This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.
United Rentals 200
Location: Martinsville, Va.
Course: Martinsville Speedway
Format: 0.53-mile oval
The final four championship contenders will be decided this week at Martinsville Speedway. The series returns to action following a four-week break. Tate Fogleman won his first career race the last time the series was on track at Talladega Superspeedway. The win was the second in the round from a nonplayoff driver, which means none of the eight remaining contenders are locked into the season finale just two weeks away. John Hunter Nemechek sits atop the standings heading into this week's race with just a one-point gap over Ben Rhodes in second. Zane Smith currently occupies the eighth spot among the contenders and would have to overcome a 40-point gap to work his way into the top four. Sheldon Creed and Stewart Friesen are fourth and fifth respectively with just five points separating the pair heading into this pivotal trip to Martinsville.
Key Stats at Martinsville Speedway
- Number of races: 43
- Winners from pole: 9
- Winners from top-5 starters: 27
- Winners from top-10 starters: 36
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 1
- Fastest race: 75.296 mph
Previous 10 Martinsville Winners
2020 - Grant Enfinger
2019 fall - Todd Gilliland
2019 spring - Kyle Busch
2018 fall - Johnny Sauter
2018 spring - John Hunter Nemechek
2017 fall - Noah Gragson
2017 spring - Chase Elliott
2016 fall - Johnny Sauter
2016 spring - Kyle Busch
2015 fall - Matt Crafton
Martinsville Speedway is a flat, short track where drivers will focus on efficient braking and piecing together a machine that can move quickly through traffic. Mechanical grip is what everyone will be looking to maximize as drivers work to get as quick of a launch as possible out of the turns in order to then out-brake drivers ahead at the end of the track's long straights. The preferred line will be toward the inside of the turns with a focus on corner exit. As with any short track, track position and grip are sometimes a tradeoff. As the stages and race draw to a close, the win could come down to teams making the decision to pit or not. Fresh tires will typically be faster, but the number of drivers who stay on track to maximize track position could make those new tires not worth it. No Trucks Series driver has started outside of the top 15 and won at Martinsville since Jamie McMurray started 18th and won in 2004.
DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)
DraftKings Tier 1 Values
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DraftKings Long-Shot Values
John Hunter Nemechek leads the series in wins and will start this week's penultimate race on pole. He has not gone cold during the recent break for the Trucks, having won the Xfinity Series race at Texas. He last finished fourth in the Trucks at Talladega and won the spring Trucks race at Martinsville in 2018. At the opposite end of the playoff standings is Zane Smith. He will start ninth this week and finished third in his only series start at the track last season. Veteran Matt Crafton is still winless in 2021 but is a two-time winner at Martinsville. He finished fifth in this race last season and will start fifth this time. Stewart Friesen will start this week's race from the seventh position. He is also winless this season but had a string of four finishes of sixth or better in the races leading up to Talladega. He has seven prior Martinsville starts with an average finish of 11.3. Austin Hill may have already been eliminated from championship contention, but he is still a contender to pay close attention to. He will start 10th this week and has two Martinsville top-10s from seven prior starts. Jesse Iwuji will make his fourth series start of the season this week. He has the 38th starting position and should move forward from there to add finish differential points to fantasy rosters.