FREE NASCAR DFS Martinsville Cup Series Breakdown, Cheat Sheet, and Cash Core 4

Welcome to my breakdown of tonight’s race from Martinsville Speedway! That’s right! We are going short track racing, under the lights, from historic Martinsville! We are going to have rubber squealing, brakes smoking, and tempers flaring! If you think it couldn’t get any better, then add 70+ years of history, red hot dogs, and a grandfather clock! Yes, the winner of tonight’s race gets a grandfather clock as their trophy! A full sized, fully function-able, grandfather clock for their living room. Probably the best trophy in all of sports if I’m being honest. Martinsville is a special stop on the circuit and should be a lot of fun, but that’s not why your here… Let’s get into how we are going to hopefully hit some green tonight!

 

Breakdown

Martinsville is a .526 mile long, paper clip shaped, flat track. It has long, drag strip style, straight-aways with tight, slow corners where drivers are hard on the breaks. The bottom lane is always the preferred groove here and if you lose the bottom, you could get freight trained by a line of cars until you find a place in line. Just like last week at Richmond, this race is set for 400 laps. This means dominator points are again going to be the focus of our builds. The last 6 races here have seen 21 drivers score over 20 dominator points, 3.5 per race. 10 of those performances eclipsed 50 Dom points, and 5 scored over 100. There is a clear trend in how these points are divided up. We typically see one guy have a massive day and lead over half the laps and scores 100+. A secondary Dom who leads over 100 and scores 50-60. Then a couple guys who don’t spend long out front but turn enough fast laps to put up between 20-30 Dom points. We should be starting each of our builds with the goal of hitting those 3 dominators first, then filling in the rest of the line up from there. Let’s look at those 21 performances I mentioned above to see where those points were scored from, and who was scoring them.

Just like we saw at Richmond last week, track position means everything. 9 out of the top 11 performances came from guys who started inside the Top 5. Only once did a driver score over 20 Dom points while starting outside the Top 20. This sample also has 4 races in it where there was no qualifying or practice. You would expect more variance with the randomness of starting positions in those races, but still the Doms came from the front.

Martinsville, like most short flat tracks, is very hard to pass at and has one of the lowest average passes outside of road courses. With the difficulty at which moving through the field here is, position differential is a little harder to come by than most weeks. Only 2 drivers have scored more than 20 PD points in the last 6 races here, and only 8 have scored more than 15. Most of the good PD scores are in the 10–15-point range. Mid-range and lower guys to me make the best target for PD today, especially guys in those ranges that can finish top 10 and offer those 10-15 Dom points.

Dominators

Chase Elliot – Chase has been one of the best recently at Martinsville. I already liked him coming into the weekend with his dominating performances here in 2 of the last 3 races. The entire Hendrick stable looked fast in practice and Chase was the best out of all of them. Clean air and track position for Chase to start as he rolls off from the pole. Very likely he leads the whole first stage of 100 laps at the least, with potential to lead way more. Probably everyone’s favorite today so you should expect heavy ownership.

William Byron – Byron has been the best HMS car so far this season and he looks to be right in line with his teammate Chase with speed this weekend. He had a pair of top 5 finishes here last year and had more than 20 FL in both those races. Byron also ran the Truck race this weekend and put a whooping on KB and the field in that race. Solid pit crew, solid speed in this car, and you got to love the track position from SP5.

Ryan Blaney – Blaney has done about everything at Martinsville except win. He has finished Top 5 in 4 of the last 6. He has the 3rd best Driver Rating in that span and has the 4th most fast laps. Blaney has had a lot of speed this season and has put up some great performances. My concern would be he does not have the luxury of the pole and great track position like we have seen him have in those races this season. But, he did score 34.5 Dom points in the Fall of 2020 from SP10. Today he starts 12th.

Kyle Larson – Are you noticing a trend here? Another fast HMS car… Larson isn’t known for being great at Martinsville so I think he will be sneaky here with all the potential ownership going in other directions in this range. He has been better here since getting to HMS last season, he had 21 FL in the spring and scored 34 Dom points here in the fall. Practice speeds have Larson in the Top 3 across every metric and it looks like all of HMS is dialed in. He starts 8th, and when you look at some of the guys starting in front of him, he should move towards the front in a hurry.

Kyle Busch – Here’s another Kyle that might go a little under owned today. He has not been the KB of old but he has shown some speed the last two weeks. He had the 3rd most FL last week at Richmond and his pit crew was lights out turning the fastest 4-tire pit time ever in NASCAR. Kyle’s car looked great in practice and it looked to get better later in the run as he closed the gap on Chase as the laps clicked off. Could today finally be KB’s day?

Alex Bowman – Alex won the Fall race here at Martinsville and he did so by turning 87 fast laps, while only leading 9 laps! Crazy to have that kind of speed without being out front. He has had a ton of speed all season just like the entire HMS stable. Just like them, he was in the Top 5 of basically every speed metric in practice yesterday. He starts 15th, so not sure he has 50+ dom point potential, but 20-30 with an added 10 or so PD points would be great for this price tag.

 

Cheat Sheet

Below is my cheat sheet for tonight’s race at Martinsville. Martinsville is a track where I think track history is going to matter more than other weeks this season. I am still going to be leaning heavy on practice data, which I included in the sheet below. I also want to look at how guys ran at Richmond last week, as well as Phoenix and even COTA. You will find that data under the green header, with the Driver Rating being combined for those three races. I also included data from the last 6 Martinsville races, which is under the yellow header. Drivers in green are guys I like today. Guys in purple are guys that I like who I think will carry lower ownership, good for GPP pivots.

Fades

Guys I’m fading today are Truex, Hamlin, and Allmendinger. Truex and Hamlin are both great here when you look at their track history, everyone is going to be all over them with their starting position. But we know that PD is not king today and it’s very hard to move through the field. Neither Truex or Hamlin showed much speed in practice and then followed it up with a shit qualifying run. This is similar to Phoenix a couple weeks ago, where historically both guys are really good. At Phoenix this season, both guys were slow in practice and qualified mid pack, then went out and ran mediocre with 1 fast lap between them. For me their upside seems capped for their price tag as it doesn’t look like they have the speed to go out there and score 150+ points today. I think they are both decent, safe, cash options. But, they are likely not going to win you any tournaments with their ownership and with what I believe to be a limited upside. I would prefer Denny over Truex in cash. Dinger is a fade because he has a pass-through penalty and will be two laps down off the rip.

Mid-Range

Tyler Reddick – Reddick rolls off 22nd and is right in that price range I want to be looking to target PD in. Reddick has had speed all season. He finished top 5 at both Phoenix and COTA. He also still scored 11 FL in a mediocre run last Sunday at Richmond. He finished 8th in this race last season and speed looks to be solid again this week in practice.

Kurt Busch – I know… I know… I can’t get off him now, he’s burnt my ass a few weeks in a row now but he’s got to come through eventually lol. He has 5 Top 10’s in the last 6 races here. He looks to have Top 10 upside again today as he had the 7th best 15 lap avg in practice yesterday. Top 12 pays 5x value at his $8k salary.

Austin Cindric – We all know how great Cindric is at road courses, well usually that translates to running well to Martinsville. I think that will be magnified tonight as he will be able to take advantage of the larger brakes on this car. He already has shown solid speed off the truck yesterday running speeds inside the Top 10. A top 10 at this price tag would provide great value and which makes him a nice lower owned option today.

 

Value Range

Daniel Suarez – Suarez and this Trackhouse team has been great all season. It’s criminal that DK dropped his price so much this week. Maybe it’s due to recent track history. But he has ran better this season just about everywhere than his history would show. He also finished 10th and 11th here in 2019 in an SHR car. Not only do we get the price drop but he tanked qualifying. His 30th place starting spot makes him very likely to hit value at this price tag.

Bubba Wallace – Bubba showed surprising speed in practice yesterday, like Top 5-6 speed. I don’t think he has that kind of upside, but it’s promising speed for a guy at his price tag starting 21st. He also has not been terrible here with 4 finishes of 17th or better in the last 6 races.

Harrison Burton – Martinsville was a solid track for Burton in the Xfinity series. Maybe Burton can build off his 18th place finish at Richmond last week and start putting together some momentum. He starts 29th so not a lot can go wrong at this price tag, and Top 20 upside is in the cards.

Ty Dillon – Ty Dillon is like Mr. Value at this point. He has been providing us value all season with his Top 20 runs from deep in the field and he looks set up for another day like that today. He has an average finish of 19th in his last 4 races here, and this is better equipment. We saw this car be very quick at the Coliseum to start the season as well.

Cash Core 4

Geared for Cash/SE

As always, Thanks for reading and for all the support! Good luck today and RunPure!!

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