Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks: FOOD CITY 500 at Bristol
In DFS, we wonder which player will show up: the good version or the apathetic, lethargic DFS lineup killing bum. Fantasy NASCAR, as always, has got to be different. This weekend, we’re wondering what track will show up. A quick history lesson: Before 2007, Bristol featured one racing groove at the bottom, and the best way to pass was to move the car in front of you.
From 2007-2012, the track was repaved and they added progressive banking (a higher degree of banking near the wall, making the top racing line equal to the bottom). Then Bristol ground down the progressive banking to remove the top line and return Bristol to its glory days. This backfired. The ground down top line had a rough surface that provided more grip. The track had just one groove again, but on the top near the wall, where you can’t bump-and-run.
Finally, last August, Bristol dumped a bunch of VHT (sticky substance used by dragsters) on the bottom of the track to bring back the bottom racing line. This spring they went crazy with the Cheese-Wiz and covered this mother. Is the old Bristol back? No. The bottom works, but for the daring, so does the top. This looks like the 2007-2012 Bristol.
Dig into the statistics and find the best plays for this weekend’s NASCAR event with the Daily Fantasy NASCAR Spreadsheet:
Top Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks (plus $9,000)
The Daily Fantasy NASCAR circuit is at a short track for the second of three times this month. There will be 500 laps on Sunday, you will absolutely need the two to four drivers that hog the laps led and fast lap points. These hogs do not come cheap.
Kyle Larson loves Bristol. He loves running the high line, and the VHT be damned, the high line is in play. Larson should be up front all day. Don’t worry about his Xfinity finish, a late tire issue ruined what was an impressive day. Don’t overreact to Larson’s recent poor finishes at Bristol. It’s Bristol. Kyle Busch has experienced the same thing …and we’re picking him, too. The top tier picks are reserved for hogs (drivers that score the most fast lap/laps led points), not just finishing position. Also, don’t worry about Larson’s practice speeds, he was experimenting with running the high line.
Kyle Busch loves/hates Bristol. It should be all love this weekend. With the the likelihood of two racing lines, this track looks a lot like the progressive banking Bristol circa 2007-2012. That’s when Kyle Busch won 5 races at Bristol. He’s been no slouch recently, leading over 190 laps in two of the last three at Bristol. His practice speeds topped the charts all weekend. He was the fastest on a 20 lap run, and the broadcast team was enamored with his speed.
Joey Logano is at Bristol this weekend, I promise. If you watched practice, then you missed him. No one seems to be talking about him. There are strong top tier drivers starting deeper in the field, and then there’s the Kyle and Kyle show. Logano has the second best average running position at Bristol over the last 6 races. He had the 3rd fastest 10 lap run in practice #3. At Phoenix (one of the two short races this season), Logano was on his way to a monster +100 point score before a penalty and a wreck ruined his day.
Middle Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks ($7,000-$9,000)
Kasey Kahne is a former dirt track racer (maybe not former, he ran some dirt races in the offseason), and the new Bristol has the qualities of a dirt track. The VHT (sticky junk on the lower groove) has been patchy. It’s not unusual for the car to want to kick right, and for the driver to constantly have to save it at Bristol, but with the patchy grip, it seems almost common. Dirt track racers are used to feeling out of control. On short runs, Kahne was 13th, 6th, and 3rd. On long runs, he was 4th, 2nd, and 1st.
Austin Dillon starting outside of the top 20 always should be considered. It hasn’t been his best year, but he hasn’t forgotten how to drive and the RCR cars are not junk. Actually, the RCR cars have looked good at short tracks. Newman won at Phoenix and finished 8th at Martinsville. Dillon finished 5th at Martinsville. At Bristol, Dillon has 4 top 15s in 6 races.
Erik Jones won the Xfinity race on Saturday, but his practice speeds might be more impressive. Look at the spreadsheet, it’s nothing but green. Outside of Daytona, Jones’ average running position is 12th. This is his first Cup race at Bristol, so no stats, but he does have two Xfinity wins and 4 top 10s in 5 Bristol races.
Value Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks ($6,000-$7,000)
We’re looking for place differential and finishing position. If we can get them both, then awesome. Sometimes it’s foolish to chase both.
Paul Menard has set a trap again, but I’m going for the cheese. On long runs in practice #2 and #3 (10 lap), Menard was 4th and 9th fastest. Menard has 8 top 15s in 12 Bristol races with RCR. Has he done anything this year? No, that’s why he’s starting 26th, but he’s been a little better at the short tracks (19th at Martinsville and 21st at Phoenix). A top 15 will likely be a top 10 DFS score.
Punt Tier Daily Fantasy NASCAR Picks (sub $6,000)
Punts are long shots, but this week might be different. There are a lot of unknowns about the track, it’s rained a lot (washes away rubber), and we’re stage racing for the first time ever at at Bristol. Here’s Darrell Waltrip’s advice for the punts, “don’t race anybody, and by the end, there won’t be anybody to race.” Punts shouldn’t fight for position in the 30s. Just be safe and watch the cars slowly wreck out, and through attrition, earn a top 25.
Landon Cassill is cheap and he’s stating close to 30th. He’s been a top 30 driver all year (avg finish of 25th). Last year, he finished 20th and 22nd at Bristol. Cassill’s practice speeds were respectable. He laid down the 13th fastest single lap in practice #3.
Matt DiBenedetto ran well at Bristol last year. He hasn’t done much this year, but the good thing about that is it pushes his starting position deeper into the field. Look at the other punts, only Cassill and Whitt have top 30 finishes this year (both fine plays this weekend). Don’t wreck DiBenedetto. That is all.
Track Cheat Sheet: Bristol
- This is a 1/2 mile long, steeply banked track.
- The Xfinity race ended with a barrage of cautions, one after another. Long run speed will be nice during most of the race, but at the end, a lot of slow long run cars will sneak into the top 10 because of restarts and short green flag runs.
- By the time that I am supposed to submit this article, it should start raining at Bristol, and continue to rain until Monday morning. Qualifying was rained out and starting order was set by the season standings.
I am a promoter at FanVice and am also a user (my username is greenflagradio2) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of FanVice and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.