1) Brad Keselowski (Starting – 4th)
Martinsville Fantasy Spin – Brad Keselowski will be tough to beat at Martinsville. He’s performed at a super elite level and last year he was the class of the field. He won in the Spring and would’ve won in the fall if there wasn’t a late caution. In both races he earned the best PROS Ranking. At Martinsville Keselowski has four straight top 5 finishes and I think he has a great chance to extend that streak. In Happy Hour he had a great car. He had the second fastest overall speed and the best ten lap average. On Sunday look for Keselowski to finish in the top five and compete for the win.
Martinsville Track History – In recent Martinsville races Keselowski has run exceptionally well. Over the last four races he has the 2nd best driver rating, 2nd best average finish (3.0), 2nd best average running position (5.8) and has led the 2nd most laps (224). Last fall Keselowski had a great car and would’ve won if there weren’t late cautions. When the checkered flag waved he finished 4th, earned the 2nd best driver rating, had a 2nd place average running position and led 108 laps. Additionally he won Stage #1 and Stage #2. His primary strength in the race was being good over long runs. Last spring he was the class of the field and raced his way to victory lane. He earned the 2nd best driver rating, had a 5th place average running position and led 116 laps. In 2016 Keselowski swept the top five and had results of 2nd and 5th.
2) Kyle Busch (Starting – 2nd)
Martinsville Fantasy Spin – Kyle Busch will be a favorite to win at Martinsville. He’s the most recent winner and has a series best 5 straight top 5’s. Over those five events he has 2 wins, the best driver rating, best average finish (2.8), best average running position (4.2) and has led the most laps. In 3 of the last 4 races here he’s led +184 laps per race. One attribute I like about Busch is how well he’s running at the moment. Over the last three races he’s finished in the top 3 every event. In Happy Hour Busch had a strong car and his twenty lap average ranked as the best. On Sunday look for Busch to finish in the top five and be a serious threat to win.
Martinsville Track History – In recent Martinsville races Busch has performed at an extremely high level. Last fall he raced his way to victory lane, earned the best driver rating, led the most laps (184), had a 3rd place average running position and finished 2nd in both Stage #1 and #2. I will note before the late cautions came out in mass he looked poised to finish 4th. Last spring he also had a great race. He earned the best driver rating, finished 2nd, had a 3rd place average running position and led 274 laps. Additionally he finished 3rd in Stage #1 and would’ve won Stage #2 if Ricky Stenhouse Jr. didn’t nudge him at the end. In fall 2016 he had a strong showing. He finished 5th, had a 4th place average running position and earned the 2nd best driver rating. In spring 2016 he had a great car. He led 352 laps and easily raced his way to victory lane.
Further Recommended Reading – Martinsville Post Practice Predictions (another fantasy take), Practice Notes/ Practice Speeds Center, DraftKings Playability Value Chart, Likely Finish Ranges, Speed Cheat Sheet, DraftKings Start Page, Fantasy NASCAR Start Page, Martinsville Starting Lineup
3) Joey Logano (Starting – 3rd)
Martinsville Fantasy Spin – Joey Logano should be on your short list of favorites at Martinsville. He runs extremely well here and ranks as one of the strongest performers. Over the last 8 races he has the 2nd best driver rating, 2nd best average running position (7.4), has led the 2nd most laps (516) and has a misleading 12.1 average finish. Heading into the weekend you have to like the way the #22 team has performed this season. In 4 of the 5 races he’s finished between 4th to 7th. On Sunday look for Logano to compete for a top five and be a factor to win.
Martinsville Track History – Since 2014 at Martinsville Logano ranks among the best. Last fall he had a great car but finished a misleading 24th. In the closing laps while he was running in 3rd Kyle Busch had contact with him which cut his tire and which ruined his afternoon. Additionally it should be noted he finished 3rd in the first two Stages, had a 4th place average running position, earned the 6th best driver rating, and led 59 laps. Last spring he finished 4th and earned the 4th best driver rating. That’s especially impressive when you take into account he overcame a pit penalty on lap 70 while in 2nd, and made an unexpected pit stop on lap 231 while running in 3rd. In 2016 Logano had results of 9th and 11th. In fall 2015 he led 207 laps and looked like a lock to win but Kenseth wrecked him while he was leading. In the three races prior to that he had results of 3rd, 4th and 5th.