The rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for that day. The ordering is not based on the highest projected fantasy totals, but rather by the value of each driver.
The DraftKings Cook Out 250 slate locks at 8:00 p.m. ET on Friday.
1. Harrison Burton ($9,300) - It’s his home track, and he led a lot of laps on his way to a win last fall at Martinsville. However, do not overlook how Burton got the lead. He was not in the playoffs, so he forfeited points and pit before a stage break and cycled to the lead. Burton was very good last year at Martinsville, but he had two huge advantages: not being a playoff driver and the number one pit stall.
2. AJ Allmendinger ($11,900) - Anyone that has played DFS NASCAR knows that there are two places to play Allmendinger: road courses and Martinsville. Allmendinger was battling for the win at Martinsville last season, but a flat tire ruined his day.
3. Austin Cindric ($11,500) - No one considers Cindric a good short-track racer. No one expected him to dominate the last two races at Phoenix, yet he did. Phoenix is not a full short track, but the point is that when he doesn’t wreck, he runs well at every type of track. In theory, his road background should suit him for Martinsville, but that didn’t happen last season.
4. Josh Berry ($8,000) - He’s a short-track driver and he’s desperate to make a statement. That’s not necessarily a bad thing in GPPs. Berry won the 2019 late model race at Martinsville by leading wire to wire.
5. Brandon Jones ($9,900) - This seems like a no. Jones finished ninth at Martinsville last season and could earn a top-five finish if the cautions fall in his favor. It’s hard to imagine that Jones earns a top five in a Martinsville race with a lengthy green flag run to close out the race.
6. Noah Gragson ($11,100) - Once upon a time, Gragson won a truck race at Martinsville. He was pretty strong at the short flat tracks in 2020. In those five races, Gragson averaged a fifth-place finish. Also, it’s worth noting that he did start a major feud with Daniel Hemric in the last Xfinity race, and Martinsville is notorious for being a track where drivers get revenge.
7. Justin Allgaier ($10,200) - Last fall, Allgaier had a top-five car at Martinsville. Whether he had a winning car or a car that could lead a significant amount of laps remains to be seen. Allgaier was point racing in order to qualify for the championship. He was happy to settle for a top-five finish.
8. Ty Gibbs ($10,500) - This JGR car is pretty fast and Gibbs has proven to be a quick study. Gibbs is not completely flying blind this weekend. He finished seventh in a 2018 late model race at Martinsville against strong late model competition (Josh Berry and Bubba Pollard).
9. Daniel Hemric ($10,800) - Did Hemric win the fist fight against Gragson? Let’s just say yes so we can say that Hemric has won more pit road fights than races. It is fully expected that Gragson wrecks Hemric this week. Which is too bad because Hemric is a pretty good short track racer, and he could have a shot at the win this week.
10. JJ Yeley ($7,300) - The No. 17 Rick Ware car is easily a top-20 car with JJ Yeley behind the wheel. It can even sniff a top-10 finish. Yeley drove from 39th to 14th in this car at Martinsville last season.
11. Justin Haley ($8,800) - Surprisingly, Haley snuck into the championship race last season by finishing 12th at Martinsville. The Kaulig cars were great at Martinsville last spring because they were using Allmendinger’s notes.
12. Jeb Burton ($7,800) - The Kaulig cars were fast at Martinsville last season, and this is his home track. Burton’s big weakness this season is that he is too aggressive. That’s an unforgivable cash play sin. But, in GPPs, Burton is going to hit soon.
13. Brandon Brown ($7,000) - It’s been an up-and-down year for Brown. He suffered a mechanical failure at Homestead, and Santino Ferucci put him in the wall late in the Atlanta race. The other races have all been great (finishes of 11th or better).
14. Riley Herbst ($8,200) - Believe it or not, Herbst finished sixth at Martinsville last fall. He started 24th and was in 11th place by the end of stage 1. His average running position for stage 3 was sixth place.
15. Brett Moffitt ($9,000) - The No. 02 car looks good, but it cannot finish races. Some of the wrecks are bad luck, but Moffitt is not innocent. He’s been aggressive, and put his car into tight spots that have not worked out. He could be a place-differential hero this week, or he could wreck again.
16. Myatt Snider ($7,700) - In good equipment in the Truck Series (ThorSport), Snider has two sixth-place finishes and a third-place finish in three races. Last year, Snider finished 23rd at Martinsville in the RCR car. He was in 15th-place before spinning out late in stage 3.
17. Jade Buford ($5,000) - It’s always stated that road course drivers are good at Martinsville because the heavy braking and flat turns are similar to road courses. Buford is a road-course driver. He’s cheap and starting near the back. Buford finished 20th at the flat banked track in Phoenix last month.
18. Stefan Parsons ($5,200) - Parsons is cheap and he’s starting in the back. We’ve been through this before, and it has not worked out this season. But, Parsons has been decent at Martinsville in the past (finishes of 24th and 18th).
19. Blaine Perkins ($4,800) - This is a solid car with an inexperienced driver. Perkins finished 24th at Phoenix last month. He has three ARCA West wins. ARCA West is not the best series, but there are plenty of drivers in this field with fewer accolades.
20. Ryan Sieg ($9,600) - It’s now become a weekly affair for Sieg to go full galax-Sieg brain with pit road strategy. Martinsville wasn’t any different last year. Sieg didn’t pit after the stage 1 break; then, late in the race when no one hit pit road, he took four tires. None of these moves worked — they never work.
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