This article is part of our DFS NASCAR series.
Food City 300
Location: Bristol, Tenn.
Course: Bristol Motor Speedway
Format: 0.53-mile oval
This week's Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway will set the field that will compete for the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship. Noah Gragson stamped his ticket to the playoffs two races ago at Darlington and then went back to back with another win last week at Richmond. Only three playoff spots remain to be filled. Those spots are currently held by Jeremy Clements, Brandon Jones and Riley Herbst, who will all be trying to hang on. This week's race will also see the regular-season champion crowned between AJ Allmendinger and Austin Cindric. Gragson and Chase Briscoe scored the Bristol wins last season, and it will be Gragson who starts on pole this week on the heels of his back-to-back wins. Justin Allgaier will line up alongside on the front row.
Key Stats at Bristol Motor Speedway
- Number of races: 77
- Winners from pole: 11
- Winners from top-5 starters: 41
- Winners from top-10 starters: 55
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 7
- Fastest race: 94.740 mph
Previous 10 Bristol Winners
2020 fall - Chase Briscoe
2020 spring - Noah Gragson
2019 fall - Tyler Reddick
2019 spring - Christopher Bell
2018 fall - Kyle Larson
2018 spring - Ryan Preece
2017 fall - Kyle Busch
2017 spring - Erik Jones
2016 fall - Austin Dillon
2016 spring - Erik Jones
Track position is king when racing at Bristol. Winners do not often start outside of the top 10, and having a poor handling car early can put a driver in a hole be or she may never be able to dig out of. While much of the race will be spent navigating traffic, drivers do have options to move up or down the track as their tires wear. There also aren't many options for strategy without yellow flags. Pitting off cycle is difficult given the short lap, and most strategy will evolve as caution periods arise or don't. Fantasy owners should also consider the amount of laps potential leaders are able to spend out front at Bristol. It isn't uncommon for quick cars to spend a significant amount of time in the lead, which will lead to bigger fantasy point totals.
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)
Compared to some of the higher-priced drivers this week, Allgaier may present a nice value. He starts on the front row and has a win and 12 top-10s from 20 Bristol starts. Add to that the fact he has led at least 100 laps in the last four races there and he certainly stands out amongst the competition. Burton doesn't have the experience at this track Allgaier does, but his results have been impressive as well. He has an average finish of sixth from three track starts and led 81 laps in a fourth-place finish from pole there last spring. Michael Annett is still trying to get things going. He only finished 22nd at Richmond last week, but should be a regular face in the top 15. He starts 15th in Friday's race and crashed out of both Bristol visits last season. Before that, he had three consecutive top-10s at the track, though. Ryan Sieg has yet to land a top-10 at this track, but he has proven himself very capable of finishing in the top 15 there. He finished 14th in this race last season and finished 16th or better in five of his last six Bristol races. Gray Gaulding isn't a name that normally pops into fantasy circles, but this is a week it should. He has a lowly starting spot of 38th for Friday's race but has a worst Bristol finish of 18th in his four series tries. His average result in that span is 13th, which would be a great points haul if he can match that. Finally, Jeremy Clements presents a nice option for rosters this week as he goes points hunting. He is looking to finalize his spot in the playoffs and hasn't finished worse than 13th in his last five Bristol races.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
Gragson won at Bristol in the spring of 2020, leading a total of 55 laps. He will start from pole this week and is likely to lead many of the opening laps, but may find it a challenge to win three consecutive races. Daniel Hemric has his playoff spot secured and scored two top-10s in the last three races. He has finished in the top 10 in four of his five series Bristol starts, too. Herbst finished 10th in this race last season. He also finished in the top 10 in four of the last five races, is fighting for a spot in the championship battle and will start the race eighth. Last year's fall Bristol race produced Jeb Burton's first top-10 at the track. He'll get a chance to do that again this week with the added momentum of three top-10 finishes from the last three races leading into this regular season finale. Another driver with a little wind in his sails is Myatt Snider. He will be working to maintain his spot in the standings and move into the championship battle. This will be his third start at the track, and he scored a top-10 finish in this race last season. Rookie Sage Karam will be making his second series start this week. He will start 32nd Friday and finished 26th in his debut earlier in the season due to an electrical issue.