We head to Martinsville Speedway this weekend, a tiny little half-mile “paperclip” in Virginia for the Blu-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 on Saturday night… hopefully. There’s some rain in the forecast for Saturday so this could end up being a Sunday race. Anyway, Martinsville is a flat track and we often see many of the same faces finish up front here. We’ll see some comers and goers during the long runs in this race–especially if it goes as scheduled and the track transitions from evening to night–but the typical contenders should all be there at the end.

My Martinsville Fantasy & Betting Preview was posted earlier this week, and you can read some of my early thoughts heading into this race by clicking here. Also make sure to check out my FanDuel post for the Blu-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 by clicking here. There’s quite a bit of crossover in sleepers that I like on both DFS sites. Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin are on the front row for Saturday’s race and you can check out the full starting lineup by clicking here. Now let’s goooo!!!!

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Flat Track Track Speed Report & Loop Data Driver Averages

Brad Keselowski 2019 Discount Tire Ford
Photo Credit: Stacy Revere/Getty Images

In case you missed it in my Preview article, this will be the second flat track race of the season, with the first one being at Phoenix about a month ago. Pretty much all of the drivers that we expected to be fast at Phoenix were fast at Phoenix, and you can expect similar happenings here at Martinsville on Saturday. It is very clear who the best drivers and teams are at flat tracks, and at Martinsville we seem to always see many of the same faces finish up front. Below you will find the Loop Data Box Score and Green Flag Speed links for the Phoenix race this season as well as the two Martinsville races from last year.

RaceLoop Data
Box Score
Green Flag
Speed
Phoenix (2021)Click hereClick here
Martinsville (2020-2)Click hereClick here
Martinsville (2020)Click hereClick here

Also, below you will find the chart for flat track data from 2020 as well as a chart for Martinsville specifically over the last two years. The following statistics are included in these charts. You can click on column headers to sort by that column.

  • Starts
  • Finish
  • ARP = average running position
  • DR = driver rating
  • FL = fastest laps (total)
  • LL = laps led (total)
  • T15 = laps ran inside top 15 (total)
  • Total Laps = laps completed (total)

2020 Driver Averages on Flat Tracks

DriverStartsAvg FinishARPDRFLLLT15TLaps
Joey Logano603.003.9123.619948322872329
Brad Keselowski603.706.5121.022648220422329
Kyle Larson104.009.999.502274316
Chase Elliott604.705.7120.626649422282329
Kevin Harvick608.810.3104.615911418622328
Matt DiBenedetto610.212.489.121115732328
Kurt Busch610.309.889.3224221042328
Alex Bowman611.010.887.639117062328
Martin Truex Jr611.707.9104.416927219852294
Denny Hamlin612.213.090.713717914242325
Aric Almirola612.713.187.9622816612304
Ryan Blaney614.311.189.01227613952076
Kyle Busch614.311.784.558914812042
William Byron615.713.083.631017312266
Cole Custer616.817.373.537011662320
Tyler Reddick618.816.872.724010472273
Bubba Wallace619.220.862.02305382323
Ryan Newman519.617.564.61107352007
Ricky Stenhouse Jr620.320.763.84012662321
Ty Dillon620.723.954.5201122320
Michael McDowell620.824.055.02204972322
Christopher Bell621.219.967.43905532319
Erik Jones621.318.168.01608262319
Austin Dillon621.819.766.993586442038
Ryan Preece622.223.256.8302382309
Chris Buescher622.821.855.61014791970
Ross Chastain123.018.064.20089316
Daniel Suarez626.828.243.560172308
Corey LaJoie628.323.451.113111622186
Joey Gase633.235.029.64002206
Josh Bilicki233.535.130.4100786
James Davison434.034.132.03031407
Quin Houff634.035.029.22012004
Timmy Hill635.533.929.97061333
Garrett Smithley535.635.828.83021287

2019-2020 Driver Averages At Martinsville

Driver
Starts
Finish
ARP
DR
FL
LL
T15
Total Laps
Brad Keselowski402.807.5113.313045417492000
Ryan Blaney403.306.0115.71557018102000
Martin Truex Jr408.005.2120.428772518551999
Kurt Busch408.011.391.9152315302000
Joey Logano408.505.9109.310525818532000
Chase Elliott411.009.0113.624828616351945
Denny Hamlin411.010.992.2947213901997
Kyle Busch411.311.192.572515331999
Kevin Harvick411.311.492.755016331999
Matt DiBenedetto413.314.677.89011102000
Kyle Larson213.513.678.6467081000
Alex Bowman414.013.482.831112411994
Bubba Wallace415.518.269.12306721999
Ryan Newman415.816.870.71909321998
William Byron416.813.283.669013701938
Tyler Reddick220.018.066.360348997
Ryan Preece420.021.159.4303001995
Ricky Stenhouse Jr420.321.259.8602101994
Erik Jones420.517.772.31608311987
Cole Custer221.020.963.6110360994
Chris Buescher421.018.660.7906231645
Aric Almirola421.514.082.9801913471839
Christopher Bell221.522.561.000141994
Austin Dillon423.320.362.04106261896
Corey LaJoie423.523.152.11111431986
Daniel Suarez423.820.662.21208401979
Michael McDowell424.025.350.31604711987
BJ McLeod127.032.933.5000494
Ross Chastain231.532.637.92100859
Josh Bilicki132.034.233.5100490
Quin Houff233.535.527.6200963
Timmy Hill334.033.932.55031050
Garrett Smithley335.736.627.52001037
James Davison136.034.032.8000422

Potential Dominators

Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images

There are 500 laps scheduled for this race on Saturday night, so I don’t have to tell you that nailing the dominators in your lineup is going to be pivotal. Typically we see two main dominators here at Martinsville. In this race last year, Joey Logano led 234 laps and had 61 fastest laps, while Martin Truex, Jr. led 132 laps and tacked on 58 fastest laps.

In the 2020 fall Martinsville race, it was Chase Elliott with 236 laps led and 110 fastest laps and then Martin Truex, Jr. with 129 laps led and 75 fastest laps. Also noteworthy from last year: Ryan Blaney had over 50 fastest laps in each race, and Jimmie Johnson led 70 laps and tacked on 24 fastest laps in the spring race.

So with lineup construction, you’ll need to target at least two dominators, maybe three. It’s rare to see a one dominator race at Martinsville. Here are the drivers that I am going to be targeting (for the most part) as far as the dominator pool goes for this weekend’s race:

  • Martin Truex, Jr.
  • Joey Logano
  • Chase Elliott
  • Ryan Blaney
  • Denny Hamlin
  • Brad Keselowski
  • William Byron
  • Kyle Larson

GPP / Tournament Picks

Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images

Denny Hamlin ($10,400) – Ugh… James Dennis Alan Hamlin might end up winning this race. This #11 team has been as stout as they come this season but haven’t really put it all together to get into victory lane. Still, Hamlin has double-digit fastest laps in each of the last four races this year (including a noteworthy 38 at Phoenix), and has led 27+ laps in three of the last four. Here at Martinsville, Hamlin is a five-time winner and has led 30+ laps in four of the last six races. In three of the last five he’s finished top 5. There’s no doubt in my mind that the #11 Toyota will be a top threat on Saturday night, but what it’s going to come down to in DraftKings is how many dominator points Hamlin grabs. He ranks 6th in fastest laps over the last two years at Martinsville, and I personally think Joe Gibbs Racing has a little more speed than last year at this time. I definitely like Hamlin as a pivot off of pole sitter Joey Logano ($10,700).

William Byron ($8,700) – You know this spot is typically reserved for my boy Alex Bowman ($9,200) but this race, I’m going to talk about his teammate, William Byron. Although, just to be clear, I still like being overweight on Bowman this weekend. But as far as Byron goes, he’s what I would consider an “outside” or “alternate” dominator on Saturday night. He’s starting up there in 3rd, but with Logano, Hamlin, Blaney, and Elliott surrounding him in the top 5, it’s hard to imagine Willy B dominating a lot. However, it can happen. And maybe it will. Byron had issues last fall here at Martinsville and ended up finishing 35th, but before that, his previous two starts here at “The Paperclip” ended with him in 8th and 2nd. Additionally, Byron has 69 (nice) fastest laps here at Martinsville over the last two years, which is 9th-most in the series. Perhaps what I like most about Byron this week, though, is just how well he’s running this season, with the 8th-best average running position and the 4th-most fastest laps.

Matt DiBenedetto ($7,800) – This $7,000 – $9,000 price range is interesting this week. DraftKings priced down Aric Almirola ($8,100) even though he’s starting 31st, but it kind of makes sense with his shaky record this year plus we have guys like Alex Bowman ($9,200), Kurt Busch ($8,900), and Christopher Bell ($8,400) all starting 20th or worse. Then there’s Bubba Wallace ($7,300) who is very strong at Martinsville (relatively speaking) and with his 25th-place starting spot plus the salary discount, should garner plenty of ownership. But don’t forget about Matt DiBenedetto in this price range. The Penske Fords are very strong on flat tracks overall, and here at Martinsville, Matty D swept the top 10 last year in his first season driving for the Wood Brothers. Before that, he finished 20th and 16th here with Leavine Family Racing. I definitely like pivoting off of Almirola down to DiBenedetto this weekend.

BONUS: Ryan Preece ($5,600) – If you’re looking to get off of the Anthony Alfredo ($5,300) / Corey LaJoie ($5,200) chalk this weekend, consider Ryan Preece. Yeah, he starts higher than we’d like (17th), but Preece is a solid flat track racer, and here at Martinsville he’s finished between 16th and 19th in three of the last four races. If Preece is able to pull off an 18th-place finish here on Saturday night, he’ll score 24 DraftKings FPTS, which would be the same amount Corey LaJoie would score if he finishes 26th (which isn’t guaranteed by any means).

Cash Core Drivers

Ryan Blaney #12 Bodyarmor Ford at Atlanta 2021
Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Joey Logano ($10,700) – Yeah, the pole sitter has been awful for DFS players this season, but this is probably the week where that trend reverses. Joey Logano is one of the best at Martinsville Speedway, and at flat tracks in general, and in this race last season he led 234 laps before finishing 4th. This #22 team followed that up with a 3rd-place finish in the fall. On flat tracks last year, Logano had a series-best 3.9 average running position, a series-best 3.0 average finish, and added on 199 fastest laps (3rd-most) and 483 laps led (2nd-most). Looking at this season, Logano had a great race at Phoenix (the first flat track race of the season) with 143 laps led and 38 fastest laps along with a 2nd-place finish.

Ryan Blaney ($10,100) – It’s hard to pass up Ryan Blaney at this price. Yeah, he starts 4th, so you really need him to get dominator points, but he’s so good at Martinsville. Since joining Penske, Blaney has just one finish outside of the top 5 in six starts here at “The Paperclip,” and he came home 2nd in both races here last season. He also added 70 laps led and 102 fastest laps in those two races combined. Over the last two years, only Martin Truex, Jr. ($12,000) and Chase Elliott ($11,400) have more fastest laps than Blaney here at Martinsville, and only Brad Keselowski ($11,000) has a better average finish. Blaney’s stats in those two categories are 155 and 3.3, respectively.

Corey LaJoie ($5,200) – DraftKings severely under-priced Corey LaJoie and Anthony Alfredo ($5,300) this weekend, and honestly, my projections don’t hate pairing them together in the same lineup on Saturday night to free up some cap space and afford the studs up top. And for cash lineup, I have no problem rolling with LaJoie. Yeah, there’s some equipment concerns here, but taking that out of the equation, Corey is the no-brainer play down here. Plus, he’s pretty good at Martinsville, with finishes of 25th, 18th, and 18th over the last three races here.

Martinsville Blu-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 DraftKings Driver Projections

The following chart takes into account the very basics: the starting position and the projected finish of each driver. The projected finishes are averaged from six different ranking systems. Also factored in are projected laps led and fastest laps for each driver. You can click the headers below to sort the chart by that attribute. By default it is sorted by average projected FPTS.

DriverDraftKings SalaryAvg Proj FPTSProj OwnershipStarting PositionCeiling Proj FPTSAvg. Projected FinishDollar Per FPT
Martin Truex Jr$12,000111.3330.38%7152.6503.3$108
Joey Logano$10,70082.2836.77%1144.7503.5$130
Ryan Blaney$10,10074.3324.10%4106.5005.5$136
Brad Keselowski$11,00073.4222.75%10108.2003.2$150
Chase Elliott$11,40072.7026.74%5112.2505.5$157
Denny Hamlin$10,40063.1822.15%2100.2504.8$165
Kyle Larson$11,70059.7325.96%19121.7508.2$196
William Byron$8,70054.0013.70%384.8008.5$161
Kyle Busch$9,80048.9314.71%1278.0007.5$200
Alex Bowman$9,20048.3011.28%2067.0010.8$190
Aric Almirola$8,10047.0854.25%3164.0015.7$172
Kurt Busch$8,90046.8818.84%2163.2010.8$190
Christopher Bell$8,40042.9815.37%2359.3012.7$195
Kevin Harvick$9,60040.5312.01%956.4007.8$237
Matt DiBenedetto$7,80039.8020.70%2247.6014.0$196
Bubba Wallace$7,30038.9023.86%2552.5517.8$188
Cole Custer$7,00032.0714.63%2645.7019.0$218
Austin Dillon$7,10030.1710.55%1844.8517.3$235
Ross Chastain$6,30029.6719.71%2742.2520.5$212
Ryan Newman$6,80026.109.18%841.0515.5$261
Daniel Suarez$5,90023.0311.09%1146.4018.2$256
Chris Buescher$6,40022.9010.41%1533.1518.2$279
Corey Lajoie$5,20021.5033.12%3431.8527.3$242
Erik Jones$6,60020.8314.82%1628.8019.8$317
Anthony Alfredo$5,30020.8322.09%3527.0028.5$254
Chase Briscoe$6,10020.5021.62%2437.5023.7$298
Tyler Reddick$7,50017.009.16%1327.3520.0$441
Ryan Preece$5,60014.509.41%1730.9022.8$386
Justin Haley$5,40014.175.45%3020.0029.2$381
BJ McLeod$4,90012.173.74%3618.0032.7$403
Ricky Stenhouse Jr$5,80010.837.48%623.2518.7$535
JJ Yeley$4,80009.832.78%2814.0029.8$488
Josh Bilicki$4,60008.502.17%3315.0033.0$541
James Davison$5,00008.173.49%3714.0035.0$612
Michael McDowell$5,50007.6710.43%1424.1524.2$717
Cody Ware$4,70005.832.56%3211.0033.5$806
Quin Houff$4,50001.672.54%2908.0034.3$2,700
As someone who has always been obsessed with numbers, Fantasy NASCAR has been the perfect fit with me. I pride myself on the quality of my analysis for each race, and am glad that I have been able to help others along the way. I've been a serious Fantasy NASCAR player for over 10 years now, and I'm just getting started.