After a quick break, the NASCAR Cup Series season continues on this weekend with the Blu-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Nicknamed “The Paperclip,” Martinsville is a half-mile flat track and these cars are set to turn 500 laps here on Saturday night. This will be just the second time that Martinsville has a night event, and in the race last year, the track went through some major changes as the daylight shifted, which brought on additional challenges for these teams and crew chiefs.

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How the algorithm works: There are quite a few statistics that go into the Power Index formula, including recent performance both overall and at this week’s track specifically, similar track performance, projected strength of the car, practice speeds (when applicable), starting position, and a few other variables.

Before We Get To The Algorithm Results…Thoughts On A Couple Drivers

William Byron #24 Chevrolet doing a burnout after winning at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2021
Photo Credit: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

William Byron – In case you haven’t noticed, William Byron has been crushing it lately. Since his two bad finishes to start out the year (26th in the Daytona 500 and 33rd at the Daytona Road Course), Willy B has rattled off five straight top 8 finishes, which all started with his dominant win at Homestead back in February. The algorithm has Byron projected to finish 10th here on Saturday night but there’s a lot more potential there as well. Like many tracks, Byron has had an up-and-down record here at Martinsville, but he’s gotten it dialed in lately with five top 10 finishes in the last six Stage breaks, along with race finishes of 8th and 2nd over the last three races here.

Cole Custer – He had another disappointing finish at the Bristol Dirt Race a couple of weeks ago, but there’s still hope for Cole Custer, in my opinion. This guy has actually been really solid on flat tracks in the Cup Series, and had a mid-teens finish going at Phoenix earlier this year before that little incident with Bubba Wallace. Here at Martinsville, Custer had a forgettable night race last season (finished 29th) but he wound up 13th in the fall Playoff race. Additionally, this #41 Ford had an average running position of 17.3 and an average finish of 16.8 on the flat tracks in 2020. Custer starts 26th on Saturday, so he could be a nice value option in place differential NASCAR Fantasy games.

Martinsville Blu-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500 Algorithm Predicted Finishing Order

RankDriverPower
Index
1.Truex, Jr., Martin40.29
2.Logano, Joey38.39
3.Keselowski, Brad37.17
4.Hamlin, Denny37.05
5.Blaney, Ryan33.40
6.Elliott, Chase31.59
7.Larson, Kyle30.51
8.Busch, Kyle30.40
9.Harvick, Kevin28.87
10.Byron, William27.44
11.Busch, Kurt24.21
12.Bowman, Alex22.68
13.DiBenedetto, Matt19.85
14.Almirola, Aric17.75
15.Bell, Christopher12.88
16.Newman, Ryan10.64
17.Jones, Erik04.34
18.Suarez, Daniel-04.74
19.Dillon, Austin-06.13
20.Buescher, Chris-07.80
21.Reddick, Tyler-08.39
22.Stenhouse, Jr., Ricky-09.07
23.Custer, Cole-15.11
24.Wallace, Bubba-15.15
25.Preece, Ryan-19.60
26.Chastain, Ross-19.74
27.McDowell, Michael-20.40
28.Briscoe, Chase-22.99
29.Alfredo, Anthony-30.59
30.Haley, Justin-30.61
31.LaJoie, Corey-30.82
32.Yeley, J.J.-32.07
33.McLeod, BJ-33.87
34.Ware, Cody-34.39
35.Bilicki, Josh-35.38
36.Davison, James-36.68
37.Houff, Quin-37.71
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.