NASCAR DFS: Xfinity 500

NASCAR DFS: Xfinity 500

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

Xfinity 500

Location: Martinsville, Va.
Course: Martinsville Speedway
Format: 0.53-mile oval
Laps: 500

Race Preview

Martinsville Speedway hosts the Xfinty 500 this week, which is the final opportunity for seven playoff contenders to secure their place among the final four championship contenders. Only Joey Logano knows his fate after winning two weeks ago at Las Vegas. He remains the only championship competitor not having to race his way into the championship decider this week at Martinsville's notorious short oval. With three spots left to be confirmed, anything could happen Sunday. Only five points separate William Byron, currently fourth in the standings, to Denny Hamlin in fifth. Joining Hamlin below the transfer line are Ryan Blaney, Christopher Bell and Chase Briscoe. Bell and Briscoe may be primarily aiming for the win given their points deficits, but everyone will be fighting for every point on offer. Qualifying will be important this week to those contenders to ensure early positive track position that will give them a leg up on scoring stage points early. Fans can rest assured that the on-track battles will be intense as the pressure of the playoffs hits its peak.

Key Stats at Martinsville Speedway

  • Number of races: 147
  • Winners from pole: 21
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 76
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 107
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 7
  • Fastest race: 82.223 mph

Previous 10 Martinsville Winners

2022 spring - William Byron
2021 fall - Alex Bowman
2021 spring - Martin Truex Jr.
2020 fall - Chase Elliott
2020 spring - Martin Truex Jr.
2019 fall - Martin Truex Jr.
2019 spring - Brad Keselowski
2018 fall - Joey Logano
2018 spring - Clint Bowyer
2017 fall - Kyle Busch

Martinsville is a flat half-mile oval that is famous for its tight racing and sometimes aggressive battles. While William Byron is the most recent winner at the track from April, 56 different drivers have won in the track's 147 appearances on the schedule. Ten different drivers have won a playoff race at the track, too. The track's flat turns and long straights are what make it unique. The fastest way through the long turns is via the inside line, and drivers caught on the outside may find themselves shuffled several positions backward before they can find a gap wide enough between cars to move back to the preferred line. Track position and the choose rule on restarts will be vital this week as a result. Teams need to maximize mechanical grip to enable their driver to hug the inside curb and out-brake opponents into corner entry. Drivers have to be careful they don't abuse their brakes or tires in doing so, though. The prevalence of cautions in addition to the premium for track position can make pit strategy and important component as well. 

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DraftKings Value Picks for the Dixie Vodka 400 (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Kyle Larson - $11,700
Denny Hamlin - $11,400
Chase Elliott - $11,200
William Byron - $10,800

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Ryan Blaney - $10,400
Ross Chastain - $9,700
Martin Truex Jr. - $9,500
Christopher Bell - $9,300

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Kevin Harvick - $8,700
Tyler Reddick - $8,400
Daniel Suarez - $8,200
Chase Briscoe - $8,000

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

AJ Allmendinger - $7,700
Brad Keselowski - $7,500
Aric Almirola - $7,000
Erik Jones - $6,700

NASCAR DFS Picks for the Dixie Vodka 400

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Denny Hamlin - $11,400
Joey Logano - $10,000
Chase Briscoe - $8,000
AJ Allmendinger - $7,700
Aric Almirola - $7,000
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $5,900

Despite sitting fifth in the standings, Denny Hamlin (DK $11,400, FD $13,000) remains in good position to make another final four appearance. He has five career wins at the track and has been consistently finishing inside the top 10 recently no matter the circumstances. He is expected to be part of the championship finale, and only a disaster this weekend would keep him out of it. Joey Logano (DK $10,000, FD $12,000), on the other hand, can use this week as a test session. His sights have been fixed on Phoenix since winning his spot in the final four two weeks ago. He won at Martinsville in 2018 and was the runner up at the spring race to Byron. Chase Briscoe (DK $8,000, FD $8,800) could yet play championship spoiler. The Stewart Haas Racing has outperformed expectations by advancing this far in the playoff battle, and he still has a chance at going one better. It will take a win for him to get there, but he did finish ninth in April. A similar race this week could put him in striking position for that upset. Last week was a good indicator of what AJ Allmendinger (DK $7,700, FD $7,200) will bring in his full-time return to Cup competition next season. His focus may be on the Xfinity Series championship, but he is racing really well right now with six consecutive top-10 finishes in his most recent series starts. Martinsville has been a good venue for Aric Almirola (DK $7,000, FD $7,800). Finishes of eighth or better in three of his last four races at the track make him a bargain pick for fantasy rosters this week. Similarly, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (DK $5,900, FD $5,000) has short-track chops. Stenhouse has two top-10s at this track and finished in the top 20 in two of the last five races leading up to this weekend.

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

William Byron - $10,800
Ross Chastain - $9,700
Martin Truex Jr. - $9,500
Brad Keselowski - $7,500
Erik Jones - $6,700
Justin Haley - $5,700

A sweep of Martinsville races would put William Byron (DK $10,800, FD $13,500) into his first final four appearance. He has proven himself capable of navigating the playoff format but has yet to make it all the way to the finale. That chance could come this season. He occupies the fourth and final transfer spot and will be one of the drivers working hard to earn every point and position available. Ross Chastain (DK $9,700, FD $10,500) has been racing well enough to earn a spot in the final four, too. He is in the best position among the playoff drivers in points to get it done. He finished second in the last two races, which is of little surprise given how quick he has been all year. He finished fifth at this track in April. Martin Truex Jr. (DK $9,500, FD $11,500) was bitten by bad luck again last week at Homestead. While in position to defend the lead for the victory a late caution and subsequent contact on pit road put him at the back of the field with little chance to recover. He is deserving of a victory in 2022 and has been among the best on short tracks in recent seasons. Truex is a three-time Martinsville winner looking to seize the victory that was wrenched out of grasp a week ago. Another short track ace is Brad Keselowski (DK $7,500, FD $8,200). He only missed qualifying in the top 10 at this track once since 2016, and the finishes have been getting better late this season. Keselowski is not one to count out at this track including this weekend. Likewise, Erik Jones (DK $6,700, FD $6,000) has established himself as a regular contender for top-10 finishes. He earned his first Martinsville top-10 in this race last season and backed it up with a 13th-place finish in April after starting 24th. Fantasy drivers willing to take a risk might also consider Justin Haley (DK $5,700, FD $4,800) this week. This will be Haley's fourth Martinsville start in the Cup Series. He was nowhere to be found in the April race at this track but has started to string together frequent top-15 results late this season.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. C.J. Radune plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: cjradune, RaceDayScore: cjradune.
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C.J. Radune
Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association in 2012 and 2015.
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