It’s Bristol Baby! If you think it would be cool to mix a demolition derby with a Superspeedway, then the Bristol Night Race is for you. There are many drivers who have scores to settle and others who will do anything possible to secure a place in the playoffs… Even if that means sending another driver into the fence. If there is not a fight after the checkered-flag this week, they did not do it right. This is “Must See TV on NBC. The Bristol Night Race can be seen Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.
NASCAR will have two practices Friday and qualifying Friday evening. The first practice is at 11 a.m. ET (NBCSN) and the final practice is at 1 p.m. ET (NBCSN). Qualifying is at 5:30 p.m. ET (NBCSN).
The cars will have a similar aero package as in the past. The cars will have 750 HP engines, without aero ducts. I expect the track will add the PJ1 compound to the trick to help promote racing at the top and bottom of the track.
The spring race at Bristol was moved to Monday because of rain. Chase Elliott won the pole but he was only able to lead 38 laps and finished 11th. The race was dominated by Team Penske Racing. Joey Logano lead 146 laps, scored 16 Stage points and finished 3rd. Ryan Blaney led a race-high 158 laps, scored 11 Stage points and finished 4th. Kyle Busch crashed on lap one. The No. 18 team worked on the car to keep it on the track. Busch took over the last 100 laps of the race and went to Victory Lane for a series-high 8th time.
Race Rewind at Bristol: Food City 500 (2019)
There are only three races in the Fantasy Live regular season. There is no need to save allocations. Do not be the guy in your league that ends the season with 2 or 3 allocations left with Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick or Joey Logano. If any of the top drivers look fast in practice, get them into your lineups this week because there is no guarantee they will be as fast at Indianapolis or Darlington.
Here are my picks for Bristol…
DraftKings NASCAR Preview
Short track racing means dominators, dominators, dominators!! There are 500 laps in the race Saturday night. That means there are 125 points available for laps led and 250 points for fastest laps. That is 375 dominator points. The trend at Bristol is to have one driver lead 175 laps and score 80 fastest laps (83.75 dominator points), another driver leads 120 laps and scores 54 fastest laps (57 dominator points), another driver leads 100 laps and scores 40 fastest laps (45 dominator points) and one driver leads 60 laps and scores 32 fastest laps (31 dominator points). If you have the two main dominators in your lineup it will not matter who the rest of your drivers are. You will cash!
The drivers I expect to dominate the race Saturday night include: Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Ryan Blaney and Kyle Larson
Top 15 DraftKings Drivers in Last 3 Races at Bristol
|Avg. Finish Pos.||Laps Led||
|1. Joey Logano||
|2. Kyle Larson||
|3. Kyle Busch||
|4. Kevin Harvick||
|5. Clint Bowyer||
|6. Ryan Blaney||
7. Kurt Busch
|8. Jimmie Johnson||
|9. Ryan Newman||
|10. Chase Elliott||
|11. Daniel Suarez||
|12. Alex Bowman||
|13. Denny Hamlin||
|14. Brad Keselowski||
|15. Matt DiBenedetto||
I will post my final DraftKings picks no later than Saturday morning.
Fantasy Live Preview
The Fantasy Live picks moved up from beating the top 99.1% of the competition to beating 99.2%. That surprised me since I made a big mistake by putting Brad Keselowski in the race after I had Clint Bowyer in the Garage after the first Stage. I learned my lesson. It will be a long time before I trust Bowyer again.
*Pick for the Pole*: Our pick for the pole needs to be in before qualifying at 5:30 ET Friday. My pole pick will be posted after the final practice Friday (2 p.m. ET).
Here are the drivers I have penciled in right now…
Starting Drivers for Fantasy Live
Kyle Busch (2): If Busch can avoid the wrecks Saturday night he will be in Victory Lane. It is as simple as that. Busch has finished 1,st, 1st, 1st, 35th, 39th and 38th in 6 of the last 7 races at the track. He gives a new meaning to the phrase, “If you are not 1st, you are last.” Busch has 8 wins at Bristol and he said many times before the April race that he wants to get to 12 wins and pass Darrell Waltrip before he retires. Whenever Busch is extra motivated, he is extra dangerous. This is one of those weeks.
Joey Logano (2): The No. 22 team is desperately trying to win the regular season championship and the 15 playoff points that goes with it. Logano had a great car in April at Bristol. He qualified 7th, had a race-high 2.6 average running position, lead 146 laps, won Stage 2 and finished 3rd in the race. Logano has now won Stages in back-to-back races at Bristol and he has finished both races in the top 4. This is one of his best tracks so the Bristol Night Race will be a good opportunity to use an allocation with Logano.
Kurt Busch (3): Both Busch brothers are very good in Thunder Valley. There is no reason not to have both of them in your lineup. Kurt Busch qualified 9th and won the Bristol Night Race last year. He returned to the track in April and nearly beat his brother for the win. After the race Busch said he would have wrecked his brother to get to Victory Lane. He may get another chance to do it Saturday night.
Ryan Blaney (6): We need to use our drivers at their best tracks and this is the best track for Blaney. He led 100 laps at Bristol in the spring race last year, 121 laps in the night race in 2018 and 158 laps in April. He continues to become one of the top dominators in Thunder Valley. I would not be surprised to see Blaney in Victory Lane Saturday night. I have plenty of allocations left with Blaney so I will use them Saturday night.
Kyle Larson (2): Larson is a lot like Kyle Busch at Bristol… If he keeps his car in one piece he will be in the top 3. Larson has never won in Thunder Valley but Larson finished 2nd at the track in both races last year. He has also led 489 laps at Bristol in the last 5 races. Larson needs points so I expect the No. 42 team to use pit strategy to gain track position so Larson can score some Stage points. I feel more comfortable using Larson in Fantasy Live because we have a Garage Driver to replace him if he crashes out of the race Saturday night.
My Garage Driver this week will likely be Erik Jones (2). Jones has been one of the safest picks in the sport for the last month. He finished 3rd, 3rd, 2nd and 4th before finishing 18th last week at Michigan. He spent most of the day running in the top 10 so the 18th finish does not represent how good he was. For some reason Jones is great in the Night Race and not so good in the spring at Bristol. Jones finished 2nd and 5th in his two August races at Bristol. I will have Jones as an insurance policy Saturday night.
My Bonus Picks will be updated after I see the cars on the track this weekend. Here are my thoughts right now…
Pick for the Pole: Chase Elliott
Stage 1 Winner: Ryan Blaney
Stage 2 Winner: Joey Logano
Race Winner: Joey Logano
Winning Manufacture: Ford
** Photos from NASCAR Media
If you need any further advice with your team, look for me on Twitter @MrFantasyNASCAR
If you like Fantasy NASCAR, LIKE my Fantasy NASCAR Tips Page on Facebook