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NASCAR: Martinsville at a glance

Martin Truex Jr., eliminated from the Chase last week, is on the pole for Sunday’s Goody’s 500 at Martinsville Speedway.
Martin Truex Jr., eliminated from the Chase last week, is on the pole for Sunday’s Goody’s 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Getty Images

Everything you need to know about Sunday’s Goody’s 500 at Martinsville Speedway, in three minutes:

Three things to watch

1. The Chase is down to its eight-driver semifinals. The reward for a victory for one of them is a spot in the championship round at Homestead-Miami-Speedway.

2. Odds are that at least one of those advancing from this round will be a Joe Gibbs Racing driver. The team has four drivers -- Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth -- still in contention.

3. The contrast between Sunday’s race at Martinsville and last week at Talladega couldn’t be more stark. Talladega is the biggest track on the Cup circuit (2.66 miles). Martinsville is the shortest (.526 mile).

Observations

▪  Pole-winner Martin Truex Jr. and Brad Keselowski -- both of whom were eliminated from the Chase last week -- could easily step in and win, creating even more intrigue at Texas and Phoenix.

▪  The eight drivers remaining in the Chase have accounted for 54.8 percent of the victories at Martinsville among all active drivers.

▪  Lights will be installed at Martinsville for next season, although neither Cup race is scheduled to start at night. The first night race at the track will be the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 late-model sportsman race, although a date hasn’t been set.

Best bets

Three picks for your fantasy team:

Joey Logano: He’s starting on the outside of the front row and comes straight from a victory last week at Talladega.

Jimmie Johnson: He has 18 career victories at the three round-of-eight tracks, eight coming at Martinsville.

Denny Hamlin: A victory for Hamlin would be his sixth at Martinsville and ninth in his home state of Virginia.

He said it

“To be able to punch your ticket early, charge the batteries, just focus solely on Homestead moving forward, for most teams that would be a pretty good advantage.” -- Johnson.

N@SCAR

Getting there

Race facts

Goody’s 500

Where: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

Track type: .526-mile oval.

Race distance: 263 miles, or 500 laps.

Green flag: 1:13 p.m.

Weather: Sunny, high of 82, 10 percent chance of rain.

TV: NBC Sports Network.

Radio: Motor Racing Network.

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