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NASCAR Fantasy Picks for Martinsville’s Cook Out 400

Bubba Wallace, driver of the #23 McDonald's Toyota, drives during practice for the NASCAR Cup Series Cook Out 400 at Martinsville Speedway on April 06, 2024 in Martinsville, Virginia. NASCAR Fantasy

For a second straight week, NASCAR’s Cup Series heads to Virginia for the Cook Out 400 from Martinsville. NASCAR Fantasy continues onward.

This comes as the seventh event of the 36-race season. Martinsville Speedway, located in the southern heart of Virginia, was founded in 1947 and has held NASCAR events every year since 1949. The Craftsman Truck Series and Xfinity Series race on Friday and Saturday, respectively, being the fifth triple-header weekend of the calendar year.

Sunday’s Martinsville race will occur shortly after 3:00 pm ET (noon PT) on FOX. Radio listeners can tune in on both the Motor Racing Network and NASCAR’s SiriusXM Radio.

NASCAR Fantasy Live gives fans the chance to partake in driver selection each Cup Series race weekend. One will pick five starters and one “garage” driver per event. The garage driver will not receive any points but can replace a starter who may face trouble in the first part of the race. At the end of stage two, picks will lock, and no changes can be made. Points are awarded based on stage points and finishing positions in addition to four “head-to-head” driver picks. A driver may only be picked ten (10) times across the 26-race Regular Season and then five (5) times in the 10-race Playoffs. See NASCAR’s website here for rules of how to play.

This article was completed before Saturday practice and qualifying. Please note that track position is critical for success at Martinsville. My recommendations are NOT my guaranteed personal lineup for Sunday’s race. See below for my picks from last weekend’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond Raceway. Below are my NASCAR Fantasy suggestions for the 2024 Cook Out 400.

RECAP – Toyota Owners 400


  • Martin Truex Jr. – 8 uses left
    • 33 Place Points (4th) + 17 Stage Points (S1 – 4th, S2 – 1st) = 50 Total Points
  • Joey Logano – 8 uses left
    • 35 Place Points (2nd) + 14 Stage Points (S1 – 5th, S2 – 3rd) = 49 Total Points
  • Denny Hamlin – 6 uses left
    • 40 Place Points (1st) + 6 Stage Points (S1 – N/A, S2 – 5th) = 46 Total Points
  • Chris Buescher – 8 uses left
    • 28 Place Points (9th) + 4 Stage Points (S1 – N/A, S2 – 7th) = 32 Total Points
  • Brad Keselowski – 8 uses left
    • 29 Place Points (8th) + 0 Stage Points (S1 – N/A, S2 – N/A) = 29 Total Points
  • Ty Gibbs – KEPT IN GARAGE, 9 uses left
    • 21 Place Points (16th) + 0 Stage Points (S1 – N/A, S2 – N/A) = 21 Total Points


  • Christopher Bell vs. Kyle Busch
    • PICK: Busch
    • RESULT: Incorrect (Bell = 6th, Busch = 20th)
  • William Byron vs. Denny Hamlin
    • PICK: Hamlin
    • RESULT: Correct (Byron = 7th, Hamlin = 1st)
  • Martin Truex Jr. vs. Ty Gibbs
    • PICK: Truex Jr.
    • RESULT: Correct (Truex Jr. = 4th, Gibbs = 16th)
  • Chase Elliott vs. Alex Bowman
    • PICK: Elliott
    • RESULT: Correct (Elliott = 5th, Bowman = 17th)


  • Weekly Points = 236 PTS.
  • Total Season Points = 1,389 PTS.
  • Collective Rankings = 4,506th (+338 POS.)


PICK 1 – Denny Hamlin

For a second consecutive week, Denny Hamlin takes my top NASCAR Fantasy recommendation. Controversial restart or not, the Joe Gibbs Racing driver took the checkered flag at Richmond Raceway. This, along with his exhibition win in the season-opener Busch Light Clash and at Bristol Motor Speedway, see the No. 11 undefeated so far on short tracks in 2024.

Hamlin is no stranger to success at “Tue Paperclip.” Since 2005, he has finished inside the Top 5 in 19 of his 36 starts (52.8%). Among active drivers, Hamlin takes the top spot with five wins; most recently, in the Spring of 2015. He also has finished six of eight stages inside the Top 10 in the Next Gen with three stage victories and three finishes of fifth or better. Another win for Hamlin would move him to twelfth on the all-time NASCAR Cup Series leaderboard in a tie with Lee Petty.

PICK 2 – Ryan Blaney

It is time for Ryan Blaney to turn things around. Although he is the defending NASCAR Cup Series Champion, his season has been wineless, and he sits as the lone Ford inside the Top 11 in driver points. Nonetheless, Martinsville is undoubtedly one of the strongest tracks on his resume.

For starters, he enters as the defending race winner. The victory in October of last year punched his ticket into the Championship race at Phoenix. It is the only time he has won on the track, but his competitiveness for the race win has always been a factor. Blaney joins Hamlin as the only driver with six or more Next Gen stage finishes inside the Top 10. His Average Running Position (A.R.P.) is ranked first among drivers. Can Y.R.B. secure a second-straight Grandfather Clock?

PICK 3 – Kyle Larson

In Kyle Larson’s twelve Martinsville starts with Chip Ganassi Racing, he only captured two Top 10s with nine finishes outside the Top 15. In his Hendrick Motorsports tenure since 2021, his performance at the circuit has turned around with four Top 5s and a victory in the Spring of last year. The team’s success has been remarkable winning the most of any team in NASCAR Cup Series history (28).

Amongst current competitors, Larson has the second-best A.R.P. with a best ranking of 2nd and lowest of 9th. Finishes of 5th and 3rd at Bristol and Richmond, respectively, join Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. as one of three drivers with Top 5s at short tracks in 2024. With a strong qualifying effort like he did with his pole at Richmond, Larson will effectively gather points for NASCAR Fantasy-goers.

PICK 4 – Joey Logano

The year was off to a bad start for 2022 Champion Joey Logano. A 9th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was his only Top 10 in the first six races of the season as he sat 22nd in the standings. Beneficially, the Team Penske driver showed up at Richmond en route to a 2nd place finish. Logano now sits 19th in points entering a favorable track to his profile.

Logano has finished inside the Top 10 in nine straight races at Martinsville including five Top 5s. He is the 2018 fall victor and has secured stage points in three of the four Next Gen races (excluding Spring of 2023). Is Logano the most dominant force of his competitors at the racetrack? Likely not. However, his 36-race winless streak is a motivating factor for a possible bounce-back.

PICK 5 – Chase Briscoe

How overlooked is Chase Briscoe? Of 14 Ford drivers who have made all seven Cup starts, he is ranked fourth in points ahead of the aforementioned Joey Logano, Austin Cindric, and his three Stewart-Haas Racing teammates. So far, Briscoe has claimed Top 10s and has finished four straight races inside the Top 20.

When looking specifically at Martinsville, Briscoe has four finishes of 9th and better with back-to-back Top 5s last season. In those five races, he has claimed points in five stages. Most notably, Briscoe has the third-best A.R.P. only behind Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson. Although the results may not show, a big topic of conversation has been about SHR’s improved speed. The team has also seen some of their best results in recent years at Martinsville. This and Briscoe’s ability at the track make for a dangerous combination for NASCAR Fantasy.


Christopher Bell

  • 2022 Fall Martinsville winner
  • 5 of 8 Next Gen Top 10s at track
  • Riding momentum with four straight Top 10s and Phoenix victory

Chase Elliott

  • 2020 Fall victor
  • Seven straight Spring finishes inside Top 10; best of 2nd in 2019 and 2021
  • 10th in first race back after leg injury

Ryan Preece

  • Led race-high 135 laps in Spring race last year
  • Missed both 2022 races but finished 3 of 4 2023 Martinsville stages inside the Top 10

William Byron

  • 2022 Spring winner including Stage One checkered
  • Only two-time points winner so far in 2024 (Daytona 500, Circuit of the Americas)


Todd Gilliland

  • 9th-best A.R.P. amongst active drivers in Next Gen at Martinsville
  • 7th in Stage 2 of 2023 Spring and 8th in Stage 2 of 2023 Fall races
  • First NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series win at the track (Fall of 2019)


Chris Buescher

  • Only two Top 10s in 17 Cup starts
  • No stage appearance in the Next Gen era

Ty Gibbs

  • Has not finished better than 18th at Martinsville

Kyle Busch

  • Three consecutive track finishes of 21st or worse
  • Joins Buescher without a Top 10 Next Gen stage finish (19 active drivers have)


Denny Hamlin vs. Martin Truex Jr.

It looked as though Martin Truex Jr. had his first win of the 2024 season in the bag. That was until a late-race caution and Denny Hamlin’s controversial jump which relegated the former Champion to a 4th-place finish. The two drivers both have great statistics at Martinsville, but there is a clear standout here. Track position and execution are what it will take to cross the 400-mile dash in the top spot.

Hamlin is my pick.

Ryan Blaney vs. William Byron

This one could be closer than people think. William Byron has shown incredible speed so far this season. Meanwhile, Ryan Blaney is hoping to find some lost acceleration. The two have near-identical numbers in the last six Martinsville races with one one, three Top 5s, and four Top 10s a piece. Only a drastic spread in practice speed would lean me confidently one way or another.

By a smidge, I have Blaney in NASCAR Fantasy.

Chase Briscoe vs. Noah Gragson

I had previously discussed Chase Briscoe’s success in Martinsville, Virginia. How has Noah Gragson done? Not well in the Cup Series having a 25th and 30th place finish in his only two starts. However, he does have victories in both the Craftsman Truck Series (2017 Fall) and Xfinity Series (2021 Fall). Although it is not going to translate the same, Gragson has the capability of finding pace around the clip.

Until we see what Gragson can do behind the Cup car, Briscoe has to be the selection.

Joey Logano vs. Kyle Busch

A no-contest matchup. Joey Logano has the momentum in his favor as Kyle Busch continues to experience struggles in 2024. The performance we saw from Busch and Richard Childress Racing last weekend at Richmond make me hesitant to even consider the No. 8 bunch. Logano has better overall finishes at Martinsville in the Next Gen as well as a better all-time average finish of 10.9 to Busch’s 10.9.

Crazier things have happened, but I am confident in Logano.

What does your NASCAR Fantasy lineup for Sunday’s Cook Out 400 from Martinsville? Tweet us @LWOSMotorsport. Stay tuned here at LWOS Motorsports for NASCAR news, results, updates, and more.


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