Martinsville! It’s always a phenomenal setting for a race but especially when we’re at the penultimate NASCAR Cup race of the year. The Paperclip has been a great provider of drama over the last several years from the Chase Elliott-Denny Hamlin dust-up to the Joey Logano-Denny Hamlin post-race scrap, to the Ross Chastain “Hail Melon” a year ago to make the Championship Four. What will we see this year as drivers fight for the last two spots in the Championship Four next weekend in Phoenix.
DFS Strategy For Xfinity 500 At Martinsville
By now we typically know the strategies for winning lineups on short tracks. However, Martinsville is a bit different. Not only is there not really any other comparable track, it also doesn’t really behave like a standard short track. The first thing that stands out when looking at the table below is that nearly 40-percent of the top-10 finishers start outside the top-12 here, that includes the last two winners of the race. The second thing is that in the last five races there’s been an average of 5.6 double-digit place differential drivers a race. Yes, you saw that right, there is nearly an entire DK lineup of drivers a race who move up at least 10 spots. That’s a lot of movement for a supposed track that’s tough to pass on. The laps led fall about how we’d expect with two drivers a race leading more than 100 laps each and a smattering of drivers leading at least 20. It’s not hard to click off 20 laps out front in between pit cycles given they’re running laps in the 20-23 second range. The last thing that stands out here, aside from the flatness and shortness of the track, is that it’s been 10 years since a pole-sitter has won the race. In fact, it’s been that long since any one on the front row has. In the last 10 races though, 70-percent have been won from starting in the top-10 (most between P3 and P7) but three of the last four have been won starting outside the top-12.
There is one key thing we’ll have to factor in to this race weekend that we haven’t really before at Martinsville and that’s tire fall off. Goodyear brought a new, softer, tire compound this weekend and it’s designed to wear down more than normal here. We already saw that at practice with lap times dropping about a half a second over a 20-25 lap run. That means grooves will change throughout the race and drivers will have to manage their tire strategy more than they normally have to here. That added wrinkle could make PD easier to achieve this weekend than normal.
So in general, for cash games we’re looking for a dominator and then drivers that will move up a lot to nab top-15 finishes and finish on the lead laps. For GPP builds, we’re focusing more on getting 2-3 dominators and the rest being a guy with a lot of PD and the others guys who are going to move up a bit and finish top-10.
|Positive Place Differential||15||17||19||20||20||18.2|
|Six+ Place Differential Spots||10||7||9||9||12||9.4|
|Double-Digit Place Differential||6||3||8||4||7||5.6|
|Double-Digit Fast Laps||10||12||10||11||12||11|
|20+ Laps Led||7||5||2||3||4||4.2|
|50+ Laps Led||2||4||2||3||2||2.6|
|100+ Laps Led||2||2||2||2||2||2|
|Lead Lap Finishers||24||18||19||25||18||20.8|
|Top-10 Finish %||5||3||5||4||3||40%|
Practice and Qualifying Results At Martinsville
The following table shows the results from practice and qualifying from Saturday. It’s designed to show which drivers may have qualified higher or lower than they should’ve based on practice. This week however, take note of the drivers who were in Group A and Group B and B was far slower than A as a session thanks to rubber on the track.
*Drivers in blue were in Group A of practice.
|Driver||Avg. Prac to Qual||Qual||1-Lap||5-Lap||10-lap||15-lap||20-Lap||25-Lap|
|Martin Truex Jr||-13||1||13||15|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr||5||20||11||11||15||22||15|
DraftKings Scoring Trends For Martinsville Speedway
The following chart shows the average DraftKings DFS points scored by starting position over the last five races. The drivers, nor reasons for starting there, are taken into account in order to show the strategy and trends for Martinsville. It doesn’t mean this race will play out the same, but it’s a strategy display.
You’ll notice a bigger difference between starting spots on DraftKings compared to FanDuel thanks to the lack of laps completed points and so on DraftKings nailing the dominators and drivers who finish highly are the most important to scoring well with a lineup.
FanDuel Scoring Trends For Martinsville Speedway
The following chart shows the average FanDuel DFS points scored by starting position over the last five races. The drivers, nor reasons for starting there, are taken into account in order to show the strategy and trends for Martinsville. It doesn’t mean this race will play out the same, but it’s a strategy display.
The laps-led points are reduced on FanDuel, however with 500 laps in the race they are still a difference maker in FanDuel contests. The chart below is flatter than the DraftKings one thanks to the equalizer of laps completed points.