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A sixth-place qualification effort on Friday could be the signal of a reversal of fortune for Tony Stewart. Last fall he finished fourth on this track after qualifying fourth.

Most of Stewart’s top-10s at Martinsville came in groupings of two to four consecutive, so fantasy owners who like to play the odds might see this as a good omen.
Mar 28 - 12:33 AM

Danica Patrick scored her second-best Martinsville start in Friday’s qualification session. She will roll off the grid 16th for Sunday’s STP 500.

Patrick’s best start came in this race last year, but she lost six laps during the afternoon and finished only 32nd. She showed some signs of strength on the flat half-miler as a rookie, however, with a 12th and 17th in Martinsville’s two races.
Mar 28 - 12:32 AM

Justin Allgaier completed all 1,000 laps of competition last year; he finished 23rd in the spring and was 17th in the fall.

This makes him a great alternative to some other bargain-priced drivers in salary cap games and should place him on a large number of rosters.
Mar 28 - 12:31 AM

Joey Logano posted a lap of 98.461 mph and grabbed the pole for the STP 500. It is the 10th pole of his career and his first at Martinsville.

The final stall leaving pit road is critical on this short track and that is going to be good for a couple of positions in race conditions. Barring any accident or penalties, Logano is favored to finish in the top five.
Mar 27 - 7:13 PM

Cole Custer leads the lone NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice session at Martinsville Speedway.

He ran a quick lap of 96.068 mph in the No. 00 Haas Automation Chevrolet Silverado. No. 13 Cameron Hayley, No. 98 Johnny Sauter, No. 29 Joey Logano and No. 19 Tyler Reddick round out the top five of the 36 trucks practicing for the Kroger 250. Charles Buchanan Jr. in the No. 87 Ford F-150 was the slowest. Custer also had the fastest 10-lap average speed (94.293 mph) among the 31 trucks that ran 10 consecutive laps on the track for this session.
Mar 27 - 7:11 PM

Casey Mears broke a transmission in the second round of qualification and will roll off the grid 24th. He will need to change his drive train, however, and that will drop him to the back of the pack.

It does not take long for drivers to get lapped on the 0.526-mile track. Mears has to be considered a long shot to even finish in the top 20.
Mar 27 - 6:59 PM

Justin Allgaier advanced to the second round of qualification, but he wanted a little more. He crashed in that session and will qualify 21st.

His official position once qualification winds up may not matter because he has every sign of needing to go to a backup.
Mar 27 - 6:54 PM

A faulty seal and not a blown engine caused Austin Dillon’s Chevrolet to smoke in the final moments of NASCAR’s first practice session, according to a tweet by Bob Pockrass. He will not need to change engines.

Dillon’s 15th-best speed was enough to make him an interesting dark horse and now that he will not have to start in the back of the pack, he remains fantasy relevant.
Mar 27 - 4:10 PM

Chase Elliott struggled a little in the first and only practice session before STP 500 qualification. His top speed of 96.337 mph was only 29th best. He must qualify in the top 36 to make the show since the No. 25 does not have any owner points.

Elliott has the experience of his teammates to fall back on, however, and they are liable to contribute to a setup that is good enough to improve a few positions. Once qualified, he has all day Saturday to get his rhythm.
Mar 27 - 3:09 PM

Ryan Newman posted the fastest single lap in the first practice session for the STP 500. His top speed was 97.835 mph, which narrowly beat AJ Allmendinger with a 97.679 and Jeff Gordon with a 97.664.

This is not usually one of Newman’s better tracks, but he finished third last fall after qualifying ninth. His single victory came in 2012 after starting fifth, so starting position would seem to be a key factor in his success.
Mar 27 - 3:03 PM

Austin Dillon blew an engine in the final minutes of the first practice session at Martinsville. He was 15th fastest at the time.

Martinsville is a rhythm track and not generally hard on engines. Still, this will hurt Dillon’s handicap for the STP 500 and makes him a risky fantasy proposition.
Mar 27 - 2:58 PM

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. has been running at the end of every Martinsville race he started, but in his first three attempts he failed to finish on the lead lap. Last fall, he finally went the complete distance and finished 15th.

Stenhouse still has some room to improve, so he should be considered a decent value in most fantasy games. Another mid-teens finish makes him worthy of a start, but puts him in heavy competition with several others at his level.
Mar 27 - 11:57 AM

Last week was the first time Ragan appeared comfortable behind the wheel of the No. 18. This week he returns to a track where he scored a top-10 in 2015.

Ragan’s latest effort at Martinsville ended in a 10th-place finish in the Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500. It was this first lead lap finish in the No. 34 and he had to overcome crash damage to get it. This week he will be a good value if he stays out of trouble.
Mar 27 - 11:57 AM

Brett Moffitt will make his first start at Martinsville this week, but he has tasted success there in the past. He won the 2010 UNOH Performance 200 in the K&N East series.

Normally that would not be enough to excite fantasy players, but Moffitt has performed well in the No. 55 this year and he could be on track to finish in the top 20.
Mar 27 - 11:54 AM

Trevor Bayne has made one previous Cup start at Martinsville while racing for the Wood Bros. That came in 2011 when he finished 35th after qualifying 25th.

Bayne lost 40 laps that afternoon, which failed to give him much experience. Treat him as if Martinsville were a blank slate.
Mar 27 - 11:53 AM

David Gilliland has finished better than he started in the last six consecutive races at Martinsville. He also improved over his qualification effort in three of the previous four events and was sidelined by crash damage in the one race in which he faded.

Last spring Gilliland improved 13 positions in the spring and 12 in the fall. That makes him a great value in games that offer place differential points.
Mar 27 - 11:52 AM

Johnny Sauter, who will be making his 15th start at the Martinsville Virginia track in Saturday afternoon's Kroger 250, has two wins at the "paperclip."

In fact, the ThorSport Racing driver has more wins, and more laps led (286) than any other driver entered in the 250-lap event. More importantly, those two wins came in the spring races of 2011 and 2013. For a driver who is the definition of passion and perseverance, especially at Martinsville Speedway, Sauter hopes to "spring" into victory lane on Saturday.-ThorSport Racing
Mar 26 - 10:57 PM

In March 2014, Matt Crafton started 10th, led a track-high 47 laps, and held off fellow Toyota Racing driver, Darrell Wallace, Jr., during a second attempt at a green-white-checker flag finish to claim his first victory at the half-mile paperclip Martinsville Speedway.

Crafton, who has more starts (26) than any other driver entered in Saturday's 250-lap event, is tied with Timothy Peters for the most top-five finishes (six), has the most top-10 finishes (14), and has completed the most laps (5752) around the.526-mile track - a combination that could have the two-time champion "Clocking-In" to victory lane on Saturday.-ThorSport Racing
Mar 26 - 10:55 PM

In 18 previous starts at the 0.526-mile Martinsville Speedway, Timothy Peters holds one win, six top-five finishes and 12 top-10 finishes.

He has an average starting position of 8.6 and an average finishing position of 12.4. He has completed 3987 of 4119 laps (96.8 percent).-Red Horse Racing
Mar 26 - 10:50 PM

Last year, Ben Kennedy recorded a career-best third-place finish in the Kroger 250 at Martinsville Speedway.

In three previous starts at the 0.526-mile track, Kennedy has two top-fives and two top-10 finishes. He has an 11th-place average starting position and an average finishing position of 7.7.-Red Horse Racing
Mar 26 - 10:47 PM

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