After what felt like an eternal hiatus from the NASCAR DFS world due to the Easter holiday, the greatest in the universe returns. It’s time to get back to work and pump this shit up for the Cookout 250 under the lights at Martinsville for the NASCAR Xfinity Series on Friday night.
Did I just say under the lights?
You’re damn right I did.
Look: Friday nights are for NASCAR trucks. But, if there’s anything worthy enough to take their place, it’s nighttime racing at Martinsville. Let’s jump right into it.
(Credit to Davey Segal (@DaveyCenter on Twitter) for the Josh Berry picture)
Justin Allgaier won the last race the Xfinity Series race held at Atlanta Motor Speedway two Saturdays ago. Martin Truex Jr. made a rare appearance in the #54 JGR Toyota and dominated much of the race before finishing 2nd to Allgaier.
Rookie phenom Ty Gibbs will be back in the #54 this Friday night. In two starts this season he has one win and a 2nd place finish.
Noah Gragson (friend of the show) had his strongest finish of the season with a 4th place finish. Harrison Burton notched his 2nd top five of the season finishing 3rd.
Oh. I almost forgot. There was also a fight. Gragson vs. Hemric.
Can we establish a rule where drivers settle fights themselves- hockey style?
I don’t know that anybody expected that to happen after that race. However, don’t be surprised if you see similar fireworks at this race. Martinsville is known for beatin’ and bangin’, bump and runs, and postrace fights.
Martinsville has always boasted the short-track glamour you would hope to see. However, what they haven’t always boasted is the ability to race at night. Friday night will mark the first-ever Xfinity Series race under the lights at Martinsville.
It’s hot dog season…
If you don’t understand the Spongebob reference, I might hate you.
Just kidding. I love you all. I try to prove that by giving you picks to win yourself some bank.
So without further ado, here’s the batch of Martinsville Hot Dogs you should be putting in your DraftKings buns for Friday night.
See what I did there? I know. I’m creative as fuck.
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NASCAR DFS Xfinity Picks For DraftKings
Josh Berry: #8 JR Motorsports Chevrolet – $8,000
It’s been a tough couple of weeks for Berry heading into the break. But, it’s undeniable that the bread and butter of his career have come at short tracks. Momentum may not be on his side, but his career results sure are.
His late-model success includes a dominant win at Martinsville in 2019. I know it’s a totally different racecar, but I expect Berry to run his best at the short tracks throughout the season.
Combine that reasoning with a P29 starting spot, and you have a potential strong play for Friday night with Berry.
AJ Allmendinger: #16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet – $11,900
Kaulig Racing collectively was very strong here last year. Allmendinger led the 2nd most laps of the race before having a flat tire that relegated him to a 26th place finish.
Allmendinger’s many years of Cup Series experience offer a major advantage as Martinsville is a very tough, meticulous track to navigate. Last fall was the first time the Xfinity Series had raced at Martinsville in 14 years.
This is a very young field with lack of track time at a tough racetrack. I believe that AJ, with his veteran experience and a super fast car under him, could take control early and lead a majority of the laps on his way to his 2nd win of the year.
Jeb Burton: #10 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet – $7,800
I really like Jeb Burton on Friday night. Jeb has solid success at Martinsville throughout his sporadic career.
He has two Top 3 finishes in the truck series at the track and finished 4th at the Xfinity’s return to Martinsville last year. In five short track races that Jeb ran last season, he recorded three Top 10’s and two Top 5’s.
Jeb has also quietly had a great 2021 season as he has accumulated three Top 5’s and five Top 10’s in six races. I think the #10 is an excellent dark horse to win on Friday night, and he carries some enhanced value with a P13 starting spot.
JJ Yeley: #17 Rick Ware Racing Chevrolet – $7,300
In Yeley’s two starts in 2021, he recorded finishes of 13th and 12th with starting spots of 39th and 33rd. Yeley will roll off 33rd on Friday night.
In this race last season, he started 39th and finished 14th. As crazy as it is to say, Yeley might be the chalkiest play of the race based on his statistics in this #17. The speed this racecar has race-to-race teases Yeley as a super appealing play on Friday night.
Harrison Burton: #20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota – $9,300
I am intrigued by Burton’s price tag. He will start from the pole on Friday night. In the seven races on short tracks in 2020, Burton recorded five Top 5′s and one win that came at this racetrack. I would think the statistics show that Burton would be more of a favorite on DraftKings.
The four-time winner in 2020 has yet to win this season, but it won’t be much longer until he gets back into victory lane. It could very well happen this weekend.
Noah Gragson: #9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet – $11,100
Noah Gragson has an excellent resume at Martinsville. in four starts in the truck series, he has finishes of 4th, 5th, 7th, and a 1st place that was his first NASCAR national series win.
He finished 3rd in this race last season and is coming off of some momentum with a 4th place finish in Atlanta.
I know I’ve written about Noah multiple times. It’s not because he’s a friend of the show. It’s because I truly believe he has the potential to become an elite talent. Once he breaks the seal on getting to victory lane, the floodgates will open. I think Noah will run in the Top 5 and contend for the win on Friday night.
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