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NASCAR Luke’s List – NASCAR DFS – 2021 Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500

Hello everyone! I’m Luke, part of the brother-duo recently brought on to assist in maintaining DFS Karma’s spot as the #1 source for NASCAR DFS information, core plays, and props. Make sure you are subscribed to either one of our our NASCAR or MVP subscriptions so you can get access to our Final Thoughts, all our Core Plays for DraftKings, FanDuel, and SuperDraft, as well as our Prop Plays for MonkeyKnifeFight and PrizePicks! Remember, our NASCAR Premium content extends to ALL series (Trucks, Xfinity, Cup).

Before I get into some of my favorite plays for this weekend’s Martinsville race, I’m going to give you a preview and also what lineup construction will look like for this race.

Race Preview/Lineup Construction

After a week off of racing, the NASCAR Cup Series will be heading to Martinsville for the first Saturday night race of the season. Martinsville is a short track (about a 1/2 mile in length) and is commonly known as “The Paperclip” because the track is shaped like a paperclip. This race is 500 laps, so dominator points are going to be very important this weekend. These races usually have 2-3 dominators, so we’ll probably want to target multiple drivers that have the potential to lead or score fast laps throughout the race. With that all out of the way, let’s get into some of the drivers I’ll be targeting in my DFS lineups this weekend.


Martin Truex Jr (DK $12,000 FD $14,000)

Martinsville is a track that Truex has performed very well at in the past with two wins, five top 5’s, seven top 10’s, 936 laps led (2nd) over his last 10 races there. He’s the most expensive driver on DraftKings and FanDuel but like I said in the preview, dominator points mean a ton this weekend, and I could definitely see him being one of the drivers that scores a lot of those valuable points. Truex will start 7th so while he might not dominate right off the bat, he could work his way up pretty quickly and also offers some place differential as well.


Brad Keselowski (DK $11,000 FD $13,000)

Keselowski is another driver that has been great at Martinsville and at the short tracks in general with two wins, nine top 5’s, 10 top 10’s, 720 laps led (3rd) over his last 10 races at this 1/2 mile track. Last season, he won at both Richmond and New Hampshire, which are both very comparable tracks to Martinsville, so I could definitely see him leading a lot of laps in this race and contending for the win. His consistency and place differential he offers starting from 10th makes him a great play for cash and gpps this weekend.


Kurt Busch (DK $8,900 FD $9,000)

Busch has zero top 10 finishes over his last  four races, but he offers plenty of place differential starting from 22nd and also has a good track history at Martinsville (four top 10’s over last six races there). You probably won’t be able to play Kurt in your three dominator lineups unless you go really cheap with your top tier drivers, so I think Kurt makes more sense in two-dominator builds. All we need out of him this weekend is a top 10 to be a good play and around a top five finish to be a great play and potentially make the optimal lineup. He’s very affordable on both sites, so he’s a driver I like a lot in the mid tier.


Aric Almirola ( DK $8,100 FD $7,700)

Almirola hasn’t had a strong start to the season, but he starts all the way back in 31st, offers a ton of place differential, and is very affordable on DraftKings and FanDuel. Martinsville has been a solid track for Almirola with four top 15 finishes over his last 6 starts there. I think he makes for a great cash option in the mid tier on both sites, but I don’t mind being underweight in gpps because of his inconsistency at putting together good finishes.


Chris Buescher (DK $6,500 FD $5,200)

Buescher is probably a driver I wouldn’t play in cash games, but I think he’s a very interesting value play we can target in tournaments. He doesn’t offer as much place differential as some of the other drivers in this price range, but I think he has sneaky top 10 upside and will probably have very low ownership. He’s finished top 15 in three of his last five starts at Martinsville, so I think he can get the job done here. I will have a lot of Buescher exposure in my tournament lines this weekend.


Corey LaJoie (DK $5,200 FD $3,000)

In order to fit all of those top tier dominators into our lineups, we’re going to need to find some value, and LaJoie offers that at his cheap price. I don’t know if you’ll have to go to this range on FanDuel, but he looks like one of the better value plays on DraftKings. He has a good track history at Martinsville finishing 18th, 18th, and 25th over his last three starts here. He’ll start 34th, so there’s place differential and decent upside for LaJoie this weekend.

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