Fantasy NASCAR Preview and Rankings for Martinsville


The Cup Series will compete once again on a short track, but this time the race will be under the lights at Martinsville. NASCAR always has higher TV ratings when the race is run on Sunday afternoons, but they knew going up against the final round of the Masters is not a smart a decision. So now we get a Saturday night short track race. If the aggressive driving we have seen in 2022 continues, NASCAR could promote this race as the “Martinsville Battle Royal” where the last car on the track wins the race. The Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400 can be seen Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1.



Martinsville is one of the best tracks on the circuit. The racing is always exciting because the drivers not only need a fast car; they need a hot temper to make it to the front of the field. Drivers cannot be “Mr. Nice Guy” and expect to win a Martinsville. Chase Elliott learned that the hard way (from Denny Hamlin) in 2019. A simple attitude adjustment allowed Elliott to win at Martinsville in 2020 and finish second last year. “Payback is a bitch” is the theme of this race.

Selecting the fastest cars for our Fantasy NASCAR lineups is not tough at Martinsville because some drivers understand the rhythm it takes to get on and off the brakes to make fast laps at Martinsville better than others. Predicting which drivers will be moving their competitors out of the way and which drivers will get punted into the wall Saturday night is impossible. That makes this race tough to handicap for Fantasy NASCAR. All we can do is select our teams and hope our drivers do not piss anyone off during the race.

The Gen-7 car changed the game this year and it will affect the race Saturday night. The larger brakes will allow the drivers to stay on the gas pedal deeper into the corners. I still expect the drivers who have run well at Martinsville in the past to be up front this week. I used the data from the race at the L.A. Coliseum, the race last week at Richmond and the past six races at Martinsville for the driver rankings this week.


Here are my Driver Rankings for the Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 400

1. Ryan Blaney
2. Martin Truex Jr.
3. Kyle Busch
4. Joey Logano
5. William Byron
6. Chase Elliott
7. Kyle Larson
8. Denny Hamlin
9. Christopher Bell
10. Kevin Harvick
11. Brad Keselowski
12. Alex Bowman
13. Tyler Reddick
14. Ross Chastain
15. Austin Dillon
16. Eric Jones
17. Kurt Busch
18. AJ Allmendinger
19. Aric Almirola
20. Chris Buescher
21. Daniel Suarez
22. Justin Haley
23. Bubba Wallace
24. Chase Briscoe
25. Ty Dillon
26. Cole Custer
27. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
28. Austin CIndric
29.  Harrison Burton
30. Michael McDowell
31. Todd Gilliland
32. Corey LaJoie
33. Cody Ware
34. Josh Bilicki
35. J.J. Yeley
36. BJ Mcleod




* These rankings will be updated after the final practice


Good Luck This Week!


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