NASCAR Daily Fantasy Helper: Bass Pro Shops Night Race

Kevin Harvick had just enough at Michigan. He had just enough speed to rally by Joey Logano late, and he had just enough gas to hang on for his second win of the season. This week, one of NASCAR's most prized weekends arrives in "Thunder Valley," as the series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway. The fastest 0.5-mile track in NASCAR always promises speed, excitement, and carnage -- and that only intensifies in the summer, when the lights come on in what is simply known to many as "The Night Race."

Daily fantasy strategy flips on its head this weekend. With 500 laps on the schedule for Saturday night, there are loads of laps-led and laps-completed points available for drivers. With that being said, we will primarily be hunting lap leaders and cars capable of leading laps, while pass differential takes a rare back seat. Another reason? It is incredibly dangerous to start in the back at Bristol. At roughly 15 seconds a lap, a car can get trapped a lap down very quickly, and that could be affect stars of the sport with any potential qualifying failures under the impound format of inspection this weekend.

Here at numberFire, we've always got you covered for everything NASCAR DFS. Our track preview gives you more information about the history of the track, our driver preview helps bring you up to speed on recent driver history, and our Heat Check Podcast with Jim Sannes gives you insight to how he is approaching this weekend's slate.

With this weekend's starting lineup available pending pre-race inspection, and with practices one and two complete, let's preview the Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol:

High-Priced Drivers

Kyle Busch ($15,500): The pivotal fork in the road this race before qualifying was whether or not to play Kyle Busch. After a disastrous qualifying run, which will have him starting 31st, that is only magnified. Busch is a whopping +195 favorite to win, and it is because he holds 22 wins across NASCAR's top three series at this track, and eight of those have come in NASCAR's top series. While we are not hunting pass differential, the idea Busch could lead a good portion of the race from 31st does not hurt. He led 71 laps back in April in another Bristol win, and he will be extremely popular, making him a near-must play in cash formats.

Joey Logano ($13,500): April's dominant car was not Kyle Busch, however -- it was Joey Logano, who led 146 laps and won Stage 2 before a horrific late pit stop. Logano is quick again this weekend, posting a top-five showing in both practice sessions on the 10-lap average charts. He starts a decent 11th pending inspection and has an extremely clean seven top-10s in eight races at BMS, with the only exception being a 13th-place finish. I prefer Logano to a steeply priced Denny Hamlin ($13,000), who will start from the pole but did not post top-five numbers in either practice session on a 10-lap average basis.

Mid-Priced Drivers

Erik Jones ($10,800): This tier is loaded with interesting options to pivot off of top drivers. Kyle Larson ($11,500) starts on the front row at one of his best race tracks, but you are paying more for Larson this weekend than at any point of his lackluster 2019, and he has shown very little long-run speed. Ryan Blaney ($11,000) led laps in the spring and was the fastest driver on the 10-lap charts in second practice, but he had an extremely concerning first practice result. I want to highlight Erik Jones from ninth, who, coming off a fresh contract, has been amazing this weekend. He stood out in person to experts, and posted top-five speeds on the 10-lap average in both practices. Jones can legitimately dominate this race at a cheaper price than the others, which gives him the slight nod.

Clint Bowyer ($10,000): The next two drivers are virtual mirrors of each other. Clint Bowyer has a lot of great boxes checked this weekend as a compliment to a couple domination drivers. He starts deep in the field in 20th but will not have any real risk of being lapped. Bowyer has a phenomenal record at Bristol, with the fifth-best average finish here (8.40) over the last five races, which includes four top-10 finishes. He also has maximum motivation, needing a great finish to stay in the playoff hunt. Bowyer has led 144 laps in the last pair of races here, and he could lead laps again as he hunts a playoff-clinching win.

Jimmie Johnson ($8,800): Same song, second verse with Johnson. He starts buried in 30th, but he actually has the best average finish (6.80) of any active driver here over the last five races. Johnson has not always run well here, but at this price, this is actually one of his best value spots even before a qualifying meltdown. He's incredibly safe from 30th and a near must in cash, but he will likely see heavy ownership in tournaments. I still like Johnson because of the playoff battle with Bowyer, which should bring out the absolute best in both.

Low-Priced Drivers

Chris Buescher ($7,200): NASCAR's DFS golden boy seems primed to do it again as Buescher starts deep in the field once more (29th), and he has ascended seemingly all season from poor starting spots. At only $7,200, he is a high-floor option yet again, although a top-10 finish would be incredibly surprising given his history at Bristol, where he has cracked the top-20 just once in two of his eight career races here, though one was a fifth-place finish in 2016. He seems positioned to improve upon that with top-20 speeds in both practice sessions Friday.

Matt DiBenedetto ($7,000): Rarely does the bargain bin situation come accompanied with "possibly dominating this race," but Matt DiBenedetto may pull off an upset of a lifetime Saturday night. He was top-five in both practices in both single-lap times and 10-lap averages, and he won the second practice outright. He parlayed that into a tremendous seventh-place qualifying run, but DiBenedetto has been here before. He has four top-10s in his last eight races, and at one of his better race tracks, he appears on the speed charts to have the best race car in the entire field this weekend. DiBenedetto is for real, and adding another potential race dominator for $7,000 far outweighs the downside that disaster strikes for him.

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.