The NASCAR Cup Series will compete under the lights at Martinsville Saturday night. The race will be a bit different from what the Cup Series has had in the past at Martinsville. The race will be reduced from 500 laps to 400 laps. The previous three spring races at Martinsville averaged over four hours in length. The race does not start until 7:30 p.m. ET (FS1) and NASCAR did not want it to end at 11:30 p.m. ET. So that is the reason for the shorter race. This does mean the teams will have more urgency to get their car dialed in and get to the front. It should be another good race for the Gen-7 car.
PRACTICE SPEEDS FOR THE MARTINSVILLE
The Cup Series had their normal practice session Friday. The teams were broken down into two groups and allowed to practice for 20 minutes. That is not a lot of time but Martinsville is a .5-mile track. Most of the teams were able to make at least one long run in practice. That should give us an idea of which cars have speed for the race Saturday night.
Here are the practice speeds from Friday’s practice session…
DFS STRATEGY FOR MARTINSVILLE
Short track racing means it is time to focus our DFS picks on the dominators. The race has 100 less laps but there are still a lot of dominator points available Saturday night. The 400 laps in the race means there are 100 points available for leading laps and 180 points available for fastest laps (280 dominator points). There are 40 dominator points available in FanDuel contests.
The trends at Martinsville do not apply this week since the race has been shortened. I used the percentage of laps led and fastest laps from the 500 lap races and applied them to a 400 lap race. The trend tells us that one driver should lead 190 laps and score 50 fastest laps (70 dominator points) and another driver leads 130 laps and scores 40 fastest laps (50.5 dominator points). We must have these two drivers in our lineups Saturday night. That means we must pay up for the drivers with the best chances to lead laps at Martinsville. It really doesn’t matter what our cheap drivers do in the race if we have the drivers who score most of the 280 dominator points.
My top dominators for the race include: Chase Elliott, William Byron, Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson and Ryan Blaney
DraftKings Model (Prediction Based on Stats)
Finish = Finishing Points PD = Position Differential Fastest = Fastest Laps Led = Laps Led
* The number in front of the driver is his projected finishing position based on stats.
FanDuel Model (Prediction Based on Stats)
CORE DRIVERS FOT MARTINSVILLE
MARTIN TRUEX JR. (DK $11.5K FD $14K): Truex has been a beast at Martinsville. He won the last two spring races and he finished seven of the last nine races at the track in the top-four. Truex is also averaging 150 laps led in his last five races at Martinsville. The No. 19 car was not very fast in practice and Truex qualified 20th. He is almost a lock to score 10 place differential points but he is going to need to score some dominator points to return value in Tournament Contests. Truex is a lock for Cash contests and I will play him in Touraments too.
CHASE ELLIOTT (DK $11.2K FD $13.5K): Elliott is the only Hendrick Motorsports driver who has not found Victory Lane in 2022. That could change Saturday night. Elliott posted the fastest speed and qualified pole. Elliott finished three of his last four races at Martinsville in the top five. The only race he did not finish in the top five (last October), Elliott led 289 laps and won both Stages. He is my pick to win and I would not be surprised if Elliott led over 150 laps Saturday night.
RYAN BLANEY (DK $10.9K FD $13K): Blaney led 157 laps and won both Stages in this race last year. He posted the ninth-fastest speed on the long runs in practice and qualified 12th. Blaney is going to need to lead some laps to return value. He has the upside to do it, but there is no garauntee he will lead a lot of laps Saturday night. I will have some shares of Blaney but not as many as I was expecting to have.
KYLE LARSON (DK $10.3K FD $10.4K): I wasn’t planning on using Larson at Martinsville, but he was too fast in practice to fade. Larson had the fastest car on the long runs and he qualified eighth. The Hendrick Motorsports cars showed up with a lot of speed so I will play most of their drivers in my lineup Saturday night. Larson will be my pivot from a higher-owned Chase Elliott.
DENNY HAMLIN (DK $10.3K FD $12.5K): Can we trust Hamlin this week now that he found Victory Lane? He did not win last week because he had the fastest car. He won on pit strategy. I did not like what I saw from the No. 11 car in practice and Hamlin qualified 25th. He has some good notes from his teammates to get his car dialed in during the race. I like Hamlin for Cash and Tournament contest simply because he starts so deep in the field.
KYLE BUSCH (DK $10K FD $12K): Could this be the race when Busch gets back to Victory Lane? He has two Grandfather Clocks and he will have a good chance to get another one Saturday night. Busch is always at his best when he gets some extra track time. He finished third in the Truck Series race Thursday night and he was fast in Cup Series practice. The No. 18 car posted the second-fastest speed and qualified 11th. Busch should score a lot of place differential points and he is my No. 2 dominator Saturday night.
JOEY LOGANO (DK $9.7K FD $11.5K): The L.A. Coliseum track and Martinsville Speedway and similar in their flatness and their tight corners. If the speed from the Busch Light Clash at the Coliseum translates into speed this week, Logano should win. The No. 22 car was fast in practice. Logano posted the seventh-fastest speed on the long-run speed chart. The No. 22 car qualified 14th. Logano should score 7-10 place differential points and have a good chance to lead a few laps Saturday night.
WILLIAM BYRON (DK $9.5K FD $10.5K): Byron was really fast at the Richmond last week (Byron led 122 laps and finished 3rd), and he was fast in practice at Martinsville. Byron posted the second-fastest speed on the 10 Lap Average Speed Chart and qualified fifth. Byron won the Truck Series race Thursday night and he has the speed to win again Saturday night.
ALEX BOWMAN (DK $9.3K FD $10.2K): Bowman is not the first driver that comes to mind when people think of drivers at Martinsville but he did win the last race at Martinsville from 13th starting position. Bowman only led nine laps in that race so according to Kyle Busch, Bowman “Backed his way into Victory Lane.” Bowman posted the fourth-fastest speed and qualified 15th. I doubt the No. 48 car will dominate the race, but Bowman has a good chance to finish in the top-10.
CHRISTOPHER BELL (DK $9.1K FD $9.5K): The Joe Gibbs cars were fast last week and they look fast again at Martinsville. Bell posted the fifth-fastest speed in practice and he qualified seventh. Bell finished seventh in the spring race at Martinsville last year. The No. 20 car has a good chance to finish in the top-10 Saturday night so I will have some shares of Bell this week.
TYLER REDDICK (DK $8.6K FD $8.5K): Martinsville is not the best track for Reddick but he did start 13th and finished eighth in this race last year (41 DK Points). Reddick also had one of the fastest cars at the short, flat track at the L.A. Coliseum. Reddick posted the eighth-fastest speed in practice and the No. 8 car starts 22nd. Reddick is a good pick for Cash and Tournament Contests.
DANIEL SUAREZ (DK $6.8K FD $6.8K): Trackhouse Racing has been running well this year but they did not show up with a lot of speed Friday in practice. Suarez posted the 18th fastest speed and he was 19th fastest on the long-run speed chart. Suarez starts 30th and has the speed to finish in the top-20. I will play Suarez in Cash and Tournament contests this week.
AJ ALLMENDINGER DK $6,6K FD $5K): Allmeninger’s car failed inspection three times. That means Allemdinger did not get a chance to qualify; he will start dead last, have the worst pit stall, have to do a pass-through penalty to start the race and loses a crew member. Allmendinger is almost assured to start the race two laps down. His car posted the 11th– fastest speed, so he should have a chance to get some of his laps back. He is in a big hole, but Allmendinger should still finish in the top-26 and score 25+ DK Points. Not too bad. I will not have a lot of shares of Allmendinger, but I will not fade him completely.
BUBBA WALLACE (DK $6.4K FD $7K): Martinsville has been one of the best tracks for Wallace. He has a couple of Truck Series wins at Martinsville and the No. 23 car looked good in practice. Wallace posted the third-fastest speed with the sixth-fastest long run speed in practice. Wallace does not have the talent, but he has the speed to finish in the top-10. He starts 21st and should finish around the 15th spot Saturday night.
TY DILLON ($5.5K FD $3.5K: Dillon has been one of my go-to-drivers in my DFS contests this year and I will be using the No. 42 car again Saturday night. Dillon had one of the fastest cars in the Clash at the Coliseum race. His average starting position this year is 26th and his average finishing position is 20th. Dillon has a 26th-place average starting position and a 20th average finishing position at Martinsville. Dillon starts 34th and should finish inside the top-25 Saturday night.
DFS EXAMPLE LINEUPS
Each year I get told the same thing… I used your lineup and I did not win the big jackpot. That is because 25-50 other people copied and pasted my lineup too and you had to split the pot 25-50 ways. The lineups posted this year will be examples on how to create a lineup for the race. You can copy and paste, but just know a lot of other people will have the same lineup. (It is OK to copy and paste the Cash Contest lineup). There is plenty of information in this article to help you create your own unique lineup to give you a better chance of winning.
DRAFTKINGS CASH CONTEST LINEUP
DRAFTKINGS TOURNAMENT CONTEST LINEUP
FANDUEL CASH CONTEST LINEUP
FANDUEL TOURNAMENT CONTEST LINEUP
* I really like what I saw from Hendrick Motorsports in practice. I will stack three of their drivers with Joey Logano and Ty Dillon coming from the back.
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