This weekend we head to Martinsville Speedway better known as the “Paperclip for the STP 500. Martinsville is a very unique track, only 0.526 miles in length and the shortest track on the Monster Energy circuit it can offer a great deal of variance. The race will be 500 laps and will feature anywhere from one to four dominators this weekend. A ton of dominator points to go around between fastest laps and laps led, 375 total points to be exact. Fastest laps are 0.50 pts so there will be 250 dominator points rewarded for them throughout the race and 125 for laps led recorded by the leader. Martinsville is an oval shaped, flat-banked track so the inside line is very important when making passes in the corners. Be sure to watch on Sunday, as drivers who restart on the outside line will struggle early on until they can work their way to the bottom. With qualifying taking place on Saturday night, it’s an impound race, which means cars will go through tech on Sunday morning which could turn all the data upside down depending on starting positions. So be sure to be in the chat Sunday morning for all the up to the minute news regarding any changes.
Kyle Busch $13,000 Starting 14th: The price tag is very steep this week for Rowdy and rightfully so. Coming off his 200th win last weekend at Auto Club Speedway, Kyle heads to a track he has a ton of recent success at. In his last 7 races here he has finished in the top 5 in all of them while averaging 62 fastest laps and 117 laps led in those 7 races. Kyle was 3rd fastest in 10 and 20 lap runs in practice on Saturday, setting him up to have a very strong day at the Paperclip. Kyle also offers some place differential value coming from the 14th position.
Martin Truex Jr $11,900 Starting 9th: Will Sunday finally be the day Truex lands his first short track win? I think so. He has been turning heads all weekend as reports out of Martinsville track side and in the garage have multiple teams and drivers talking about how fast Truex looks this weekend. Martin was fastest in every consecutive laps run from 10 to 15, 20 and 30 on Saturday. He will be one of my highest owned drivers this weekend as I expect him to get to the front and record a ton of fastest laps and work his way to the lead and hopefully lead several laps on Sunday.
Joey Logano $11,300 Starting 1st: Assuming all goes well for the Team of the #22 Pennzoil Ford Sunday morning during tech, he will start from the pole. In his last 5 races here at Martinsville, Logano is averaging 36.4 fastest laps and 78 laps led. Being that this race is 500 laps I do not expect Logano to lead the whole race but I would expect a decent amount of laps led on Sunday, especially in Stage 1. Logano is one of the top cash game plays along with Truex and Kyle Busch. It will be very difficult to fit them into a lineup together, almost impossible actually. So be sure to jump in chat Sunday morning for my cash game approach for the STP 500.
Denny Hamlin $9,400 Starting 5th: Hamlin searching for his 6th win here at Martinsville Speedway and may just have the car to do it. Fast on 20 and 30 lap runs in final practice, Denny should be able to rack up fastest laps on Sunday. In last years races here, Hamlin had 42 fastest laps in the spring and 76 in the fall race with an average of 59 between the two races. He has a top 5 car this weekend, as long as he avoids trouble and stays up front, I firmly expect Hamlin to have a great day Sunday and should be in many of your lineups. At $9,400, he offers some salary relief from the top guys as a potential dominator.
Clint Bowyer $8,400 Starting 11th: Since Bowyer joined Stewart Haus he has run very well here at Martinsville. SHR has alot better equiptment than Bowyers previous teams and it has shown as he has made a late resurgence here in his career. Since joining SHR, Bowyer has averaged 26 fastest laps and 54 laps led here. He found victory lane here last year in the spring race starting from a very similar starting spot. Like Hamlin, Bowyer offers even more salary relief as a potential dominator on Sunday.
Austin Dillon $7,300 Starting 30th: Welp, another horrendous qualifying day from Austin Dillon and his team here at Martinsville. Thankfully we benefit from Dillon starting 30th as he offers place differential upside. Dillon is a great cash game play this weekend as well as a tournament play. In tournaments though, he will carry high ownership as a salary relief and place differential play so pivoting elsewhere is not a bad idea in tournaments, although I will have exposure in GPP’s.
Favorite Value: Daniel Hemric $6,600, David Ragan $5,600, Matt DiBenedetto $6,300 and Ty Dillon $6,100. Be sure to be in the chat on Sunday Morning as tech may open up even better value plays.
Proceed with Caution: On this weeks edition of Proceed with Caution we head to unchartered waters to a driver who has been extremely consistent this year so far, Mr. Kurt Busch. Starting 20th may seem appealing to many but it’s his $10,200 price tag that has me off of Kurt this week. Historically Kurt has not been very good here at Martinsville recording only 2 wins in 37 total races. He was slow in consecutive lap runs in final practice and overall. The team had time to make adjustments before qualifying and he still only qualifyed 20th. Even with a top 5 finish Kurt will not pay off his salary without getting out front and racking up domiantor points. Im going to full fade Kurt Busch on Sunday and you should too.
My pick to win: If you read my article you should know already who this is but I’ll refresh your memory. Martin Truex Jr. will find victory lane at a short track for the first time in his career on Sunday. He has had the fastest car all weekend and has run historically very well here as of late. The New Jersey native, is my pick the STP 500 on Sunday.
Please be sure to check in the chat on Sunday for all news pertaining the official starting lineup and any changes after tech.Random FTA articles