This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.
Dead On Tools 250
Location: Martinsville, Va.
Course: Martinsville Speedway
Format: 0.53-mile oval
Noah Gragson claimed the second of four championship finale spots with his eighth win of the season last week at Homestead-Miami Speedway. JR Motorsports teammate Josh Berry was the first to grab one of those spots the week prior. The other six playoff contenders will have to duke it out for the final two spots available this week at Martinsville. Brandon Jones, currently last among the protagonists, is the most recent winner at the short track. He led 28 laps in April to score his sole victory so far this season. Ty Gibbs and AJ Allmendinger enter this weekend's contest in the transfer spots, but the battle to make the championship four is still extremely tight and will come down to the wire at Martinsville. Justin Allgaier sits just five points adrift of Allmendinger, with Austin Hill just two points further back. Fans can rest assured that everything will be on the line this Saturday. Playoff drivers will battle for every stage point and finishing position they can throughout all of the race's 250 scheduled laps.
Key Stats at Martinsville Speedway
- Number of races: 38
- Winners from pole: 6
- Winners from top-5 starters: 17
- Winners from top-10 starters: 28
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 2
- Fastest race: 79.607 mph
Previous 10 Martinsville Winners
2022 spring - Brandon Jones
2021 fall - Noah Gragson
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
Success at Martinsville comes down to having track position and a car that can hug the inside curb. The inside line is the place to be at this flat track, and a car that turns well is a necessity to turn under cars ahead and hold it there through the corner. Brakes are also a high-focus component. Martinsville's long straights and slow corners mean slowing a car down as rapidly as possible is a key characteristic that can deliver fast lap times. Teams will work to set up cars to turn to the inside line of the corner and give drivers the grip to return to the gas as soon as possible to launch down those long straights. Like any short track, though, track position remains exceptionally important. 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 restarts, but the track's short lap distance means the window to go off strategy is typically dependent on cautions.
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DraftKings Value Picks for the Dead On Tools 250 (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)
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NASCAR DFS Picks for the Dead On Tools 250
Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Allgaier sits just five points adrift of Allmendinger and the top four championship positions. Despite having to race his way into the championship finale this week he should be feeling relatively confident. Allgaier has an impressive record at Martinsville with two top-fives and three top-10s from four series starts. He suffered a crash in the spring race and finished 29th after starting on the front row. Hill is another one looking to race his way into the Phoenix finale. Hill's only Xfinity start at Martinsville produced a fourth-place finish after a 14th-place start. He is within reach of the finale on points and will be one fighting for every position Saturday. Defending series champions Daniel Hemric is out of the playoff picture, but his consistency is valuable for fantasy rosters. He finished eighth or better in the last four races and brings two top-five Martinsville finishes from three series tries to rosters this week. Similarly, Anthony Alfredo presents a lower-risk choice this week at Martinsville. He has delivered consistent top-15 finishes throughout the season and finished 14th in the spring Martinsville race. Three of the last five races ended with him in 16th or better position. Despite crashing out of the last two Martinsville races, Jeb Burton should also be a consideration this week. His other two starts at this track ended with finishes of fourth and 11th. Burton is also currently on a streak of six finishes of 19th or better. Last but not least, fantasy players might want to give Myatt Snider a chance this week. He hasn't had the best luck this season, but has been finding his legs with more consistent top-20 finishes recently. He also has two top-15 finishes from his four Martinsville starts.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Martinsville's higher-risk Xfinity lineup searches for those drivers who could be playoff spoilers. Gibbs may not be considered a spoiler, but his need to race his way into the championship finale this week does come as somewhat of a surprise. He is in good position to advance on points alone, but he will need to avoid any problems in order to do so. He has two top-10s and has 241 laps in his three starts at Martinsville, but anything could happen in Saturday's 250 laps. Sheldon Creed could be a spoiler. He is hunting for his first series win and has been close on a few occasions this season. He only finished 30th at this track in the spring, but he had the qualifying pace to start that race fifth. Riley Herbst could be another spoiler. He is out of the championship picture, but brings three finishes of 11th or better in the last five races to this weekend. With three Martinsville top-10 finishes from four tries fantasy players should expect him to be in the top 10 throughout this week's race. Nick Sanchez has turned heads in his six starts this season. His only short-track series start this season was a Bristol in September. He finished that race 29th, but he then went on to finish 11th and 12that Texas and Las Vegas. Sanchez is a driver to keep an eye on as he gains experience. Brandon Brown could be a top-20 contender this week. He crashed out of his last two Martinsville tries but finished 18th in his first series race at the track. Additionally, Alex Labbe should be capable of an above-average finish this week. Labbe has one top-10 from four Martinsville tries and finished 15th in April. He has two top-10s from his last five series starts, too.