There’s nothing better than short track racing, except for short track racing with everything on the line. The Final Four Championship contenders will be determined this Sunday at Martinsville Speedway, and unless something major happens to Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin, we’re looking at five drivers–Kyle Busch, Martin Truex, Jr., Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, and Joey Logano–all fighting for the final spot. And the best part? All five of them are really good at Martinsville.

This is going to be a battle on Sunday and it should be very entertaining to watch. Races at Martinsville tend to get a little wild, and your DFS day can go from great to awful in a single lap, but it’s pretty clear who should be the fastest cars here on Sunday, so now it just comes down to putting the puzzle together in the right order. Now let’s goooo!!!!

Make sure you check out the Algorithm Predicted Finishing Order for this race by clicking here!

Speed Report & Loop Data Driver Averages

Aric Almirola leading at Pocono over Logano, Blaney, Truex, Elliott, DiBenedetto
Photo Credit: Patrick Smith | Getty Images

Now that we’re officially done with the 550hp package, it’s time to go back and look at 750hp package data for the final two races of the season. The good news is we have a good data set to look at for the Martinsville race this weekend. We also have a good data set for the track type: short and flat. Martinsville is a half-mile “paperclip” that is extremely flat. Similar tracks include New Hampshire, Phoenix, and Richmond, but really Martinsville is quite unique from those other three. The most similar would be New Hampshire, in my opinion, but that was the rain race this season so make sure you take that data with a grain of salt.

  • 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)

2021 Driver Averages At Short, Flat Tracks

Driver
Starts
Finish
ARP
DR
FL
LL
T15
Total Laps
Denny Hamlin504.003.5126.930471418191905
Martin Truex Jr504.007.5115.721127115691905
Joey Logano504.007.3111.48519816411905
Christopher Bell505.008.5103.91291917871905
Chase Elliott508.208.8101.17311116021904
Kyle Larson508.611.293.7121913821903
Ryan Blaney509.406.8103.88025617551904
Aric Almirola510.413.886.6312511461903
Kevin Harvick510.608.898.2786616651902
William Byron511.810.888.140915181902
Matt DiBenedetto512.814.679.4212011861903
Ross Chastain513.215.777.81478741904
Brad Keselowski513.408.999.9679716941789
Alex Bowman513.812.587.3501015371788
Austin Dillon513.815.275.922112041903
Ricky Stenhouse Jr516.417.271.62615911901
Tyler Reddick517.014.775.520010861899
Kyle Busch517.811.383.5424613101619
Kurt Busch520.415.069.434610001542
Daniel Suarez521.221.459.94602571787
Cole Custer521.621.858.61503141896
Erik Jones521.820.758.9101791803
Chris Buescher521.822.356.4902091895
Chase Briscoe522.821.855.8101681890
Bubba Wallace523.220.558.816273861889
Ryan Newman524.221.455.4003191895
Michael McDowell526.825.548.850481782
Corey LaJoie527.424.250.31121341770
Ryan Preece527.625.653.13901721777
Justin Haley530.228.338.10061383
BJ McLeod530.231.038.22071861
Anthony Alfredo530.429.837.57041655
James Davison431.033.530.11001227
Quin Houff532.033.231.50001761
Cody Ware432.834.031.83011261
Josh Bilicki533.033.830.50001800
Garrett Smithley433.333.630.30011361

2021 Driver Averages w/ 750hp Package

Driver
Starts
Finish
ARP
DR
FL
LL
T15
Total Laps
Kyle Larson905.607.8112.347369227233263
Denny Hamlin906.104.2120.537086731023264
Joey Logano906.207.6107.010519829713264
Martin Truex Jr907.409.1107.931053625473263
Kevin Harvick908.308.0101.81139629573262
Christopher Bell909.911.292.71573224923259
Chase Elliott910.608.998.914212427893224
Ross Chastain911.214.283.6522218143262
William Byron911.610.592.2723024963094
Austin Dillon913.415.475.926119083261
Ryan Blaney914.108.292.811227326493016
Alex Bowman914.213.684.111710822493142
Brad Keselowski915.311.688.010010123763145
Tyler Reddick915.813.678.933220223257
Ricky Stenhouse Jr916.117.172.971110023256
Aric Almirola916.213.778.7472618372874
Matt DiBenedetto917.217.270.0222014413251
Daniel Suarez917.619.965.15007703144
Kurt Busch918.213.375.5822219352715
Kyle Busch918.313.880.9806519132730
Chris Buescher920.119.463.41819863032
Ryan Newman920.220.660.1507573250
Bubba Wallace921.120.060.724276763244
Cole Custer921.821.460.33605953012
Erik Jones922.320.857.62123443054
Chase Briscoe923.421.858.5155853110
Corey LaJoie924.023.553.72124193120
Ryan Preece925.123.855.34103463030
Michael McDowell926.725.048.42001252795
Anthony Alfredo927.628.141.280393000
Justin Haley830.028.238.960422114
BJ McLeod930.630.837.720133134
Garrett Smithley631.832.832.200152042
Josh Bilicki931.933.231.20073083
Quin Houff932.032.731.40022790
Cody Ware732.733.232.33152045

2020 Driver Averages At Short, 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

DraftKings Strategy & Dominators for Martinsville 2

  • You’re looking at at least a 2-dominator build here at Martinsville this weekend, but most of my lineups are going to include 3 potential dominators (and maybe even 4). With the way the driver pricing is this weekend, I think it’s going to be best to do three or four “high-dollar” plays and then either one “low-dollar” play and one “mid-dollar” play, or two “low-dollar” options.
  • Dominators, dominators, dominators. We typically see at least two dominators in a Martinsville race, maybe even three.
  • This is a 500 lap race, which means there’s a ton of dominator DraftKings FPTS up for grabs. We’ll have 125 FPTS for laps led on Sunday and probably over 180 FPTS for fastest laps. You need to target these.
  • Comparable tracks ran at this season would be Phoenix, Richmond, New Hampshire, and obviously the first Martinsville race in April. The tire combination being used for Sunday’s Xfinity 500 is unique to Martinsville, and with this track being so unique, it’s not a bad idea to weigh previous Martinsville data heavier than the other short, flat tracks (skip 2019, though).
  • This isn’t comparable to a road course. Just had to throw that out there (see my Twitter feed as to why).
  • NASCAR is running the 750hp package this weekend. Other tracks where this package has been ran this season are: Phoenix, Martinsville, Darlington (twice), Dover, Richmond (twice), Nashville, and New Hampshire.

Dominators

These are the potential dominators for this weekend’s race at Martinsville, and are listed in the order of likelihood according to my projections:

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

Some “surprise” dominators that could happen on Sunday include: Christopher Bell, William Byron, and Kyle Busch.

Driver-by-Driver Breakdown Video

Now for the video breakdown! Be sure to go here and subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven’t already.

Optimal Lineup According to Jordan’s Projections

The optimal DraftKings lineup for Martinsville on Sunday according to my Projections is:

  • Denny Hamlin
  • Ryan Blaney
  • Joey Logano
  • Christopher Bell
  • Corey LaJoie
  • Justin Haley

Confidence Rating = 7.5/10. I don’t hate this lineup or this build at all. I think it gives you a solid base to work with. Obviously you’re missing out on the race favorite (Martin Truex, Jr.), but this is still really solid. Also, it gives you flexibility; you could roll with Keselowski instead of Logano, and if you don’t want to dig so far down in the “low-dollar” drivers, you could swap Christopher Bell for a mid-range $7,000 driver and then improve Justin Haley. The biggest concern with this lineup is Justin Haley and whether his equipment will be worth anything. You could swap to Anthony Alfredo to be a little safer.

GPP / Tournament Picks

Christopher Bell hand in air celebrating after winning at Daytona Road Course 2021
Photo Credit: James Gilbert/Getty Images

Denny Hamlin ($10,700)With Hamlin starting from the rear due to inspection issues, I’m going to put him as a tournament play. He was originally a cash play. As mentioned in my video this week (linked above), I think Denny Hamlin is going to be the early dominator here on Sunday. He starts 3rd and should be in prime position to take the lead early from Kyle Larson. The last time we raced here at Martinsville, Hamlin led a race-high 276 laps and also added on 81 fastest laps before finishing 3rd. On the short, flat tracks this season, Dennis has four top 3 finishes in the five races and leads the way with 315.30 DraftKings dominator FPTS. Next best is Martin Truex, Jr. with 162.70. Yes, I know there’s the narrative that Hamlin isn’t going to race as hard here on Sunday because he doesn’t have to, but I think he’s going to be racing as normal through the first two Stages before letting off the gas–and I think those first two Stages will allow Hamlin to rack up the dominator points he needs in DraftKings.

Christopher Bell ($8,400) – This season, Christopher Bell has really shined at two track types: short, flat tracks and road courses. Looking at the short, flats this season, Bell has yet to finished worse than 9th, has three top 5s in the five races, and also has the 3rd-most fastest laps behind Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex, Jr. On Sunday, even if this #20 Toyota only posts 10 or so fastest laps and comes home with an 8th-place finish, it’ll be a great DraftKings points day for this $8,400 driver, plus the ceiling is very high here. Momentum-wise, CBell is turning it up in these Playoffs and currently has four straight single-digit finishes and five in the last seven races.

Ross Chastain ($7,400) – Martinsville is a track that tends to reward aggressive (but smart) drivers, and Ross Chastain definitely fits the aggressive part. He finished 17th here last time, but I honestly wouldn’t be too surprise if he challenged for a solid top 10 result here in Sunday’s Xfinity 500. Chastain is really good in this 750hp package (comparatively speaking), with an average finish of 11.2 (which is 8th-best) over those nine races. At short, flat tracks specifically this season, Chastain’s average result is 13.2, with recent results of 7th at Richmond 2 and 8th at New Hampshire. The #42 Chevrolet will start from 16th for Sunday’s race at Martinsville, which is a little risky, but think of it this way: Chastain has an even better chance at staying on or near the lead lap, which is what he needs to do to get a surprising finish at the end.

Stacking Dennys Podcast with Jordan & RotoDoc

Cash Core Drivers

Denny Hamlin and Ryan Blaney battling at Kansas Speedway 2020
Photo Credit: Jamie Squire | Getty Images

Martin Truex, Jr. ($11,400)With Hamlin starting from the rear due to inspection issues, I’m going to put Truex as a cash play. He was originally a tournament play. Yeah, this probably seems like a no-brainer pick, but so what? At the price tag of $11,400 on DraftKings this weekend, I think Truex actually has the potential to go under-owned compared to what he should be at. Hell, the guy has won three of the last four races at this track and could’ve won the fall race here last season as well to make it four in a row. Truex isn’t in a must-win situation to get to Phoenix this weekend, but his mindset should be that he is. As far as dominators go, I think Denny Hamlin is most likely to be the top dominator for this weekend’s race, but Truex is a close second.

Ryan Blaney ($9,700) – Well, this is uncomfortable. Not only am I using Ryan Blaney in my core of DraftKings drivers this weekend but I’ve also placed the largest bet on my life for him to finish top 10 on Sunday. What could go wrong? At $9,700 on DraftKings, though, Young Ryan Blaney is a steal, honestly. He starts 8th, so there’s some place differential potential there, and he’s a stud at this race track, with five top 5 finishes in his last seven starts along with 372 laps led over that span as well. Earlier this season, Blaney won both Stages but ended up finishing 11th after a late pit road penalty. He still led 157 laps and had 29 fastest laps. Over the last three Martinsville races specifically, Blaney ranks 3rd in fastest laps with an average of 43.7 per race.

Corey LaJoie ($6,000) – Corey LaJoie is actually very good at Martinsville, as he had a couple of 18th-place finishes with GO FAS Racing last year and the year before. This season, with Spire Motorsports, LaJoie was running even better (in the high teens) but ran into some extreme bad luck on pit road and totaled his race car. Even if this #7 Chevrolet is a good bit slower this weekend than it was back in April, LaJoie should still be a solid DraftKings play at $6,000 and starting 29th. He also finished 23rd at New Hampshire and 21st at Richmond this year, for what it’s worth.

Xfinity 500 at Martinsville 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$11,40091.7545.80%4137.1004.0$124
Denny Hamlin$10,70086.3229.10%3128.8002.5$124
Ryan Blaney$9,70076.2333.48%8105.7504.3$127
Joey Logano$9,50069.8830.63%594.7002.7$136
Chase Elliott$10,10066.4528.76%280.8005.3$152
Kyle Larson$11,80061.2715.83%190.1007.7$193
Brad Keselowski$9,30055.2728.51%670.6505.2$168
William Byron$11,00052.4214.45%1165.7508.8$210
Christopher Bell$8,40048.3316.45%1264.8509.8$174
Kevin Harvick$9,00045.0812.21%957.0007.7$200
Kyle Busch$10,40042.9315.08%757.2509.2$242
Alex Bowman$8,70040.3513.68%1349.7511.2$216
Aric Almirola$8,00039.6014.98%2347.3515.2$202
Tyler Reddick$8,20039.3317.20%1855.9514.0$208
Matt DiBenedetto$7,70034.0818.45%2140.7015.8$226
Kurt Busch$7,90031.339.49%1043.8513.3$252
Ross Chastain$7,40029.7015.47%1649.2016.0$249
Ryan Newman$7,10028.4019.51%2740.9021.2$250
Erik Jones$6,90028.0217.84%2840.1521.5$246
Daniel Suarez$6,50027.559.74%2039.5019.8$236
Ricky Stenhouse Jr$7,20025.7819.40%2534.4520.8$279
Bubba Wallace$7,60025.3715.80%1747.7019.5$300
Austin Dillon$6,70025.2511.88%1436.6016.5$265
Corey Lajoie$6,00022.7825.46%2938.4523.8$263
Cole Custer$6,60022.4513.53%2431.4522.0$294
Chris Buescher$5,90019.6817.61%1534.2520.3$300
Ryan Preece$6,20019.3522.09%2632.6024.8$320
Justin Haley$5,50017.837.47%3530.0029.7$308
Anthony Alfredo$5,40014.0017.82%3226.3029.7$386
Chase Briscoe$6,40013.6215.03%2226.5024.8$470
Michael McDowell$5,70010.504.98%1933.0026.2$543
BJ McLeod$4,50009.505.99%3021.0031.0$474
Quin Houff$4,70009.334.67%3622.0033.7$504
Garrett Smithley$5,20009.001.80%3725.0034.3$578
Josh Bilicki$4,60006.832.41%3319.0033.5$673
Cody Ware$4,80005.673.27%3119.0033.3$847
Joey Gase$4,90005.172.92%3416.0035.0$948
Timmy Hill$5,10004.671.21%3816.0037.0$1,093
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.