Fantasy NASCAR Preview #5: Martin Truex Jr.



2020 DRIVER FANTASY RANKING: 5th         

2019 FANTASY NASCAR RANK: 3rd             


2019 RECAP: Martin Truex Jr. had another excellent year in 2019 but that seems to be par for the course since he joined Furniture Row Racing and then moved to Joe Gibbs Racing. Truex won a series-high seven races and scored the third-most Stage points. That set him up to make another run for the Cup Series championship. Truex ended up finishing runner up to his teammate, Kyle Busch. The No. 19 car was able to score 15 finishes in the top five (42%) and 24 finishes in the top 10 (67%). That is the kind of consistency you want from your fantasy driver.


2020 Preview: How much value did crew chief Cole Pearn bring to the No. 19 team? That is the question that needs to be answered for fantasy teams in 2020. Pearn announced his retirement soon after the NASCAR Awards Banquette. He will be replaced by James Small on top of the pit box. I had Truex penciled in as my 2020 Cup Series Champion but after the loss of Pearn from the team, I dropped Truex to No. 5 in my rankings. So for me the answer is… Cole Pearn is worth five spots in the Fantasy NASCAR rankings.

Truex is still going to be good this year. He is going to be one of the best picks at the Flat tracks and the Road Courses. His Intermediate track value may take a hit because Cole Pearn was the best crew chief in the series at making adjustments throughout the race to keep Truex up front. I am not sure he will get the same decision making from James Smalls, but do not panic. Truex is still a top five driver at all tracks except the Superspeedways.


Fantasy NASCAR 2020 Expectations: Martin Truex Jr.



Martin Truex scored the third-most fantasy points on the Intermediate tracks but it was the first time in since 2017 that he was not the No.1 driver at these tracks. Truex said his decline in 2019 had a lot to do with the poor qualifying for the Joe Gibbs Racing cars. Truex has an 18.4 average starting position in the first nine races on the 1.5-mile tracks. The team worked hard to improve their qualifying for the final race at Homestead and their three championship cars all qualified in the top four. Truex said that the team learned their lesson last year. They will dial more speed into the cars so they can start closer to the front and dominate more races. Truex is a good pick for all season long games (Fantasy Live and the Driver Group Game) and DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports) at the Intermediate tracks in 2020. (Martin Truex Jr. ranked 2nd in fantasy points scored on the Intermediate Tracks in 2019)



If Martin Truex Jr. has any weakness it is at the Superspeedways. He has only finished in the top 20 one time in his last sever Superspeedway races. His average finishing position in his last seven races at Talladega is 27.5. Stay away from Truex at the races in Alabama. He has not been much better at Daytona. His average finishing position in his last seven trips to Daytona is 21.8. There are better drivers for your fantasy team at the Superspeedways. (Martin Truex Jr. ranked 26th in fantasy points scored on the Superspeedways in 2019)


FLAT TRACK VALUE (Richmond / Phoenix / Martinsville / Loudon)

Truex was 0-81 on the short tracks entering into the 2019. He then went out and won at Martinsville and swept the races at Richmond. He proved to be the best driver on the Flat tracks in 2019. He finished second and fourth at Phoenix, first and eighth at Martinsville, two wins at Richmond and a sixth place finish at Loudon. Truex was also able to lead 759 laps in these races. No other driver was even close. Truex is a good fantasy pick for all of the races on the Flat tracks in 2020. (Martin Truex Jr. ranked 1st in fantasy points scored on the Flat Tracks in 2019)


STEEP TRACK VALUE (Bristol / Dover / Darlington)

Martin Truex Jr. was only average at Bristol last year but he dominated the races at Dover (One of his many “home tracks”) Truex qualified 13th, quickly raced his way through the field and lead 132 laps on his way to Victory Lane in the spring race at the Monster Mile. He followed it up with a second place finish at Dover in the fall. Truex has finished five of his last six races at Dover in the top four. He must be on all fantasy team at the Monster Mile. There are better picks for your team at Bristol and Darlington. (Martin Truex Jr. ranked 5th in fantasy points scored on the Steep Tracks in 2019)


ROAD COURSE TRACK VALUE (Sonoma / Watkins Glen / Roval)

Martin Truex Jr. is the best driver in the Cup Series on the Road Courses. The races at Sonoma, Watkins Glen and the Charlotte Roval have become a battle between Chase Elliott and Truex. I expect that trend to continue in 2020. Truex has finished 1st, 1st, 2nd, 14th, 1st, 2nd and 7th in his last seven Road Course races. He has also led laps in nine consecutive races at these tracks so Truex is a good source of bonus points too. Make sure Truex is in your lineup at all of the races on the Road Courses in 2020. (Martin Truex Jr. ranked 1st in fantasy points scored on the Road Courses in 2019)


Best Tracks to for Martin Truex Jr.: 1) Sonoma, 2) Charlotte, 3) Watkins Glen, 4) Homestead, 5) Dover



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