Strengths – Nobody was better than Martin Truex Jr. last year and in 2018 he’ll be looking to repeat. In 2017 he was strong across the board and competed for wins on almost every track type. This upcoming season I would look for Truex to be at his best at intermediate tracks where he was historically great last year. Also look for Truex to run extremely well at flat tracks, short tracks and road courses.
Weaknesses – When you’re at the top of the mountain it’s hard to stay at the top. Teams have had all off-season to play “catch up”, and I’m sure teams knew what direction to look at to find the speed the #78 team had. In terms of track types I would be the least likely to pick Truex at restrictor plate tracks.
Track Type Fantasy Value Key = Elite > High > Medium-High > Medium > Low
Intermediate Track Fantasy Value – Elite
Martin Truex Jr. is the premiere intermediate track performer in NASCAR, and there’s really no debate about it. Last year over the 17 combined races on this track type he had 7 wins, 13 top fives, 17 top tens, a 3.2 average finish and a 4.3 average running position. In the two prior seasons on this track type he scored the 3rd and 4th most points.
In 2018 I think it’s impossible for Truex Jr. to be as strong again on this track type, I mean finishing in the top ten every race is extremely tough to do, especially with the variety of intermediate tracks. This upcoming season look for Truex Jr. to once again rank as one of the best drivers on this track type, but it’s hard to think he’ll be that dominant again.
Flat Track Fantasy Value – Elite
Martin Truex Jr. is a really strong driver at flat tracks. Last year on this track type he scored the 3rd most points. At both the smaller and the bigger venues he should prominently be on your fantasy NASCAR radar.
Last year at the smaller flat tracks he scored the 3rd most points and had an 8.7 average finish. Minus the fall Richmond race where he led 198 laps but wrecked late while leading his average finish would’ve been 6.4. Over the last four races at shorter flat tracks in 2017 he was one of the drivers to beat and was top five good “Performance Wise” every race.
Last year at the bigger flat tracks he finished 3rd and 6th at Pocono, and at Indy he wrecked while batting for the lead. His results at Pocono don’t necessarily show it because he’s had quite a few recent misleading finishes but since 2015 he belongs in the conversation of being the strongest performer. At Indy in the two races prior to last year he had results of 4th and 6th.
Short Track Fantasy Value – Elite
Martin Truex Jr. is a good performer at short tracks. Last year on this track type he scored the 3rd most points, in 2016 he scored the 5th most. Additionally last year on this track type he had a 12.8 average finish and a series best 7.0 average running position.
Richmond is arguably his best short track. Last fall he led 198 laps and should’ve won but wrecked late which led to his 20th place finish. In the three races prior to that he finished in the top ten.
At Bristol he’s a very capable performer, but since 2013 he’s only finished in the top ten once. Last spring he led 116 laps and finished 8th, in summer 2017 he finished 21st.
At Martinsville he’s been pretty competitive recently. Last fall he ran well throughout the race and finished 2nd. Last spring he finished 16th, but I’ll note he was better than his result. With 69 laps to go he was spun and after that he just didn’t seem to run as well. At the time he was running around 10th. Additionally from the race it should be noted he won Stage #1, earned the 6th best driver rating and led 42 laps. In fall 2016 he finished 7th and led 147 laps.
Restrictor Plate Track Fantasy Value – High
Picking Martin Truex Jr. at restrictor plate tracks doesn’t make the most sense, particularly if you’re in an allocation league. These tracks haven’t been the friendliest to him. Last year on this track type he had a 26.3 average result and finished 23rd or worse in 3 of the 4 races.
Daytona hasn’t been very kind to him. Since 2011 he’s only finished in the top ten twice. Last year he finished 13th and 34th. In the 2016 Daytona 500 he came within inches of winning.
At Talladega he’s been a little safer of an option, but in the last three races there he’s been in two accidents and has one engine failure. In incident free races there he competes for a top ten frequently.
Road Course Track Fantasy Value – Elite
Martin Truex Jr. runs well at road courses, and is now a winner at both venues. At Watkins Glen he’s one of the best default fantasy picks you can make. He won last year and finished 7th in 2016. Since 2011 minus 2015 when he had a misleading result he’s finished in the top 13 every race and has a 5.75 average finish.
At Sonoma last year he had an engine failure, in 2016 he finished 5th. In 2013 he had a dominant performance and raced his way to victory lane.
In 2018 at road courses look for Truex to finish in the top ten every race, and compete for some top fives.