The Cup Series will join the Truck Series at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend for some dirt track racing. The Cup Series was schedule to have two practice sessions Friday, but Mother Nature did not cooperate. There is also a heavy threat of rain Saturday for the heat races. We were not allowed to see any track time, so we will have to make our picks based on what happened in the past at Bristol on dirt.
Here are the picks for the Food City Dirt Race …
DRIVER GROUP GAME LINEUP
GROUP A DRIVERS
CHRISTOPHER BELL (9): I would love to use Kyle Larson this week, but Hendrick Motorsports is too good on the paved tracks to use an allocation with the No. 5 car Sunday. I will pivot to the next best dirt track racer and use Bell. Bell scored 17 Stage Points and finished seventh in the Bristol Dirt Race last year. I would not be surprised to see Bell in Victory Lane Sunday.
JOEY LOGANO (8): Logano was not the name that came to mind when NASCAR announced they were going to turn Bristol into a dirt track race, but he has been the best driver so far. Logano won the inaugural Bristol Dirt Race and he came back last year and finished third. Logano should be a great pick on Easter Sunday.
(CONTRARIAN PICK) RYAN BLANEY (8): Take a chance with Blaney Sunday if you want a driver who has a good chance to finish up front and no one else in your league will use. He finished eighth in the first Bristol Dirt Race and fifth last year. He is not a bad driver to take a chance with at Bristol.
GROUP A DRIVER RANKINGS: 1) Kyle Larson 2) Christopher Bell 3) Joey Logano 4) Ryan Blaney 5) Ross Chastain 6) William Byron 7) Denny Hamlin
GROUP B DRIVERS
TYLER REDDICK (7): It is tough to justify using an allocation with Reddick in such an unpredictable race, but he is too good to pass up this week. Reddick dominated the Bristol Dirt Race last year when he led 99 laps and finished second. Reddick should score a lot of points for your Driver group Game lineup Sunday.
CHASE BRISCOE (9): Briscoe is a good dirt track racer. His stats in the Bristol Dirt Race do not look great, but that is because he keeps getting dumped by careless drivers. Briscoe led 59 laps, won Stage 2 and looked like one of the best drivers in this race last year. I will take a chance with Tony Stewart’s car on a dirt track.
DANIEL SUAREZ (7): Suarez is not the first driver that comes to mind when people think about racing on dirt, but he has been good at Bristol on dirt. Suarez finished fourth in the first race and 12th last year. I will take a chance with the No. 99 car Sunday.
KYLE BUSCH (7): The rule in Fantasy NASCAR is to pencil in Busch for any race at Bristol. It does not matter if the race is on concrete or on dirt or if it is Kurt Busch or Kyle Busch. This family loves Bristol and they have had a lot of success in Thunder Valley. Busch won the Bristol Dirt Race last year and now he will be driving the car that finished second. I just cannot fade Rowdy at his best track, even if NASCAR put dirt on it.
(CONTRARIAN PICK) MICHAEL MCDOWELL (9): Do you want to save your allocations this week and use a driver who you may not use much this year? If so, McDowell is your guy. He finished 12th in the first Bristol Dirt Race and then the No. 34 team came back last year and finished ninth. I do not have the guts to use McDowell, but he sure looks like a good pick on paper.
GROUP B DRIVER RANKINGS: 1) Tyler Reddick 2) Kyle Busch 3) Chase Briscoe 4) Daniel Suarez 5) Martin Truex Jr. 6) Michael McDowell 7) Brad Keselowski 8) Alex Bowman 9) Chris Buescher 10) Justin Haley
GROUP C DRIVERS
RICKY STENHOUSE JR. (9): Stenhouse is tough to trust at most tracks, but he should feel right at home on the dirt at Bristol. Stenhouse finished second in the inaugural Bristol Dirt Race. He was running up front last year when he was spun out and finished 29th. Stenhouse is the best dirt track racer in Group C, so I will use him Sunday.
RYAN PREECE (9): Preece is a short track specialist. His background is in modified racing and I am not sure if he has any experience on dirt. Preece started 22nd and finished 18th in the inaugural Bristol Dirt Race while driving for JTG Daugherty Racing. His Stewart-Haas Racing Ford should have more speed and Preece should have a good chance to finish in the top-15 Sunday.
(OTHER CHOICE) JOSH BERRY (8): Berry should be a good pick if he is available in your league. Berry has a history of running well on the short tracks and Chase Elliott finished both Bristol Dirt races in the top-10. It would be a good idea to use as many allocations as possible with Berry before Elliott returns to the seat of the No. 9 car.
GROUP C DRIVER RANKINGS: 1) Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 2) Ryan Preece 3) Josh Berry 4) Ty Gibbs 5) Noah Gragson
* Be sure to check back Sunday morning for my starting lineup.
TRUCK SERIES PICKS
Good Luck This Weekend!
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