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Xfinity 500 NASCAR DFS Preview for DraftKings and FanDuel

Phillip Bennetzen

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DraftKings + FanDuel NASCAR DFS Preview for the Xfinity 500 at Martinsville Speedway | Daily Fantasy Lineups | Martin Truex Jr. Kyle Busch

As of writing this, we’re still stuck on lap 52. Yes, lap 52 of the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas. By the way, it’s Tuesday, Oct. 27. NASCAR has literally been stuck in a rain-delayed red flag since Sunday afternoon, and the weather doesn’t look promising for a race today at all. NASCAR has allegedly told teams to make plans to hang out in the Dallas area until Thursday. NASCAR is determined to get this race and don’t care how long they have to wait to do so. Thus we don’t have a clue who, if anyone, is punching their playoff ticket to Phoenix. Furthermore, we don’t have an inkling of an idea of how the field will roll off this coming Sunday. So a bit of our race prep is still hanging out in left field waiting to get sorted out. While we wait for this race to finally finish, let’s take a look ahead to next week at Martinsville as we start our preparations for NASCAR DFS research for the Xfinity 500.


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Martinsville in June

Let’s take a step back to a simpler time, back when the starting positions were drawn “randomly” as Christopher Bell inevitably always started in the rear. In the COVID-19 shuffle of rearranging the 2020 schedule, Martinsville was moved to a Wednesday night in between Atlanta and Homestead. In what was assumed to be a typical night race at a short track, the result was anything but, to begin with. Several contenders (Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin) found themselves in an early hole.

Following cautions on lap 6 (debris), 62 (caution) and 114 (No. 66 stalled), the first stage finally came to an end on lap 132. During this time, Joey Logano led the majority of laps as Keselowski and Blaney fought out of their predicaments. In the flip of the script, the second segment went off without a single yellow flag as Logano and Jimmie Johnson were the only drivers to lead laps. This lack of laundry helped to seal the fates of Busch and Hamlin, who both ended their days three laps down.

In the final segment, the lead was swapped between the three Penske drivers, who all led from laps 272 to 369. However, it was a hard-charging Martin Truex Jr. who took the lead on lap 370 and rode off to victory. That Wednesday night win at Martinsville has been Truex’s lone victory in all of 2020. If not for that win, Truex would probably already be out of the playoff chase with teammate Kyle Busch.

 

Comparing June-Martinsville to the Past

June’s race was a throwback, numbers-wise, to Martinsville races from 2015 to 2018. Both Martinsville events in 2019 were monotonous lap turners where a single driver led 446 or more of the 500 laps. However, they were merely products of a bad short-track package, so we can’t fault either Brad Keselowski or Martin Truex Junior who simply took advantage of track position.

Thankfully, NASCAR made adjustments to their 750-horsepower package to prevent this from happening further. The 2020 results have been favorable, as we haven’t seen one driver just run away with a race like what happened in either Martinsville race. If this weekend’s race looks like June’s, we should be looking at a three-dominator race.

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laps led chart from Mville NASCAR DFS

The past few weeks, in the Saturday live show with Jason Floyd, we’ve passively discussed rostering three dominators. Yet, the discussion always turns to play a place differential driver instead, as it’s more likely they outscore the driver with the third-highest laps led total. Well, look at those totals above and you’ll see that the discussion of a third dominator is real. In the seven times, a third driver has led at least 10% or more of the race, they’ve averaged 89 laps led.

Related NASCAR DFS Content

Those 22 points matter quite a bit, especially when you realize just how little driver movement there is from drivers starting 18th or beyond. Over the last seven Martinsville races, only twice has a driver starting 18th or worse finished fifth or better. For perspective, that’s an astonishing two out of 152 drivers. If we zoom out to top-10 finishes, the number of drivers in that window jumps to 15 out of 152.

NASCAR DFS Heat Sheet

heat map for mville NASCAR DFS

When you compound this with how the field is set now, it’s almost a guarantee we won’t see any driver starting 18th, 20th, 25th, etc. finish high enough that their place differential/finishing position score threatens to outscore the third dominator.


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Phill Bennetzen is a father, husband, and Catholic as well as a self-professed annoying fitness guy. Phill heads up NASCAR content at Awesemo.com and even though he doesn't have any live finals trips to his name, he provides some of the top NASCAR DFS analysis around. You can contact Phill by emailing support@awesemo.com.

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