This article is part of our DFS NASCAR series.
Draft Top 250
Location: Martinsville, Va.
Course: Martinsville Speedway
Format: 0.53-mile oval
Harrison Burton picked up his third victory of the season last week at Texas with a late pass on Noah Gragson. Behind Gragson, the highest-placed playoff contenders were Austin Cindric and Justin Haley who finished fourth and seventh respectively. Every other playoff driver finished outside of the top 15. Chase Briscoe remains the only driver locked into the Championship 4 with many unknowns at Martinsville Speedway on deck this week to finalize his three other competitors.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series has not raced at Martinsville since 2006. Kevin Harvick won that race, but the track hasn't been a regular on the Xfinity schedule since 1994. Fantasy players will have to do a bit of guesswork this week to select their lineups. Past short-track prowess and current momentum are bound to be heavy factors in those choices.
Key Stats at Martinsville Speedway
- Number of races: 34
- Winners from pole: 6
- Winners from top-5 starters: 17
- Winners from top-10 starters: 26
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 1
- Fastest race: 79.607 mph
Previous 10 Martinsville Winners
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
1991 spring - Jimmy Hensley
1990 fall - Steve Grissom
Martinsville Speedway is a flat, half-mile oval that's tough on brakes. Heavy braking into corner entry will be the best way for drivers to make on-track passes. Teams will work to allow the 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 the straights. Mechanical grip will be the aim for setups and improvements. Like any short track, though, track position will also be 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 any restarts. Those gambles will come with great risk, however, as untimely cautions and drivers farther back with fresher tires will be on the prowl to disrupt those plans.
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)
Chase Briscoe's spot in the Championship 4 is secured, and he has little worry this week other than preparing for Phoenix. He still has nine wins this season, though. He will start fifth at Martinsville. Noah Gragson looked to be on his way to winning Texas until being passed by Harrison Burton on the final lap. Gragson has a front-row starting position for this week's race and won earlier this season at another short track — Bristol Motor Speedway. Brandon Jones has three wins this season, including Phoenix, and finished third at Bristol earlier this year. He also finished 14th and eighth in the two Richmond short-track stops. Ryan Sieg is one of the playoff drivers who just needs to go out and win this week. His race in Texas last week was a disaster and leaves him last among the playoff contenders. He will start this race ninth. J.J. Yeley was in the field in 2006 when the Xfinity Series last raced at Martinsville. He finished ninth in that race and will start last this week in his fifth series start of the season. Tommy Joe Martins heads into this week's race with momentum on his side. He scored his first top-10 of the season last week at Texas and will start 15th this weekend.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
AJ Allmendinger has been making the most of his limited Xfinity starts this season. He won twice and finished in the top-10 eight out of 10 starts this season. He will start 37th this weekend, which may allow fantasy owners to maximum their finish differential totals. Last week's winner, Harrison Burton, will start 10th at Martinsville. He has three wins and 20 top-10 finishes so far this season. Michael Annett has four top-10s in the last five races and will start 11th this week. He also finished seventh in both races at Richmond earlier this year, another flat oval. Brett Moffitt will start 14th this week. He finished sixth in the first of the two Richmond races. Colby Howard is a name that doesn't appear much in fantasy selections, but earlier in the season he was consistently scoring top-20 finishes. One of those was at Bristol Motor Speedway where he started 26th. He will start 27th this week. Matt Mills finished 13th last week in Texas, which is also where he finished in both Richmond races earlier in the season. Those have been his best finishes of the season, and he is on another short track again this week.