The NASCAR Cup Series heads out to Virginia for the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday, Nov. 1. Let's get your NASCAR DraftKings rosters ready for some more short-track racing!
This is the second time drivers will take on the paperclip-shaped oval this season, though things are a bit different this trip. First, they have a short turnaround this week after staying in Texas for three extra days unexpectedly. Second, this race should be during the day (providing there's no more inclement weather!). Finally, it's the last race before the championship, meaning frustrations and tempers might flare more than normal. Though there tends to be one or two drivers leading 100 to 400 laps, it should still be an exciting event.
In each of the past five years, a playoff driver has won the fall Martinsville race, so you'll likely want at least one of the eight remaining contenders in your lineup. Joey Logano already clinched a spot in the Championship 4, but he still likes to win and I'm sure would like to build up some momentum before heading to Phoenix Raceway next week.
And as I mentioned, one or two drivers have led over 100 laps there, which leads to a lot of bonus fantasy points on DraftKings. In the June event, Martin Truex Jr. led 132 laps en route to his lone victory of the season, while Logano held the top spot for 234 circuits. This trend, along with top-five finishes, placed them in the NASCAR DraftKings perfect lineup, according to Linestar.
Dominators are likely expensive, though, so you'll need to pick the right value plays for your roster. You can get some valuable bonus points from those who can earn a top 10 or 15 after starting further in the pack. Don't forget about fast drivers, either; the more fastest laps they record, the more fantasy points you earn.
Remember, DraftKings awards 0.50 points for each fastest lap and 0.25 points for each lap led. Additionally, the site adds or subtracts a point for each position a driver gains or loses on track. Finally, the driver in first place scores the most points (46). Second place gets 42 DraftKings points, third gets 41, and so on. The key in daily fantasy NASCAR DraftKings is not only to target the best drivers but the ones who gain the most positions from where they start. Here's a complete rundown of DraftKings' NASCAR scoring rules.
Before I share this week's picks, let’s review the results from Texas Motor Speedway.
John Hunter Nemechek
Who would've thought the leader of the race would wind up hitting the wall within the first 50 laps? Or that the mist and light rain would postpone competition until Wednesday evening? Or that Kyle Busch would break his winless streak as a non-playoff driver? That's why it helps to be prepared for anything in 2020. It's hard to analyze this lineup, though under the extenuating circumstances.
While this lineup didn't win anything in the $1 Happy Hour (needed 229.75 to win $1.12), it did cash in the $1 single-entry double up.
Daily Fantasy NASCAR DraftKings Plays/Sample Lineup for Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway
Martin Truex Jr. ($11,800)
Career at Martinsville: 29 starts, 2 wins, 7 top fives, 13 top 10s
Average finish at Martinsville: 16.8
Before last year, it hadn't really been "Martin's ville," though Truex did lead 147 laps in fall 2016. Truex changed that in 2019 when he flat out dominated here, leading all but 36 laps and securing a spot in the Championship 4. He followed that up this year with his first and only victory in June, leading 132 circuits in the night event. Though these were his first two wins at the paperclip, he did earn seven additional top 10s in the previous nine races.
While the No. 19 Joe Gibbs Racing pilot has performed well since his win, he has yet to visit victory lane again. Still, Truex has been the bridesmaid five times this season, including Wednesday night at Texas. Though he led 53 total laps, teammate Kyle Busch saved just enough fuel to cross the finish line ahead of him. Truex also led the majority of laps at Darlington Raceway, but a late misjudgment sent him and Chase Elliott out of contention for the race win. However, Martinsville is a place where he can right the ship and earn a victory. That's likely what Truex will need to do if he wants a chance at another Cup title.
Brad Keselowski ($11,400)
Career at Martinsville: 21 starts, 2 wins, 10 top fives, 15 top 10s
Average finish at Martinsville: 10.5
Keselowski also has a couple of victories at the 0.526-mile track. Last spring, he controlled the event and led all but 54 laps. His other win came two years prior, when he held on to first for 116 circuits. Also, eight of the past nine results have been top fives, so even if Keselowski doesn't win, he's usually near the front of the field. That's exactly where the No. 2 Ford was in June, earning a podium finish behind Truex and fellow Team Penske driver Ryan Blaney.
The No. 2 Ford wheelman has four wins this year, including his latest one at Richmond Raceway last month. Keselowski earned 124 DraftKings points after leading 192 laps at the short track. He also was stellar at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, beating Denny Hamlin after leading 184 circuits. Keselowski currently has back-to-back top 10s and could certainly use that to either win or point his way in to the Championship 4. If he does dominate and score the victory, he'll be sure to have another high DraftKings score.
Bubba Wallace ($7,200)
Career at Martinsville: 5 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s
Average finish at Martinsville: 21.8
Wallace's salary is a bit high, but that might be worth it if he can score a top 10 or 15 this week. He's progressively ended better and better each trip out at Martinsville and would love to earn his first top 10 Sunday before switching over to 23XI Racing next year. One strong point is his ability to gain nine or more positions at Martinsville. Earlier this year, he gained 12 spots on the track to end 11th behind Jimmie Johnson. Wallace will start 32nd this week and would have a very high score on DraftKings if he gets a top 15.
While he hasn't exactly earned big scores lately, Wallace does have a couple of 30-plus DraftKings outings. One of those was at Bristol Motor Speedway in September, where he only gained five spots on the racetrack in 22nd. He'll be sure to surmount that by several fantasy points if he finishes better than that on Sunday.
Chris Buescher ($6,700)
Career at Martinsville: 10 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s
Average finish at Martinsville: 19.8
I'm honestly surprised why Buescher's salary is sub-$7,000, as he has some pretty good results at Martinsville. Buescher has four total top 15s in 10 starts: an 11th in 2017, 13th in 2018, 12th last year and 13th this past June. Most of those finishes were much further up than where he started. It's these extra fantasy points that can make the difference between getting in the green and missing the cutline.
The No. 17 Roush Fenway Racing Ford driver also has a couple of great results in the playoffs. Last month at Bristol, Buescher ended in eighth place and earned 55.5 DraftKings points. A week later at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, he earned another top 10 and scored 45 on DraftKings. Buescher already has more top 10s this season (eight) than he had in 2019 and hopes to add on to that in the final two races of 2020.
Ryan Newman ($6,500)
Career at Martinsville: 37 starts, 1 win, 8 top fives, 17 top 10s
Average finish at Martinsville: 14.7
Buescher's RFR cohort has had some really good scores on DraftKings, like in the Cook Out Southern 500 where he earned 47.5 fantasy points. He crossed the finish line in 15th place after starting in the back. Also, on Wednesday, Newman ended 19th and scored 32 DraftKings points. He's finally on the mend on-track since returning from a horrifying wreck in February's Daytona 500.
Additionally, the Rocket Man has had similar results at Martinsville. In last year's playoff race, Newman ended 10th, 25 spots further than where he began. He also earned an eighth in fall 2018, though he only gained eight positions then. One more notable stat is Newman has a very good tendency to keep his car clean; he's only had one result 20th or below in the past 10 races. That makes him a safe driver to play on DraftKings and should help you cash your contests.
Dark Horse Performer
Corey LaJoie ($5,500)
Career at Martinsville: 5 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 0 top 10s
Average finish at Martinsville: 26.0
You may not think it would be wise to play someone at this salary (which it usually isn't). But LaJoie might be an exception. He has two 18th-place results in the last two Martinsville events — both of which were much better than where he started. Somehow, LaJoie and the No. 32 Go FAS Racing team found something they liked at the paperclip and have kept it going this year.
This week, LaJoie will start 26th, which means another opportunity to get some extra fantasy points. In his past five events, he earned 20 or more DraftKings points, which isn't all that bad considering this price. Let's just say you could do worse.
(Top photo courtesy of ASP, Inc.)