When the rain finally stopped, the conditions cleared, and the track finally dried it was time for the NASCAR Cup Series to start the second race of the round of eight playoffs, the Autotrader EchoPark Automotive 500 at Texas Motor Speedway. There was a 72-hour gap between when the race was given the red flag on Sunday to when it was lifted, and the green flag was waived. Kyle Busch left Texas Motor Speedway victorious after starting in the ninth position. Busch was able to masterfully get 66 laps out of his last tank of fuel, running out of gas during his celebratory burnout. This was Busch’s first win of the season, which kept a 16-year win streak alive of winning at least one race. Following Busch was playoff contender Martin Truex Jr in second, rookie Christopher Bell in third, Ryan Blaney in fourth, and playoff driver Alex Bowman in fifth. Major lap leaders on the day were Busch with 90, Clint Bowyer with 89, Truex Jr with 53, Bowman with 43, and Kevin Harvick with 28. Harvick led the first 28 laps before colliding with the wall on lap 29. The biggest place differential was Bell moving up 12 spots from 15th to third, Ryan Preece moving up 11 spots from 29th to 18th, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr moving up 10 spots from 22nd to 12th. The biggest fallers were Bubba Wallace moving down 20 spots, Chase Elliot moving down 16 spots from fourth to 20th, and Harvick moving down 15 spots from first to 16th.
Today’s free pick is the driver of the number 42 Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing Matt Kenseth($6,800 FD, $7,500 DK). Kenseth has raced at Martinsville Speedway many times over his 15 plus year career. Specifically, since 2017 he has raced at Martinsville four times. In those seven races he has two top 10 finishes. His average start has been 21.5 and average finish 16. Starting in the 31stspot for this weekend’s race could be an excellent spot for Kenseth to pick up much valued points at his value price this week. In 38 career races at Martinsville Kenseth has six top five finishes and 15 top 10 finishes.
Starting at $5 per week subscribers can expect to find high value plays that are well priced on DraftKings and FanDuel. We have DFS Potential Dominators, DFS Place Differential Options and who to avoid for the upcoming Xfinity 500.
Brad Keselowski: The driver of the number 2 Team Penske Ford Brad Keselowski ($13,000 FD, $11,400 DK) has dominated at Martinsville Speedway the past four years. He will look to dominate again for the Xfinity 500 this coming Sunday. Since the start of the 2017 season Keselowski has raced seven times at Martinsville, he has two wins, six top five finishes, has placed top 10 in all seven races and has led the most laps with 717. With Keselowski on the pole this weekend and starting first it is an excellent opportunity for him to keep the lead throughout the day. His average starting position of 6.6 at Martinsville boosts his appeal this week as his average finish has been 3.86. Look for Brad Keselowski to have a monster DFS day on Sunday.
DFS Place Differential Options
Jimmie Johnson: My favourite place differential pick this week has some nostalgia value. It would be super fun to see Jimmie Johnson ($9,700 FD, $9,300 DK) get his final win at a track that he has dominated in his career. In his career he has raced at Martinsville 37 times. He has nine wins, 19 top five finishes, 25 top 10 finishes and has led 2,933 laps. All are series highs. Recently Johnson hasn’t had the same success but with this potentially being his last race at Martinsville Speedway I expect a big showing from him. Johnson starts this weekends Xfinity 500 in the 27th position. If he is not in line to win his, experience on this track should vault him up the leaderboard for lots of place differential points.
Ryan Newman: Starting in the 21st spot this weekend is Ryan Newman ($7,600 FD, $6,500 DK). Newman has seen success recently at Martinsville Speedway. In seven races over the last four years Newman has an average start of 18.6 and an average finish of 13.43. He has three top 10 finishes and has finished top 20 six times. Starting 21st this week, based on his recent success Newman should be able to get into the top 20 or better. In Newman’s career at Martinsville Speedway he has one win, eight top five finishes and 17 top 10 finishes.
DFS Picks to Avoid
Chase Elliot: Currently in sixth place in the playoff standings is Chase Elliot ($12,300 FD, $10,400 DK). Chase has been excellent this year, with his last win coming three races ago at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course. Elliot has dominated road courses of late, he however has not found the same success at Martinsville Speedway. In 10 career races at Martinsville Speedway Elliot has an average start of 10.7 and an average finish of 15.9. in last years fall race at Martinsville Elliot started in a great spot in second place only to finish the race in 36th place. In the 2017 fall race at Martinsville Elliot started third and finished 27th. There are better options this week among playoff drivers.
MY TOP-FIVE OVERALL AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY
- Martin Truex Jr
- Brad Keselowski
- Kyle Busch
- Kevin Harvick
- Denny Hamlin
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