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    Chris Durell

    Daily Fantasy Nascar Picks
    Irwin Tools Night Race

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    Irwin Tools Night Race

    Bristol Motor Speedway - Bristol, TN
    Track Type/Length - .533 Mile Oval Short Track

    Matt Kenseth dominated, leading 146 laps and taking the checkered flag at the Pure Michigan 400 for his 2nd win in 3 weeks. The Joe Gibbs Racing team kept up the torrid pace they have been on lately with all four cars finishing in the top 11. The JGR team is carrying a lot of momentum into the Chase and should have all four cars competing for a title this year. Another team on a nice run as of late is the Penske team. With all that JGR has been doing lately, the Penske team has been under the radar so to speak. Between Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski, they have only finished outside the top 10 once in the previous five races. Another team building nice momentum going into the Chase.

    The rules package for Michigan didn't turn out to be a success like NASCAR had hoped. Passing was actually down from the June race at Michigan and drivers were not happy(are they ever?). NASCAR did, however, announce that there will be no rules package changes for the 10 races in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Now we move to a race where there aren't really any changes that could make it any better than it already is.

    This week NASCAR and it's teams head to Bristol, Tennessee for the Irwin Tools Night Race. This is by far my favorite track and race of the year. Short track racing, especially Bristol, creates bumping and banging throughout the entire race. The chances of there being a clean car with no dings at the end of race is slim to none. Bristol has been nicknamed "The Worlds Fastest Half Mile" for a reason. Drivers reach speeds of up to 130 mph in short straightaways here before breaking hard and turning on the sharp 24 - 30 degree banked corners.

    Track position will be key here again this week as it always is at Bristol. When looking back at the 109 races run here at Bristol there are some key stats that stick out. First of all, 87 of the races won here have been from drivers starting in the top 10 and 36 of those wins coming from the front row starting positions. The #1 thing to take away from this for fantasy purposes is to pay attention to qualifying this week and try and construct your fantasy teams with drivers starting inside the top 10. You can fill out the bottom end of your rosters with drivers starting 11-20 as well but I would steer clear of those outside the top 20 as only five drivers have ever won from outside the 20th starting position. A balanced approach will likely be the best strategy this week but if you want to go stars & scrubs look for drivers with a nice track history here if you are looking outside the top 20. Now on with the picks!

    Upper Tier Targets

    Matt Kenseth
    DraftKings - $10,400
    Fantasy Feud - $250,000
    Vegas Odds - 7/1
    Sprint Cup Standings – 7th
    Practice #1 - 2nd
    Practice #2 - 34th
    Qualified - 13th

    He now has two wins in his last three races and returns to a track where he has dominated recently. In his previous five races here at Bristol Matt has two wins and three top 5 finishes with a 10.6 average finish. In these five races he has started with an average position of 7.4 so if he puts down another solid qualifying run there is no reason he won't be there at the front in the closing laps.

    Kyle Busch
    DraftKings - $10,300
    Fantasy Feud - $270,000
    Vegas Odds - 7/1
    Sprint Cup Standings – 29th
    Practice #1 - 3rd
    Practice #2 - 1st
    Qualified - 2nd

    After starting at the rear last week in a backup car, Kyle worked his way towards the front and ran there for most of the race. He slipped back at the end and finished in the 11th spot. He has climbed up into 29th in the standings and is 18 points clear of 30th. His Chase birth looks pretty safe at this point and he returns to a track where he has had 5 wins in his career. He hasn't enjoyed success here most recently with only one top 10 finish in his previous four races here but he is built for this track and JGR is rolling.

    Brad Keselowski
    DraftKings - $10,100
    Fantasy Feud - $245,000
    Vegas Odds - 8/1
    Sprint Cup Standings – 5th
    Practice #1 - 9th
    Practice #2 - 16th
    Qualified - 6th

    If you are going off of current form, Keselowski should be at the top of your list. He has not finished worse than 10th in his previous six races and has been runner up twice in that time. He is more than due for his 2nd win on the season and has decent track history here as well. In his previous five races here he has two top 5 finishes and a 16.8 average finish. He has two career wins here and his aggressive driving fits the short track style needed to win.

    Middle Tier Targets

    Carl Edwards
    DraftKings - $9,500
    Fantasy Feud - $215,000
    Vegas Odds - 11/1
    Sprint Cup Standings – 14th
    Practice #1 - 5th
    Practice #2 - 14th
    Qualified - 3rd

    Go figure another Joe Gibbs Racing team driver in my picks. When a driver is hot you have to ride the streak and even more important to ride the streak when the entire team is hot. Carl hasn't finished worse than 13th in his previous six races and makes a great cash game play at a discounted price at the top of tier 2. He also has winning upside as he has two career wins here at Bristol.

    Kyle Larson
    DraftKings - $8,600
    Fantasy Feud - $165,000
    Vegas Odds - 20/1
    Sprint Cup Standings – 19th
    Practice #1 - 1st
    Practice #2 - 3rd
    Qualified - 12th

    He has only raced here at Bristol three times but has finished in the top 10 twice and has a 9.7 average finish in those races. He looks to be out of his mini slump with four straight races finishing inside 13th. He is sitting in 19th in the standings and at this point can only get in the race with a win. Look for the #42 team to be very aggressive this week. He makes a great play in GPP with huge upside for the price.

    Kasey Kahne
    DraftKings - $8,200
    Fantasy Feud - $160,000
    Vegas Odds - 29/1
    Sprint Cup Standings – 17th
    Practice #1 - 16th
    Practice #2 - 10th
    Qualified - 19th

    He has had a very disappointing year thus far and fell out of the Chase bubble in the standings after last weekends race. He will be hungry for a strong finish to make his case for a playoff spot and comes to a track he races well at in the past. In his previous five races here he has a win, two top 5's and three top 10 finishes. He hasn't been able to finish a race this year but will have a lot to race for this weekend. I would only recommend using him in GPP tournament formats this week.

    Low End Target

    Paul Menard
    DraftKings - $7,500
    Fantasy Feud - $120,000
    Vegas Odds - 101/1
    Sprint Cup Standings – 11th
    Practice #1 - 11th
    Practice #2 - 11th
    Qualified - 29th

    A nice low end value play that can be used for both cash games and GPP tournaments. He has four straight races with top 15 finishes and has been consistent all year sitting in 11th in the standings. In his previous five races at Bristol he has three top 10 finishes and a 11.2 average finish. Look for another top 15 finish for the #27 team this week.

    Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
    DraftKings - $6,500
    Fantasy Feud - $115,000
    Vegas Odds - 101/1
    Sprint Cup Standings – 28th
    Practice #1 - 22nd
    Practice #2 - 8th
    Qualified - 8th

    My #1 value play of the week is at rock bottom pricing. Stenhouse has not had a top 25 finish in four straight weeks and is trending down in current form leading to bargain pricing this week. Stenhouse in his previous five races here has a two top 5's and three top 10 finishes with a 9.2 average finish. Enough said! Get him in your GPP lineups.

    ***Post Practice & Qualifying Update***
    Qualifying Top 10
    1. #11 Denny Hamlin
    2. #18 Kyle Busch
    3. #19 Carl Edwards
    4. #55 David Ragan
    5. #22 Joey Logano
    6. #2 Brad Keselowski
    7. #4 Kevin Harvick
    8. #17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
    9. #15 Clint Bowyer
    10. #48 Jimmie Johnson

    Denny Hamlin won the pole for the Irwin Tools Night Race tomorrow and set a new track record in the process. Kyle Busch will start on the front row with teammate Hamlin and was only 16 1000ths of a second shy of Hamlin's record breaking time. Completing a JGR 1/2/3 start is Carl Edwards leading the second row on Saturday night. Value plays in Ricky Stenhouse Jr.($6500), David Ragan($7200), and Clint Bowyer($8100) will all be starting inside the top 10 this week. My cheatsheet has been updated on the lineups page and can be re downloaded anytime. A new lineup has been added on the DraftKings lineup tab.

    Want to see how these picks and more fit into lineups for the Irwin Tools Night Race? Chris is selling a cheatsheet and lineups for DraftKings and FantasyFeud for $5. This is a separate service than our traditional monthly membership. Head over to our PayPal payment page, if that's more your bag.

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    Chris Durell has been playing Daily Fantasy Sports for three years and fantasy in general for more than a decade. He is active player in college football, NFL, NBA, PGA, and of course NASCAR. He lives in Saskatchewan, Canada with his wife and two daughters. You can follow him on Twitter at @jager_bombs9 for advice, strategy, answers to any NASCAR questions or how he copes with the winters up north.


    image sources

    • 2048px-NASCAR_practice: By U.S. Air Force photo by Larry McTighe [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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