Daily Fantasy NASCAR Race Preview - Food City 500
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Food City 500
Bristol Motor Speedway - Bristol, TN
Track - .533 Mile Short Track
24°-30° of Banking in the Corners
The Easter break is over and the Monster Energy Cup Series travels to Thunder Valley for the Food City 500 this weekend. After last year's Bristol Night Race it is clear that the "Old Bristol" is back. The track team used a compound on the lower groove in all four corners and out of the straightaways to help with grip. They also used a process similar to what was used in Texas two weeks ago where they drag a bunch of tires on the track to help create grip. The drivers loved it as it created more options for passing, especially when it came to the slower lapped traffic. Last year's night race is 100% the best to go off of as rain had washed most of the grip off the track but the race was still very exciting overall.
The biggest thing I will be paying attention to on Friday is the qualifying after the Texas Sh*t show. Nine drivers ended up missing qualifying, which by some could be viewed as an advantage as the cars get to start on fresh tires. Personally, I feel it has most to do with NASCAR tightening up their specs on the inspection process to eliminate advantages some teams were getting in the old process. If you fail at one of the inspection stations you now have to start right at the beginning of the line rather than make a few adjustments and go back to the same station. Time will definitely tell but you can expect NASCAR to nip any shady work in the butt if they decide there is any.
Before getting into my early week picks, let's take a look at some of the top trends from Bristol Motor Speedway.
Top 5 Track History at Bristol Motor Speedway (2 Year)
Just like last week, we see the top of the current track history ranks filled with Hendrick Motorsports drivers Jimmie Johnson, Dale Earnhardt Jr, and Chase Elliott. All three have an average finish under 10.0 and you might notice only one driver(Elliott) has any laps led over the past two years. The laps led leaders during this time are Kyle Busch(448), Kevin Harvick(325) and Joey Logano(218).
Top 5 Track History at Bristol Motor Speedway (Career)
Looking at career track history, young gun Chase Elliott sits at the top with his small sample size but he is most definitely an ascending driver in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series. Right behind him with a larger but still small sample size is Ricky Stenhouse Jr. who has finished inside the Top 5 in three of his eight trips to Bristol and has a very impressive 10.6 average finish. Neither of the top two on the list has a win here but the three behind him do with Harvick the only one of them with multiple wins. Not on the list leading all active drivers with wins are the Busch brothers with five.
Top 5 Short Track Track History (2 Year)
As you can see, there are a lot of the same names on the short track history list. Each of the top four drivers has a win while Kyle Busch has dominated the laps led on short tracks with 1,164 in just 10 races. Erik Jones makes the list as he is coming off a 12th place finish at Martinsville three weeks ago, his first short track race of his Monster Energy Cup series career.
Top 5 Current Form (Last 6 Races)
As you would expect, Brad Keselowski now tops the list of current form. Since his 27th place finish at the Daytona 500, Brad has not finished worse than sixth in six straight races and has picked up two wins. Stage racing has helped the #42 of Kyle Larson remain at the top of the points standings as he has accumulated the most stage points(87) this season. Chase Elliott is right behind him with 85 and has not finished outside the top 20 all season and has five Top 10's and three Top 5's in seven races this season. Two names not on this list that have led the most laps in this six race span are Kyle Busch(395) and Kevin Harvick(369).
Top 5 Biggest Salary Drops from Last Week
Martin Truex Jr. tops the list of salary drops this week but for good reason. He has finished 14th or worse here at Bristol in seven straight races and has a career 20.86 average finish. Next up are Clint Bowyer and Paul Menard who come $2,000 apart. Bowyer intrigues me most as he has a Top 5 and two Top 10's in his last four races here at Bristol. Even with his five career wins and drop in salary, I will be fading Kurt Busch until the #41 team can pinpoint the issue with their poor run since winning the Daytona 500.
Early Week Picks
Kyle Busch ($10,600) - He has been highly owned the last two weeks and somewhat disappointed with a 15th place finish at Texas last race and is now the most expensive option. This could help lower his GPP ownership this week, dependant on qualifying, making him a terrific building block for your lineups. He has been incredible here over his career with five wins and while none have come in the last two years, he has led all drivers in laps led(448) in just three races.
Chase Elliott ($9,400) - He has been very impressive this season three Top5's, five Top 10's and sits second in the Monster Energy Cup series points standings. He has now seen his salary drop $100 as he comes back to a track he did pretty darn well at in his rookie season. It started with a fourth place finish at this race last year and a 15th place finish in the August race.
Trevor Bayne ($6,800) - Bayne's salary also dropped a $100 this week but that is not why I will be targeting him. He is having a solid season with one Top 10 and five Top 15 finishes and has gained positive place differential points in all but one race(Texas) where he lost one spot. Showig his consistensty for DFS, he has ciked up 30 or more DraftKings points in all seven races and is ranked 12th overall in average poitns per race.
For a limited time, I am offering a copy of my DFS NASCAR cheathsheet which includes Track History, Current Form, Odds, Track Type History, Practice/Qualifying Ranks and much more. Get it HERE. I also have available my Race by Race Trends sheet you can view as well.
If you have any questions scroll down to the comment section and join the conversation.Good Luck everyone!
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.
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