NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Bass Pro Shops Night Race
Last week, Kevin Harvick smashed the field at Michigan for his seventh win of 2018, the most of any driver, and he now has more playoff points accumulated than any other driver with only three races left before the playoffs begin. Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. will battle to close the gap this weekend at one of the most anticipated races of the year. The Bristol night race is a special event in one of the coolest venues in sports, and it is always packed with action.
Here at numberFire, we've always got you covered for everything NASCAR DFS. Our track preview gives you more information about this track, our driver preview helps bring you up to speed on drivers' recent history here and elsewhere, and our Heat Check Podcast with Jim Sannes gives you insight how he is approaching this weekend's slate.
Kyle Busch ($13,500): This section could be as short as "he has won the last two races at Bristol," but it might be best to expand on Kyle Busch's track history. The man has won two consecutive races here, but before that, he crashed out in four of the last five, so his average finish in the last six races is a whopping 22.8. Is that cause for concern? Not really. In three of those four races in which he didn't finish, Busch led laps in the event, including 256 laps before heartbreak in August of 2016. Busch's always been the man to beat at Bristol, and that is why he has seven wins here. And buried in this list of greatness? He also won final practice. It's more of a question of when -- not if -- he will find the front on Saturday night (or Sunday, if it rains). The price tag is hefty, but don't overthink this -- Kyle Busch is a must in cash.
Kyle Larson ($12,000): At a track where laps led are so plentiful, domination points are a must. At a lot of track, you try to hunt one person to dominate the race and balance the rest of your lineup, but at Bristol, you want at least two or more drivers who can lead a bunch of laps. With that said, pole-sitter Kyle Larson is a great option. Bristol has been the Kyle and Kyle show the last two races, with Larson and the aforementioned Busch excelling, Larson has led more than 200 laps in both events. Larson dominated all three rounds of qualifying, so starting from the front on Saturday night, he very well might lead some 200 laps again. Track position is a must, and the premium pit stall earned as the pole winner can help Larson get back out front if he loses the spot on track. This price point is a high one for Larson, as he has entered the range of the "Big Three," but he is well worth it at one of his best tracks.
For a quick check-in on the rest of the "Big Three," it seems crazy to fade Kevin Harvick ($13,000) at a track he runs well at. Harvick has an average finish of 5.20 in the last six races here, but it is worth noting that his only win and most of his laps led in those six were in a race in which Larson and Busch both found accidents. Harvick is very solid here and has a good car for Saturday, but his price means he needs to run great to be worth it. Also, Martin Truex Jr ($11,500) is cheap comparably, but this isn't a great spot for him. Truex has only one top 10 in his last 10 races here, including crashing out in the April affair. Starting 17th, Truex appears to have tantalizing pass-differential upside, but that's not quite as important at this track.
Joey Logano ($10,200): In a renaissance year for Ford, Joey Logano has been just OK. He scored a plate win at Talladega in April, and Logano seems to be in neutral since. He has not scored a top-five finish since May, and his average finish in the last six races is 21.83. Nothing about that screams desirable, but Logano isn't a bad bet from a limited bin of mid-tier drivers. Logano starts 19th at a track where he has two wins and five consecutive top-15 finishes. At a place with as much trouble as Bristol, it speaks to the talent of Logano to navigate wrecks recently. While the number-22 team has been down on speed, no track on the circuit may rely more on driver talent than Bristol does, and he is one of the best in this arena.
Ryan Blaney ($9,600): Blaney appears to be trying to bust up the Kyle and Kyle show at Bristol these days. He was stunningly quick in April, leading 100 laps before being on the wrong end of an ill-timed lap-car incident. Blaney's signature Xfinity Series win came at Bristol, where he surged past Kyle Busch on a restart and out-drove him to the win. Almost all of that crew is back with Blaney now in the Monster Energy Series, and Jeremy Bullins, his crew chief, appears to have the special sauce at this track. Blaney might be disappointed by the result in qualifying, which was only 10th, but if he can bring close to as much speed as he did in April, it will make him a contender for the win. He is not as safe as Logano, but he has vastly more upside than his teammate.
Erik Jones ($9,200): Erik Jones stunned the NASCAR world last year by leading 260 laps in the night race, and he was a matter of seconds from his first career win from the pole, losing to Kyle Busch on a late green-flag run where Busch navigated traffic a little better than Jones did. Jones found trouble here this spring, but he probably has a great deal of confidence off of that performance last year. He is still searching for more playoff points to add to his win at Daytona in July, and this might be an opportunity. Starting 14th, Jones is in a great DFS starting position at Bristol. From there, he isn't in much risk of going a lap down early, and there is upside of a top-five finish.
Trevor Bayne ($6,800): It has been a bizarre year for Bayne, who is splitting time with Matt Kenseth this year in a Jack Roush Ford. But he makes an appearance in the bargain bin this week because of his surprising Bristol prowess. He cut a tire in April, but before that, his average finish at The Conveyor Belt was a sparkling 8.75. That is incredible for this pricing area, and Bayne starts 23rd on Saturday. If he can land somewhere around his average from before this season, that would be unbelievable value at a track where his teammate, Ricky Stenhouse Jr ($8,500), has also run extremely well at in the past.
Bubba Wallace ($6,500): Wallace may have more talent than the number-43 team is showing right now. With Chevrolet down across the board, Bubba has not had the rookie season he was hoping for when securing sponsorship for this full-time Cup ride. There have been a few bright spots, however, and one was at Bristol in the spring, when he finished 16th. Bubba was 12th in final practice this week, so while he appears to not have the one-lap speed of other cars, he may settle into a rhythm and slowly improve. Starting 27th, he's firmly in risk of going a lap down in Stage 1, but even going a lap down and finishing inside the top 20 would make Bubba owners happy Saturday night.
Kasey Kahne ($6,300): Kahne announced on Thursday that he would step aside from NASCAR in 2019 to pursue other endeavors, and so his swan song begins this weekend. Kahne has accomplished a lot in the Monster Energy Cup Series, but not much of it has been this season in a down year for Leavine Family Racing. Kahne still has raised eyebrows at times, and one of them was running top 10 here in April before a steering line cut, meaning there is unfinished business in the 95 garage this weekend. He was 15th in final practice, so the car's overall speed appears to be there, even though the single-lap speed was not. On a night when paying up for both Busch and Larson is appealing, Kahne provides great salary relief.
Austin Swaim is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Austin Swaim also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username ASwaim3. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.