We have the second NASCAR night race in as many nights and this time it’s the XFINITY Series drivers taking to the short track of Martinsville. We got a little taste of a short track-type atmosphere last week when the cars hit Richmond Raceway but this track this week is a true short track, in fact, the shortest on the schedule. Martinsville is a .526-mile asphalt concrete oval that has 12 degrees of banking in the turns. It’s nicknamed the “Paperclip” and requires a ton of precision and is tough on the cars, especially on the brakes. With 250 laps scheduled there are plenty of dominator points to be had as well as the usual place differential spots as some drivers try to treck through the field after sub-par qualifying results. In each of the last three races here the pole-sitter has led at least 42 laps and has finished in the top-10 each time.
With the number of laps in this race, I’ll want at least two dominators in each of my lineups. Like I mentioned above, the pole sitter has had success here but outside of that there’s hasn’t been much of a rhyme or reason as to why a given driver has racked up dominator points connected to his starting position, for example, Noah Gragson won the second race here last season from the ninth starting spot and Josh Berry won the first trip here from the 29th starting spot.
Most comparable tracks: Bristol Motor Speedway (but don’t look to deeply into this comparison)
*Note: all pricing is DraftKings focused
Ty Gibbs ($11,300), Starting on the Pole
Gibbs is on the pole which is not a surprise as he’s coming off his third win of the season last week. This is getting a bit redundant but Gibbs will once again have one of if not the best cars in the field and is probably the most talented driver on the slate. With those factors, though he’s also the most expensive considering that he’ll likely lead 50 laps (and that’s being conservative) it’s tough to ignore him. Gibbs finished fourth in the first race here last year and led 28 laps but had trouble in his second trip. He’ll contend to win as the betting favorite.
Noah Gragson ($11,000), Starting 2nd
The winner of the second race here last year, Gragson has one win this season and is looking to avenge a 21st-place finish last week. The Jr. Motorsports driver has led 38 or more laps in three races this season and led 153 laps in last years Martinsville win. In three races here he’s finished first, second, and third suggesting that he enjoys the pushing and shoving of this short track.
Sam Mayer ($8,900), Starting 21st
Another Jr. Motorsports driver Mayer has a top-five finish in his only Martinsville race in an XFINITY car and will start 21st on Friday. Mayer had a rough start to the season but he’s finished third and fifth in consecutive weeks and had 13 fast laps at Richmond last week. There’s plenty of place differential here for Mayer to provide a solid floor.
Jeb Burton ($7,800), Starting 25th
Still getting acclimated with his new team at Kaulig Racing, Burton posted his best finish of the season last week, and 11th-place triumph after starting 38th. The equipment is good here and Burton’s talent is worth noting as he’s affordable and a top 15 finish is a solid benchmark for his performance this weekend.
J.J. Yeley ($6,200), Starting 33rd
Ryan Truex ($8,400), Starting 4th
Jade Buford ($6,400), Starting 31st
Josh Berry ($10,800), Starting 10th
Note: Be sure to check Discord for updates after qualifying.