Bristol Food City 500
It’s been a long time since Red Byron took the first checkered flag here at Bristol Motor Speedway back in the fall of 1949. His ’49 Oldsmobile beat out 14 other cars as he was the first to complete the required 100 laps needed to win the race that season.
A lot has changed since then as the drivers of the Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series will take a stab at taming the ‘World’s Fastest Half Mile’. At least 500 laps will be needed to win the 57th Annual Food City 500 when the green flag drops on Sunday afternoon. The banking here at Bristol Motor Speedway ranges from 22 to 24 degrees in the four corners and flattens out to nine degrees down the front and back straightaways. This makes for some very interesting racing as the track heats up quickly and doesn’t really have a chance to cool down much with each lap taking roughly 16 laps to complete. As you can imagine this is a more ‘grind it out and stay in front’ kind of race than a ‘sit back and wait’ kind of race that you may find when they race at some of the bigger tracks on the circuit. Qualifying was once again rained out so the starting line-up was determined by where the drivers are in the standings. 39 cars showed up to race in this Sunday’s race so no one will be packing up and going home. Without any further ado, let’s get down to the business.
Kyle Busch – $10,600 – Busch is the highest salaried driver in this week’s contests over on DraftKings and he just may be worth the price this weekend. The driver of the #18 M & M’s Toyota has four straight top five finishes in his last four starts here at Bristol with his best coming in the spring of 2016 where he won the race back by leading 352 laps that afternoon. Busch will start from the seventh spot when the green flag drops Sunday afternoon and has had the fastest car in the last two practices that were run Saturday morning. Everyone knows that Busch is not one to back down on the track and that is exactly the type of mentality you need to win on a track as small as this one.
Brad Keselowski – $10,300 – Keselowski is another driver who carries a high price tag this weekend and could be in line to pay dividends once the checkered flag has flown. The driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford has already racked up two wins this season while finishing in the top six in all of the last six races run this season. Keselowski has also racked up seven top 10 finishes in his last 10 starts here at Bristol. He will start in the fourth position on Sunday which makes him a very viable option to lead his share of laps.
Joey Logano – $10,000 – Despite his 31st finish four weeks ago, Logano is another driver that has notched six top six finishes so far this season. Consistency is the key here as the driver of the #22 Autotrader Ford will roll off from the fifth position Sunday afternoon. Logano has only had one bad finish in his last 10 tries here in Tennessee which was a 37th four races ago. Since then he has finished 11th, ninth and fourth. It looks like he is getting better each time out.
Chase Elliott – $9,400 – Elliott is enjoying a nice start to the season as he has grabbed five top 10 finishes in the first seven race so far. He finished 12th and 14th in the other two races which means that he is starting to figure out these tracks and run a bit more consistently. His speed of 128.185 was good enough for fourth best in Saturday’s final practice and could be a serious threat to grab a lot of fantasy points today as he starts from the outside pole thanks to the rain. It also doesn’t hurt that he finished fourth here last fall.
Clint Bowyer – $8,400 – Bowyer is on the lower end of the second tier in terms of pricing but that doesn’t mean you have to shy away from him. It’s not been a secret that the driver of the #14 Haas Automation Demo Days Ford has reverted back to his former self since jumping into the car that was recently run by Tony Stewart. Bowyer sits in ninth place in the standings, which is where he will start the race from and has been able to rack up three top 10 finishes so far this season. As far as Bristol goes, he has six top 10 finishes in his last 10 starts and finished in seventh place in last fall’s race. With a low price and a high ceiling, Bowyer could win someone a few dollars come Sunday afternoon.
Ryan Newman – $7,500 – Newman is another one of those ‘rough and tumble’ drivers that could pay off big time today. The driver of the #31 Grainger Chevrolet has seemed to figure this place out a little bit. In his last four starts here at Bristol, Newman has been able to finish inside the top 10 three times with the other race ending in a 16th place finish. Don’t get me wrong, Newman does have a temper which could easily do him in but if he can persevere, he could be in for a big day as he starts from the 13th position on the grid.
Chris Buescher – $6,700 – I wouldn’t mind if Buescher’s price was a bit lower as it seems DraftKings has kept a nice tight salary structure so far this season. Buescher came away with an impressive 11th place finish here at Bristol in the fall as that was the first Bristol race with his new team. He will start from the 27th spot on Sunday which is six places above his start last fall. The driver of the #37 Bush’s Beans Chevrolet was able to finish 11th just two races ago at another short track down in Martinsville, Virginia. It’s not out of the realm of possibility that he is indeed onto something when it comes to the short tracks as he appears to have finished quite well in the small sample size presented.
That will about do it for another look inside the Monster Energy Nascar Cup Series. As always come back here to FanVice for all of your daily fantasy needs, follow me on twitter @elctrceye and good luck in your contests this weekend.