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Daily Fantasy NASCAR Race Preview & Picks for DraftKings - Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race
Chris Durell will be bringing you his weekly race breakdown, top trends, and pre-qualifying targets to help you cash on DraftKings and FanDuel. You can also grab a copy of his free DFS NASCAR Cheatsheet that includes a ton of stats and a customizable model.
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Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race
Bristol Motor Speedway - Bristol, TN
Track - .533 mile Oval Short Track
24° to 30° of Banking
This week the Monster Energy Cup Series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for one of the most anticipated races of the year, the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race on Saturday. If you thought tempers were starting to flare up before, just wait until Saturday night where they will have to race door to door, bumper to bumper for 500 laps. Adding to the pressure once again is the Playoff bubble with just three races remaining in the regular season so before we get into this week, let's take a look at the drivers with the most to gain or lose here at the Worlds Fastest Half-Mile.
- 11th - Aric Almirola(645 pts)
- 12th - William Byron(642 pts)
- 13th - Kyle Larson(624 pts)
- 14th - Erik Jones(623 pts)
- 15th - Ryan Newman(569 pts)
- 16th - Clint Bowyer(559 pts)
- 17th - Jimmie Johnson(547 pts)
- 18th - Paul Menard(506 pts)
From a fantasy perspective, this is most definitely a dominator race with 500 laps on a half-mile track and we have seen at least two drivers lead 100 or more laps in eight straight races here at Bristol. There has also been at least three drivers to 50 or more laps in each of the last five races as well.
Passing is projected to be tough as Bristol Motor Speedway has laid down PJ1 on the bottom groove multiple times already this weekend and have also ground down some of the rubber on the top in an effort to create a one-lane track at the bottom. Old school Bristol baby! With that said, combined with the unofficial qualifying this afternoon, I am projecting five or fewer drivers picking up double-digit place differential.
Last Six Winners at Bristol
- 2019(1) - Kyle Busch(started 17th, led 71 laps)
- 2018(2) - Kurt Busch(started 9th, led 24 laps)
- 2018(1) - Kyle Busch(started 1st, led 117 laps)
- 2017(2) - Kyle Busch(started 18th, led 156 laps)
- 2017(1) - Jimmie Johnson(started 11th, led 81 laps)
- 2016(2) - Kevin Harvick(started 24th, led 128 laps)
Track History at Bristol
You don't come to Bristol without starting the conversation with Kyle Busch. He won the race here earlier in the year and has won three of the last four and leads all active drivers with eight wins at the track. With 2,303 laps led here, he has more than double the next closest driver.
Going back to the start of 2017(five races), there is one driver who has been better for fantasy. Kyle Larson has yet to win here but in those five races, he has four Top 10's and a series-leading 489 laps. Add it up and he also leads all drivers in those five races with an average of 83.3 DraftKings/92.4 FanDuel points per race.
From a consistency standpoint, Jimmie Johnson and Joey Logano sit tied with an impressive 6.8 average finish over the last five race at the track. Johnson returns with Top 10 finishes in three straight and eight of his last 10 races with his second career win here in the Spring of 2017. Logano returns with Top 5's in back to back races and Top 10's in eight of his last 10 races as well with two wins(2015, 2014).
Kurt Busch hasn't been as consistent as others overall but returns with a runner-up finish to brother Kyle in the spring and he also won this race last year. On top of that, he is second to Kyle with six career wins and 1,086 laps led.
Teammates Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer are two of just five drivers with four Top 10's in the last five races here with Harvick returning with two career wins and the second-most Top 10's(19) among active drivers.
Track Type History(Short Tracks)
Kyle Busch has absolutely dominated the short tracks with six wins since the start of 2017(15 races) and leads all active drivers with 16 career short-track wins. Joining Kyle as the only other two active drivers with 10+ short track wins are brother Kurt Busch(10) and seven-time champion, Jimmie Johnson(14).
Joey Logano has been a terrific value on short tracks as well with back to back Top 5's at Richmond and Bristol and has Top 10's in 16 of his last 20 short track races. His teammate, Brad Keselowski, joins him as the only two drivers not named Kyle Busch who have multiple short track wins since the start of the 2017 season(15 races).
While it has been a while since his last short track win(Richmond-2016), Denny Hamlin has been very consistent lately with four straight Top 5 finishes and has the fourth-best average finish(8.9) over the last 15 races.
Teammates Kevin Harvick(7.9) and Clint Bowyer(9.5) are the only other two drivers with an average finish under 10 since the start of 2017 with Bowyer the only one of the two with a win(Martinsville). Harvick has six career short-track wins while Bowyer has three.
Over the last six races, Joe Gibbs Racing leads the way from an average finish standpoint. Denny Hamlin tops them all with a win and five Top 5's while Erik Jones joins him as the only other driver with four Top 10's in those six races. Kyle Busch has just one Top 5 in the last six races but still sits 2nd in average finish(8.3) and is also 2nd to Hamlin with an average of 58.3 DraftKings/55.7 FanDuel points per race. Martin Truex Jr. has three top 5's and a 9.3 average finish and William Byron rounds out the Top 5 with two Top 5's, three To p10's and a 10.8 average finish over the last six races.
If I didn't make a strong enough argument above as to why Kyle should be the top driver, the fact he is starting 31st with elite place differential value should seal the deal. He is going to be chalky but if anyone can come through the field(and he has many times before) it is Kyle. I will be overweight in all formats.
The Penske cars look very strong this weekend and my favorite of the group is defending series champ Joey Logano. He leads all drivers with a 6.8 average here over the last five races and has shown a ton of speed in practice ranking 3rd in the first session and while he was 13th in final practice, he led everyone in 10-lap averages in both sessions. He is #1 in my model and being 6th in pricing on DraftKings, is my favorite play in all formats this week.
Logano's teammate Ryan Blaney stands out as well this week, especially on DraftKings in the mid $8K range. He returns to Bristol with back to back Top 10's while leading 120+ laps in both and was 6th and 2nd in the two practices and in the final practice ranked 1st in 10-lap averages and 2nd in 20-lap averages. Core play in all formats.
Jones is another mid-range option that stands out as he posted Top 5 ranks in 10-lap averages in both practices and has been very consistent down the stretch with Top 5's in four of his last five and Top 10's in six of his last eight races.
Buescher messed up going into his second lap in qualifying and it cost him as he will start 29th this week. That is good news for fantasy as he has been a consistent value play all season and has finished 22nd and 18th in his last two Bristol races and better than his starting position in six of his eight career starts here.
He announced this week he is out of the #95 next season but that hasn't stopped him on the track. Starting 7th isn't ideal for a value play but he was easily the fastest car on the track Saturday ranking 4th and 1st in practice and was 2nd and 3rd in 10-lap averages in those sessions.
Below you will find a copy of my DFS NASCAR cheathsheet which includes Track History, Current Form, DraftKings points averages, Track Type History, Practice/Qualifying Ranks and much more.
Chris Durell has been playing Daily Fantasy Sports for five years and fantasy in general for more than a decade. He is an active player in NFL, MLB, NHL, 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.
- NASCAR Homestead Auto Racing: (AP Photo/Terry Renna)