DFS NASCAR: Bass Pro Shops Night Race

DFS NASCAR: Bass Pro Shops Night Race

This article is part of our DFS NASCAR series.

Bass Pro Shops Night Race

Location: Bristol, Tenn.
Course: Bristol Motor Speedway
Format: 0.53-mile oval
Laps: 500

Race Preview

Saturday night's visit to Bristol Motor Speedway will finalize the 12 drivers who will advance to the next round of playoff elimination races. Martin Truex Jr. joined teammate Denny Hamlin in securing his spot in the final 12 by winning last week at Richmond. Michael McDowell, William Byron, Tyler Reddick and Kurt Busch all enter this week's race below the cutline, seeking as many points as possible to stay alive in the championship hunt. The battle to progress is a tight one with just 35 points separating eighth and 15th in the standings. Anything can happen Saturday night, and every point is going to be highly contested. 

The series last visited Bristol earlier this season when Joey Logano won on the dirt. This will be the first race at the track since last season on the concrete, however. Brad Keselowski and Kevin Harvick split the wins on the surface last year, and a win for either would secure their advancement in the championship. Truex and Hamlin will start the race on the front row while Logano and Chase Elliott will line up behind them on row 2.

Key Stats at Bristol Motor Speedway

  • Number of races: 120
  • Winners from pole: 27
  • Winners from top-5 starters: 69
  • Winners from top-10 starters: 94
  • Winners from 21st or lower starters: 6
  • Fastest race: 104.589 mph

Previous 10 Bristol Winners

2020 fall - Kevin Harvick
2020 spring - Brad Keselowski
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

Bristol Motor Speedway is a high-banked concrete short track that forces drivers to navigate traffic through most of the distance. The close racing and tight confines have a history of testing patience, which is only magnified by this week's race being the final opportunity for drivers to advance in the playoffs. Drivers need to get into a rhythm with the track, and that traffic can quickly disrupt that rhythm. Bristol enables drivers to choose a few different lines to help them with the traffic and adjust as their tires wear. With a close points battle determining who will be eliminated from championship contention fantasy owners should expect some relatively conservative pit strategies, though. Bristol's short lap means pitting under green will push a car multiple laps down to the leaders, but the timing of cautions will ultimately dictate when teams pit, including stage breaks. Fantasy players should expect to see championship contenders racing for stage points throughout the night, though.

DRAFTKINGS VALUE PICKS (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Kyle Busch - $11,500
Kyle Larson - $11,300
Denny Hamlin - $10,800
Chase Elliott - $10,500

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Kurt Busch - $9,600
Ryan Blaney - $9,400
William Byron - $9,200
Kevin Harvick - $9,000

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Christopher Bell - $8,800
Brad Keselowski - $8,600
Matt DiBenedetto - $8,400
Austin Dillon - $8,200

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Ross Chastain - $7,800
Aric Almirola - $7,300
Erik Jones - $6,400
Chase Briscoe - $6,200

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Busch - $11,500
Kurt Busch - $9,600
Kevin Harvick - $9,000
Ross Chastain - $7,800
Erik Jones - $6,400
Michael McDowell - $5,400

Kyle Busch (DK $11,500, FD $13,500) bounced back at Richmond to head into this final race of the first round of playoffs in the 10th position. He will need another good night Saturday to avoid slipping down the order and missing the cutoff, but would get the job done with 48 points regardless of who wins. He has eight Bristol wins in his own right. Brother Kurt Busch (DK $9,600, FD $10,000) has an impressive six wins at the track, but also needs to overcome a crash last week at Richmond. He needs to rise above the cutline to advance and will have to do so from the 15th starting position. Harvick (DK $9,000, FD $11,000) hasn't had the speed to lead many laps this season but he is currently making the most of what he does have. He is comfortable at sixth in the standings, will start eighth Saturday night and has three Bristol wins on his resume. Despite not being in the championship battle, Ross Chastain (DK $7,800, FD $9,500) has shown some incredible form recently. He was third at Darlington and seventh last week at Richmond. He has four prior Bristol starts, but this week is poised to become his career-best finish at the track. Bristol's tight circuit is one of those venues where Erik Jones (DK $6,400, FD $5,500) should be able to be more competitive. He has four top-fives from eight starts at the track. Michael McDowell (DK $5,400, FD $4,500) faces a must-win situation this week to advance. Bristol has been good to him recently, too. He scored his two best finishes at the track last season with his best ever finish at the track (10th) in this race last season.

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Denny Hamlin - $10,800
Christopher Bell - $8,800
Austin Dillon - $8,200
Tyler Reddick - $7,600
Aric Almirola - $7,300
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $7,200

Were it not for his teammate last week, Hamlin (DK $10,800, FD $13,000) may be trying to sweep the first round of playoff eliminations. He has a spot on the front row Saturday and has two Bristol wins. Teammate Christopher Bell (DK $8,800, FD $9,700) is fighting to stay alive in the championship battle and enters this weekend's race eighth in the standings. Bell has an Xfinity win at Bristol in 2019 and finished ninth there in the spring race of 2020. Austin Dillon (DK $8,200, FD $8,000) is not in the championship battle, but does have a good history at Bristol. He is a consistent top-15 finisher at the track and has three top-10s from 14 starts. His teammate Reddick (DK $7,600, FD $8,500) has some work to do to stay alive in the playoffs. He currently sits 14th in the standings below the cutline and will line up 13th for the race. He has a first- and second-place finish at Bristol from his days in Xfinity and finished fourth in the Cup race last fall, too. He will need a similar performance and some help this week to keep his championship hopes alive. Aric Almirola (DK $7,300, FD $8,700) is another playoff driver needing help this week. He is below the cutline, but should still be a good fantasy option having finished fifth in this race last season. With a pair of runner-up finishes at Bristol on his resume, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (DK $7,200, FD $7,200) should also be a consideration. He failed to finish the last three races at the track but has six top-10s from 16 career starts.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. C.J. Radune plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: DraftKings: cjradune, RaceDayScore: cjradune.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
C.J. Radune
Radune covers NASCAR, Formula 1 and soccer for RotoWire. He was named the Racing Writer of the Year by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association in 2012 and 2015.
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