Welcome to the NASCAR DFS Pit Stop for Saturday’sDead On Tools 250 from Martinsville Speedway
For those that don’t know, Martinsville is a short track and is sometimes referred to as “The Paperclip” because of its oblong shape. Since this is a short track, dominators will be extremely important in this race. For Saturday’s race, there will be a whopping 175 dominator points available in this 250-lap race.
Martinsville is its own animal, so I won’t be looking into how drivers have faired in 2022 at short tracks but instead looking at the last two seasons of Xfinity races at Martinsville. NASCAR was nice enough to hold practice and qualifying on Friday afternoon so we also have that info to look to while building lineups for this race.
This race is the cutoff race for the championship four that will be going for the title next week in Phoenix. We already know that both Josh Berry and Noah Gragson have locked themselves via wins in the last two weeks. Outside of them, nobody else is a sure thing and size drivers will be racing for two spots.
NASCAR DFS: Top Tier
Austin Hill ($9,500)
Starting Position: 36th
Austin Hill is the first of multiple chalk plays in this race. Hill had a radiator issue and did not attempt a qualifying lap so he will start 36th. I expect Hill to be over 50% owned in most contest types and potentially over 70% in cash games. Hill was incredibly fast in practice, and while it’s hard to pass here, I think we will see Hill near the front early on and be a contender for the win. For me, Hill is safe for both cash and GPP because of his top 5 upside.
Sam Mayer ($9,700)
Mayer was only 14th in single-lap speed, but in the 10-lap average ranks, he was 7th. In his short career, Mayer has raced here at Martinsville twice and has finished 4th and 5th in those races. Mayer is one of the drivers that need a win to get himself into the championship four next week so he may be on a different strategy to get himself near the front. I believe that Mayer will be low-owned because of the dominator potential of the drivers above him and because of the PD upside from HIll. Mayer is a great GPP play in my book and I will have exposure to him for sure.
Ty Gibbs ($11,200)
Gibbs was the dominant car earlier in 2022 at Martinsville but ended up finishing 8th after a late race restart that shuffled him back. In that race, Gibbs led 197 of 261 laps but was disappointed after the race. While it is a pretty safe bet that Gibbs makes the championship four in Phoenix, he will want to win this race to secure his spot.
Other Options: Brandon Jones ($10,100 – P1) – Jones won the spring race here and will look for the season sweep on Saturday. Noah Gragson ($11,500 – P5) – Gragson is expensive and even though he’s locked in, that doesn’t mean he won’t try to win this race. AJ Allmendinger ($10,900 – P9) – Dinger is another driver who would like win this race and lock his spot in for the championship race next week. AJ has one of the best cars in the field after practice with a 3rd best single-lap time and the best 10-lap average.
NASCAR DFS: Mid Tier
Daniel Hemric ($8,500)
Hemric, similarly to Hill, had issues in practice and did not get to put down a qualifying time. In that session, Hemric ended up in the wall and will be going to his backup car on Saturday. Before he had his incident, Hemric had a fast car as he posted the 6th fastest single-lap speed and fourth-best 10-lap average. Hemric will be chalky, but once again I don’t see a need to fade him in any contest type and he will be in the majority, if not all, of my lineups.
Nick Sanchez ($7,700)
Sanchez is still very young but has made some strong strides in his limited Xfinity action this season. After two straight finishes of 12th or better, Sanchez had a disappointing 25th-place finish last week. That finish is a little misleading though since Sanchez as he spent over 50% of the race running inside the top 15 and was involved in a late race wreck on the front stretch that sent him back and 2 laps down.
Landon Cassill ($8,800)
Here is yet another driver who is starting a lot further back in the field than his practice speed would indicate. Cassill was 5th in single-lap speed and was even better 3rd, in the 10-lap average. Along with a fast car, Cassill is on a bit of a hot streak with four straight finishes between 3rd and 12th. Cassill also had a great day at the Martinsville race in the spring race where he finished 2nd.
Other Options: Stefans Parsons ($7,300 – P20), Ryan Sieg ($8,200) – P17,