This article is part of our DFS NASCAR series.
Supermarket Heroes 500
Location: Bristol, Tenn.
Course: Bristol Motor Speedway
Format: 0.53-mile oval
Chase Elliott finally got the job done Thursday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway, winning his first race of the season after coming so close so many times since racing returned at Darlington. The race was the second in a week at Charlotte and the fourth in two weeks after back-to-back races at Darlington Raceway. Up next is a one-stop trip to Bristol Motor Speedway for a 500-lap shootout before the series returns again in the fall during the playoffs. The significance of this week's race will not be lost on the competitors as they use this opportunity to either claim their place in that battle or perfect the strategies they hope to deploy when that time comes. Joe Gibbs Racing's Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin split the wins at the track last season. Toyota has won four of the last five races at the track and the fifth was won by Kurt Busch in a Ford.
Starting positions for Sunday afternoon's were again set by a random draw. Brad Keselowski drew the top spot and Aric Almirola will join him on the front row. Both drivers will have a clear line of sight to the green flag, but Bristol is all about navigating traffic. It won't take long for the leaders to catch the back of the pack, and working your way through the field while avoiding trouble is a necessity to be in position to win. The short lap means much of the race is spent in the track's high-banked turns where the high groove has become the preferred fast lane. The short lap distance also places extra emphasis on pit road. Mistakes there will be punished heavily with multiple laps lost to leaders. Fantasy owners should expect a frenetic pace with action throughout the field.
Key Stats at Bristol Motor Speedway
- Number of races: 118
- Winners from pole: 26
- Winners from top-5 starters: 67
- Winners from top-10 starters: 92
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 6
- Fastest race: 104.589 mph
Previous 10 Bristol Winners
2019 fall - Denny Hamlin
2019 spring - Kyle Busch
2018 fall - Kurt Busch
2018 spring - Kyle Busch
2017 fall - Kyle Busch
2017 spring - Jimmie Johnson
2016 fall - Kevin Harvick
2016 spring - Carl Edwards
2015 fall - Joey Logano
2015 spring - Matt Kenseth
The wide-open racing of the last two events at Charlotte Motor Speedway are set to be replaced by the tight confines of Bristol. The short track has been the playground of Kyle Busch and Toyota in recent seasons. Traffic is the name of the game, and navigating it successfully ultimately will determine Sunday's victor. Despite the plethora of traffic drivers will deal with throughout Sunday's 500 laps, track position is also a very important factor. The ability to choose your car's preferred line when approaching slower vehicles will give an advantage for those lucky enough to have it. Pit road and restarts have a major impact on that track position, and with roughly 10 caution periods per race in each of the last two seasons, those chances to capitalize and make necessary adjustments will be relatively few.
DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)
DraftKings Tier 1 Values
DraftKings Tier 2 Values
DraftKings Tier 3 Values
DraftKings Long-Shot Values
MY PICKS THIS WEEK
Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Kyle Busch (DK $12,500, FD $14,000) has been the king of Bristol recently. He has won three of the last five races at the track and has a total of eight career victories. He will start seventh on Sunday. With back-to-back third-place finishes, Ryan Blaney (DK $8,600, FD $10,300) may have finally overcome the bad luck that plagued the start to his season. By now he probably should have a win to his credit but remains without. Blaney has three consecutive top-10 Bristol finishes heading into Sunday's race. Another top fantasy choice whenever we come to Bristol is Kurt Busch (DK $8,300, FD $10,600). The elder Busch brother has six Bristol wins and has finished in the top 10 in three of the last four races at the track. While Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (DK $7,400, FD $6,200) may be known more for his success at Talladega and Daytona, he is no slouch at Bristol. Actually, Bristol is one of his better tracks with six top-10s and two runner-up finishes from 14 starts. Ryan Newman (DK $6,800, FD $7,700) presents another attractive option with 19 top-10 finishes from 36 career Bristol starts. Rounding off the lower-risk selections, Austin Dillon (DK $6,300, FD $7,000) brings eight top-15 finishes from 12 career starts.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Denny Hamlin (DK $11,600, FD $12,000) is the most recent Bristol victor and has finished in the top 10 at the track in half of his 28 career starts. Team Penske's Joey Logano (DK $10,700, FD $11,700) has been taking advantage of strategy and speed to grab stage and race wins so far this season. With two Bristol wins to his credit, he should be a top selection again for Sunday. Fantasy players know that Matt Kenseth (DK $8,100, FD $8,000) will take more time to acclimate to his new surroundings, but Bristol has been a good track for him, too. Kenseth won four of his 36 Bristol starts and finished fourth in his last two races there in 2017. Matt DiBenedetto (DK $7,100, FD $8,300) nearly scored a Bristol win last fall, and his current Wood Brothers Racing team has a history of performing well at the track. He led 93 laps that night on his way to a second-place finish, which was his second top-10 there. Erik Jones (DK $7,000, FD $9,600) had a rough Thursday night at Charlotte but has a chance to return to form at Bristol this weekend where he started from pole in 2017 and has two top-five finishes. Not to be forgotten among the vast Bristol experience in the field is John Hunter Nemechek (DK $5,500, FD $6,400). Sunday may be his first Cup series race at the track, but he could be a great option for fantasy players who remember his two top-five Xfinity finishes here last season.