This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.
Dead on Tools 250
Location: Martinsville, Va.
Course: Martinsville Speedway
Format: 0.53-mile oval
All four spots in the NASCAR Xfinity Series championship finale are up for grabs this week at Martinsville. Ty Gibbs drove the No. 54 machine to Victory Lane for the fourth time this season, the team's 11th, which meant both races so far in the final round of championship eliminations have been won by nonplayoff drivers. All eight championship contenders have a shot at making it to Phoenix in championship contention and at least three of them will advance on points alone. This will be the second Martinsville visit this season. Josh Berry won in April to become just the second driver in series history to start outside of the top 20 and win at the track. Gibbs will start on the outside of the front row after last week's win, with championship contender Austin Cindric on pole. Teammates AJ Allmendinger and Justin Haley fill out the second row.
Key Stats at Martinsville Speedway
- Number of races: 36
- Winners from pole: 6
- Winners from top-5 starters: 17
- Winners from top-10 starters: 27
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 2
- Fastest race: 79.607 mph
Previous 10 Martinsville Winners
2021 spring - Josh Berry
2020 - Harrison Burton
2006 - Kevin Harvick
1994 fall - Kenny Wallace
1994 spring - Terry Labonte
1993 fall - Chuck Bown
1993 spring - Ward Burton
1992 fall - Bobby Labonte
1992 spring - Kenny Wallace
1991 fall - Harry Gant
Short-track racing means track position and fresh tires will be in focus this week. Martinsville's flat turns make the inside line the place to be, and the track is notoriously tough on brakes, as drivers slow the cars down at the end of the straights. Drivers will work to out-brake one another into the turns, aiming to maximize grip at the apex to generate as much speed as possible down the next straight. The heavy braking and flat turns produce tire wear, and drivers who can best manage that wear throughout a fuel run can find an advantage later in the stint. Maximizing mechanical grip will be the aim for setups and chassis adjustments throughout the race. Drivers unable to move through traffic will look for opportunities to pit off sequence or gamble on tires in favor of a spot at the front for any restarts, but Martinsville's short lap distance means sacrificing a spot on the lead lap to go off strategy when pitting under green. Caution periods will be the preferred time to stop and could quickly change the race's complexion.
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)
For the first time this season, Gibbs is returning to a track at which he's already raced. April's visit to Martinsville was his third series race, and he finished fourth. He led 14 laps that day and has gone on to win three races since, bringing his total to four, including last week's trip to Kansas. He isn't eligible to be among the championship contenders in Phoenix but is a real threat to win this week. Allmendinger is part of the championship battle and have five wins so far this season. This week will be his third series start at Martinsville. He led 68 laps in last year's race and finished 13th at the track in April. Jeb Burton also has two Xfinity starts at this track. His best finish was fourth in last year's race, and he'll start 15th this week. Jeremy Clements has the 18th starting spot this week and brings an average finish of 14.5 at the track. Last week's race wasn't a good one for Alex Labbe, but he has the potential to grab top-20 finishes along with a few top-10s. He has finishes of 19th at both Bristol and Richmond this season and will be looking to add another short-track top-20 to his season stats this week. Starting 20th in Saturday's race is the final choice in the lower-risk lineup, Bayley Currey. This will be Currey's 23rd start this season, and he led seven laps in his 26th-place finish at Martinsville in the spring.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Daniel Hemric has made a charge the past few weeks scoring four consecutive top-fives before Kansas. That streak ended last week, but he may bounce right back to form this week considering he led 28 laps and finished third at Martinsville in April. Justin Allgaier will start this week's race fifth as he attempts to make it three top-10s from three series Martinsville starts. His average finish from those two prior starts is an impressive 5.5. Myatt Snider is hoping to grab his first top-10 at the track. He was 10th last week at Kansas and has finished 15th or better in three of the last five races. Back-to-back top-10 finishes make Michael Annett a driver not to overlook this week, too. He has 10 top-10 finishes this season and brings prior Martinsville finishes of eighth and 10th into this week's contest. Ryan Sieg has the 14th starting spot this week. His best Martinsville finish was in last year's race when he finished 11th. Finally, Brandon Brown bounced back at Kansas from a two-race slump following his Talladega victory. Aside from that win, that was his best finish since Richmond and Bristol when he finished eighth and 14th respectively. This week is a chance for him to round out this season's short-track races with another top-15 finish.