The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is already seven races into the season and allocations with the top drivers are starting to run out. This week I am giving Kyle Larson and Chase Elliott the week off. Their allocations are too important to be used at such an unpredictable track although I have them finishing in the top five.
Here are my picks for the Food City 500…
Kyle Busch (8): No driver ran the bottom of the track better than Busch in practice. The No. 18 and the No. 42 are the best cars in the field this week. Busch will have a great chance to go to Victory Lane for the 6th time at Bristol this week.
* Kyle Busch is my No. 1 driver in Group A this week. I would also consider Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, and Jimmie Johnson.
Kurt Busch (8): Busch has five wins at Bristol and he seemed happy with his car in practice. The No. 41 team was in a slump but seemed to turn their season around with a top 10 finish at Texas. Busch should finish in the top 10 this week.
Clint Bowyer (8): The No. 14 team has been money this season. He has finished every race since Daytona in the top 13. I think he could compete for the win this week. Bowyer starts 9th had the 7th-fastest speed in Happy Hour Practice with the 2nd-best 10-lap average. He is the best choice in Group B this week.
* I had Stenhouse penciled into this spot since he finished second at Bristol last August. He looked good until he crashed his car in Saturday morning’s practice. Now the car is junk.
Erik Jones (6): I really wanted to save Jones this week but I just cannot do it. If I had Daniel Suarez I would use the No. 19 car over the No. 77, but I have Ty Dillon. Jones has one of the fastest cars this week and he has had tons of success at Bristol in the Xfinity Series. I hope it translates to the Cup Series Sunday.
* If you want to save a allocation with Erik Jones, go with Daniel Suarez or Ty Dillon. They should finish in the top 20, but I like Jones for a top-10 finish this week.
Good luck this week!
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