This article is part of our DFS NASCAR series.
Location: Martinsville, Va.
Course: Martinsville Speedway
Format: 0.53-mile oval
The NASCAR Cup Series teams have a quick turnaround to be ready for this week's Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway after spending much of the past week stuck at Texas Motor Speedway due to rain. The delayed race finally resumed Wednesday evening, and Kyle Busch used strategy and speed to get his first series victory since winning the championship last season. Most importantly for the championship picture was that teammate Martin Truex Jr. finished second. That second-place finish came on the heels of a 20-point deduction and loss of starting spot after the team had its rear spoiler confiscated prior to the race by NASCAR. Truex winning would have put him into the championship finale at Phoenix, but after finishing behind his teammate, Truex now sits 36 points behind Brad Keselowski in the final transfer position.
The seven playoff contenders not named Joey Logano have one race to get the job done and secure their spot in the Championship 4. Logano's victory two weeks ago at Kansas Speedway means he is the only playoff driver locked into the season finale with a chance to win the championship. This week's trip to Martinsville Speedway will determine the final four drivers. Martin Truex Jr. won the last two races at the track with Penske Racing's Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano taking the two wins prior to that. Keselowski and Truex will lead the field to green from the front row.
Key Stats at Martinsville Speedway
- Number of races: 143
- Winners from pole: 21
- Winners from top-5 starters: 76
- Winners from top-10 starters: 105
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 7
- Fastest race: 82.223 mph
Previous 10 Martinsville Winners
2020 spring - Martin Truex Jr.
2019 fall - Martin Truex Jr.
2019 spring - Brad Keselowski
2018 fall - Joey Logano
2018 spring - Clint Bowyer
2017 fall - Kyle Busch
2017 spring - Brad Keselowski
2016 fall - Jimmie Johnson
2016 spring - Kyle Busch
2015 fall - Jeff Gordon
Martinsville Speedway's flat oval takes center stage as the Championship 4 decider this week in the penultimate race of the 2020 season. Drivers and teams will be looking to maximize mechanical grip versus the aerodynamic focused tracks of the past few races. The best way to max on-track passes at the circuit is out-braking other cars into the corners. Drivers will prefer the inside-line in the turns and look to get back to full throttle as quickly as possible in order to maximize speed at the end of the straights. That strategy works to make passes as long as the car's brakes can take the beating. Teams will also work to maximize track position and pit at the most opportune time to maximize the number of laps without traffic. As a result, fantasy players should focus their selections on the top-15 starters when picking a winner.
DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)
DraftKings Tier 1 Values
DraftKings Tier 2 Values
DraftKings Tier 3 Values
DraftKings Long-Shot Values
MY PICKS THIS WEEK
Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Martin Truex Jr. (DK $11,800, FD $13,500) is the immediate favorite for this week's race. He won the last two trips to Martinsville and finished second in Texas. Prior to those wins, he had four consecutive top-10s at the track, too. He starts on the front row and will likely lead many laps. Ryan Blaney (DK $10,700, FD $11,600) finished second to Truex last time at Martinsville. Fantasy owners can get both top drivers from the spring with this lineup option. Backing them up is the spring race's 16th-place finisher Tyler Reddick (DK $7,900, FD $8,300). Reddick was 15th at Texas and scored his most recent top-10 finish four races ago at Talladega. Matt DiBenedetto (DK $7,000, FD $9,000) grabbed his first top-10 Martinsville finish earlier this season and makes a good value this week, too. His team has an alliance with Penske Racing, and fantasy players know how strong those cars can be at this circuit. DiBenedetto looks like a bargain this week with that lens. Ryan Newman (DK $6,500, FD $7,600) won at Martinsville in 2012 and has two top-10s in the last four races at the circuit. He will start 21st this week and finished 12th there earlier this season. Rounding out the lower-risk lineup is Michael McDowell (DK $6,100, FD $6,000). He got his best Martinsville finish of 14th earlier this season. He started that race 29th and will start 24th this week.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Brad Keselowski (DK $11,400, FD $13,000) holds the final spot of the Championship 4 heading into Martinsville and won at the track in 2019. He starts the race on pole and holds a 25-point advantage over Alex Bowman. He has every incentive to produce an uneventful top-five performance on Sunday. Chase Elliott's (DK $10,400, FD $12,300) situation is a little more stressful. He starts eighth this week and also has a 25-point deficit to overcome. Elliott finished fifth at Martinsville earlier this season and led 49 laps at the track last spring when he finished second. Clint Bowyer (DK $8,300, FD $10,000) has just two more races as a full-time driver in the series, and Martinsville has been a decent venue for him. He won at the track in 2018 and will start 16th this week. Bubba Wallace (DK $7,200, FD $7,000) can also be a good fantasy weapon for rosters on short tracks like this week's. He finished 13th and 11th in his last two starts at the track, and will start 32nd this weekend. Rookie Christopher Bell (DK $6,800, FD $7,300) had an impressive race last week at Texas when he finished third and now heads to Martinsville with consecutive top-10 finishes. He'll start 11th this week, whereas he started 32nd there earlier in the season. Finally, Ty Dillon (DK $5,900, FD $5,000) makes a respectable choice to finish the lineup. He has two top-15s at Martinsville and starts 25th on Sunday.