The NASCAR Cup Series will continue the short track portions of their schedule when they race on the dirt at Bristol. This will be the third year competing on dirt in the spring at Bristol. The first race was a mess with the mud clogging the grills on the cars. The race last year was better. Hopefully we do not get a bunch of wrecks and late race restarts again this week. That seems to be the trend in 2023 and the trend in the dirt races at Bristol. We will need a bit of luck in our DFS lineups if the late race wrecking continues on Easter.
BRISTOL PRACTICE SPEEDS
The Cup Series was scheduled to have two practice sessions Friday and then four heat races Saturday. Mother Nature did not cooperate Friday, but the Cup Series was able to get the four heat races in Saturday. We will have to use the data from the previous dirt track races at Bristol and the data from Saturday’ heat races.
CUP SERIES STATS ON DIRT AT BRISTOL
The race Sunday is scheduled for 250 laps (125 Miles). That means there are 62.5 points available for leading laps and 112.5 points available for fastest laps (175 total dominator points).
The trend in the Bristol Dirt Race is for the race to be a three-dominator race. One driver leads roughly 90 laps and scores 26 fastest laps (34.2 dominator points). Another driver leads 60 laps and scores 30 fastest laps (28.5 dominator points). A third driver leads 66 laps and scores 14 fastest laps (22.8 dominator points). We will score roughly 85.5 dominator points if this race plays out as scheduled and we have the top-three dominators in our lineups.
The drivers with the best chance to dominate the race Sunday include Kyle Larson, Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell and Kyle Busch
The drivers with the best chance to score place differential points are Joey Logano, Martin Truex Jr., Daniel Suarez, Brad Keselowski, Denny Hamlin, Chase Briscoe, Alex Bowman, Chris Buescher and Ty Gibbs
DRAFTKINGS MODEL (Prediction Based on Stats)
Finish = Finishing Points PD = Position Differential Fastest = Fastest Laps Led = Laps Led
* The number in front of the driver is his projected finishing position based on stats.
FANDUEL MODEL (Prediction Based on Stats)
CORE DRIVERS FOR BRISTOL
TOP-TIER DRIVERS: KYLE LARSON ($10.9K / FD $14K), TYLER REDDICK ($10.7K FD $13K), CHRISTOPHER BELL ($10.5K FD $13.5K), CHASE BRISCOE ($10.2K FDK $11K), JOEY LOGANO ($9.8K / FD $12K), KYLE BUSCH ($9.7K FD $11.5K), RYAN BLANEY ($9.5K FD $10.5K), DENNY HAMLIN ($9.1K FD $9.5K)
VALUE-TIER DRIVERS: RICKY STENHOUSE JR. ($8.9K FD $7.5K), MARTIN TRUEX JR. ($8.7K FD $8.5K), ALEX BOWMAN ($8.5K / FD $8.2K), DANIEL SUAREZ ($8.1K FD $9K), CHRIS BUESCHER ($7.9K / FD $7.8K), BRAD KESELOWSKI ($7.6K FD $8K), BUBBA WALLACE ($7.2K FD $6.5K), RYAN PREECE ($7K FD $5.2K), JUSTIN HALEY ($6.9K FD $5K), TY GIBBS ($6.7K FD $6.2K), JONATHAN DAVENPORT ($6.6K FD $6K)
PUNT PLAYS: AUSTIN CINDRIC ($5.8K FD $5.5K), NOAH GRAGSON ($5.7K FD $3.5K), TODD GILLILAND ($5.3K FD $3K), TY DILLON ($5.2K FD $4.5K)
DRAFTKINGS CASH CONTEST LINEUP
KYLE LARSON ($10,900): Larson looked like the best driver in the heat races. That is probably because he is. I typically do not use the driver who starts on the pole in my Cash Contest lineup, but when it is “Yung Money” on a dirt track, I have to break the rules. I expect Larson to score a lot of dominator points and have a good chance to win his second consecutive race.
TYLER REDDICK ($10,700): Reddick dominated the Bristol Dirt Race last year when he led 99 laps. He could do it again Sunday. Reddick is a good dirt track racer and I want to dominators in my Cash Contests lineups. I expect Kyle Larson and Reddick to score most of the dominator points in this race.
DANIEL SUAREZ ($8,100): Suarez spun out in his heat race so now “My Amigo” will start in the back. Suarez finished fourth and 12th in his two dirt races at Bristol. He will be one of the best picks in the field if he can finish in the top-12 from the 34th starting position.
BRAD KESELOWSKI ($7,600): “Bread Keselowski” is not the first driver that comes to mind when people think of dirt track racing, but he has been good at Bristol on the dirt. Keselowski started 20th and finished 11th in 2021 and he started 18th and finished 11th last year. Keselowski will be one of the best picks in the field if he can bring the King Hawaiians car home in the top-12 Sunday.
JUSTIN HALEY ($6,900): Haley should be a good pick from the 25th starting position. Haley won his heat race and finished 14th in the Bristol Dirt Race last year. Haley looked good in his heat race Saturday, so I will take a chance with the No. 31 car from the 25th starting position.
COREY LAJOIE ($5,000): No one is going to use LaJoie in this race. LaJoie is not known as a good dirt track racer, but I do not need him to be. LaJoie starts 35th, so there is little risk in using him Sunday. LaJoie started 26th and finished 19th in this race last year. That was good enough for 31 DK Points. LaJoie will be one of the best punt plays if he can score 30+ DK Points on Easter.
DRAFTKINGS TOURNAMENT SINGLE-ENTRY CONTEST
KYLE LARSON ($10,900): I am playing Larson in both the Cash and Tournament Contest lineup this week. “Yung Money” is just too good to fade when he starts No. 1 and has the No. 1 pit stall at one of his best tracks.
CHRISTOPHER BELL ($10,500): I expect Bell to be competing with Kyle Larson for the lead a lot Sunday night. Bell is a great dirt track race and he look awesome in his heat race. I think most people will use the $300 I left on the table to pay up for Tyler Reddick. So, I will pivot to Bell.
KYLE BUSCH ($9,700): When the race is at Bristol, the pick is Busch. It does not matter if it is on dirt or concrete or if it is Kyle or Kurt; Bristol and Busch go together like peanut butter and jelly. Busch looked good in his heat race. Rowdy said his car was a bit loose, but he thinks he can win if they tighten it up. Busch won this race last year. He could do it again Sunday.
DANIEL SUAREZ ($8,100): I will play Suarez in both the Cash and Single-Entry Tournament Contests. Suarez looked really good in his two races on dirt. I am not going to fade him simply because he spun out in his heat race. Suarez should be a good pick form the back this week.
TODD GILLILAND ($5,300): Gilliland was going to be my sleeper pick Sunday, but then he went out and passed most of the cars in his heat race. The secret about Gilliland’s skills on the dirt tracks are now known to more people than I wish knew about him. I still do not think he will be highly owned since he starts 15th. Gilliland finished the last three races this year in the top-15. I think he can do it again Sunday.
TY DILLON ($5,200): Dillon has not been a good pick in DFS NASCAR this year, but he has been good on dirt. Dillon finished 10th in the Bristol Dirt Race last year. I just need Dillon to finish inside the top-20 to be a good punt play Sunday.
DRAFTKINGS TOURNAMENT MULTI-ENTRY CONTEST
CHASE BRISCOE ($10,200): I am going to mess with fire and fade “The Dirt Three” (Kyle Larson, Tyler Reddick and Christopher Bell). These three drivers are by far the best dirt track racers in the field, but they haven’t won the Bristol Dirt race yet. I will pivot to Briscoe. He was one of the best drivers in this race last year and he had some extra track time since he competed in the Truck Series race Saturday night. I will take a chance with Tony Stewart’s car on dirt.
KYLE BUSCH ($9,700): Busch got lucky last year when he was handed the trophy in the Bristol Dirt Race last year. I am sure Rowdy does not care how he won and I do not either. Busch should run up front and if the dirt track experts mess up, Busch could be handed another trophy Sunday.
JOEY LOGANO ($9,800): Did you watch the truck Series race Saturday night. There is no question that Logano knows how to get around Bristol on dirt. He won the ignagural Bristol Dirt Race and he finished second last year. Logano should be a great pick for the 12th starting position.
ALEX BOWMAN ($8,500): Bowman has been the most consistent driver in the Cup Series this year. He finished six of the seven races in the top-10. I do not think the race on the dirt will slow him down. Bowman ran up front in this race last year, but got spun out at the end. I doubt Bowman will be highly owned, so I will take a chance with the No. 48 car.
RYAN PREECE ($7,000): Preece is one of the best short track drivers in the Cup Series. He does not have a dirt track racing background, but that does not mean he cannot get around on the dirt at Bristol. Preece nearly ran down Kyle Larson in the heat race Saturday. I doubt he will have any ownership, so I will use Preece in my Tournament Contest lineup.
MATT CRAFTON ($4,800): Crafton will fill in for Cody Ware in the No. 51 car for Rick Ware Racing. Crafton has had a lot of success in the Truck Series on the dirt. He starts 24th and that may be too high in the field for some people to click on his name. We have seen Xfinity and Truck Series drivers step into a Cup Series car and have success before. I will take a chance with Crafton Sunday.
FANDUEL CASH CONTEST LINEUP
FANDUEL TOURNAMENT CONTEST LINEUP
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