The Cup Series will travel to Martinsville Speedway this week to continue their short track portion of the schedule. Martinsville has a history of producing some historic races, but the Gen-7 car did not produce much passing last year (unless a driver used the “Hail Melon”). The cars will use the new short track aero package Sunday. This means the cars will have 30% less downforce, making them harder to control and easier to pass. I love this little track. I sure hope the new aero package gets the racing back to what it has been in the past at Martinsville.
The One & Done picks got off to a slow start in 2023, but now they are on fire. They finished second (Josh Berry), fifth (Kevin Harvick) and eighth (Alex Bowman) at Richmond. They were even better last week when Christopher Bell won the race, Austin Dillon finished third and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished fourth. I will do my best to keep the hot streak going at Martinsville.
ONE & DONE CONTESTS
This pick is for games where you can only use a driver once throughout the season.
RYAN PREECE will be my pick in games where you can only use a driver once. I thought about using one of my top drivers like William Byron or Denny Hamlin, but I will try to squeeze another top-10 out of a driver that typically runs outside the top-15. Preece is a short track ace. He has had a lot of success at Martinsville in the modified series and the Stewart-Haas Racing Fords are dialed in for the race Sunday. Preece starts on the pole, and he has the talent to stay there.
ONE & DONE (REGULAR SEASON/PLAYOFF GAMES)
This pick is for games where you are allowed to use a driver once in the regular season (the first 26 races) and then you can use them again in the playoffs, if your team advances in the playoffs. We only need 26 drivers in these games so we can be a bit more aggressive with our picks. Here are my picks for games that reset at the end of the regular season…
MARTIN TRUEX JR. will be my pick in games where you can only use a driver once in the regular season. It has been 52 races since Truex went to Victory Lane. He has only won four races out of the 80 races with James Small on top of the pit box. The good news is the races he has won were at Richmond, Phoenix and Martinsville (these are all short, flat tracks). If Truex is going to win, it will be on a short, flat track. I want to use Truex at a short, flat track, so I will use him Sunday.
ONE & DONE (USE A DRIVER MORE THAN ONCE)
I play in a game where I can use a driver three times throughout the season. I know some of you have told me you can use your drivers twice. We will only need 18 drivers in these games, so we do not need to dig too deep with our picks. Here is my pick in games where you can use a driver more than once….
WILLIAM BYRON will be my pick in games where you can use a driver more than once. Briscoe is a good dirt track racer. It will be tough to pick against the Hendrick Motorsports drivers this week. Byron dominated the short, flat track races at Phoenix and Richmond earlier this season and he dominated this race at Martinsville last year when he led 212 laps, scored 18 Stage Points and went to Victory Lane. Byron posted the fastest speed in practice and qualified 8th for the race. This is a great race to take a chance with Willy-B.
Good luck Sunday!
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