 14 laps off the pace in 34th. 

Landon Cassill, JJ Yeley, Jeb Burton and Timmy Hill also had their times disallowed and start from the back of the pack. 

Dan Beaver

Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 20 years with a little help from his >650,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.