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.

 RaceRaceRaceRaceRace 
 12345AVG
Positive Place Differential151719202018.2
Six+ Place Differential Spots10799129.4
Double-Digit Place Differential638475.6
Double-Digit Fast Laps101210111211
20+ Laps Led752344.2
50+ Laps Led242322.6
100+ Laps Led222222
Lead Lap Finishers241819251820.8
Top-10 Finish %5354340%

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.

DriverAvg. Prac to QualQual1-Lap5-Lap10-lap15-lap20-Lap25-Lap
Martin Truex Jr-1311315    
Ty Gibbs-52487777
Chase Briscoe-1732423211617 
Denny Hamlin-5411413   
Kyle Larson-15522211918  
Bubba Wallace16754565
Christopher Bell-87211916131110
Kevin Harvick-28991010109
Ryan Preece-149302925231613
Brad Keselowski-10101822    
Ryan Blaney21114108996
Aric Almirola-412202018151211
Ross Chastain-513171820191814
Chase Elliott-10142525242520 
Joey Logano-1151516141719 
William Byron1216322654
Todd Gilliland51712121212  
Chris Buescher6181613911  
Tyler Reddick1519876321
Ricky Stenhouse Jr5201111152215 
Austin Cindric1721543442
Alex Bowman-52226282824  
Michael McDowell0232324232122 
Justin Haley424282722201412
AJ Allmendinger-7253132    
Austin Dillon-1263330272621 
Daniel Suarez20276311888
Harrison Burton12281917171413 
Erik Jones-3292934    
Corey Lajoie2830211133
Kyle Busch2631106521 
Carson Hocevar632272626   
Ryan Newman1333233    
Ty Dillon334343129   
JJ Yeley235353530   
BJ McLeod0363636    

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.