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Stevie "stevietpfl" Young

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DFS Preview: Food City 500

Thursday, April 12, 2018


After a crazy race at Texas, we head to Bristol for the Food City 500. Short track racing is always fun to watch -- outside of Daytona, Bristol is my favorite track.

 

We have some weather concerns on Sunday, so we could see some delays and possibly even see the race happen on Monday. Something to note about the weather this weekend: if the race happens on Monday, it will be much colder than when they qualified and practiced on Friday and Saturday.  

 

Just a quick reminder that this is a preview article, and I write it before we have starting positions. If you want even more in-depth information, consider my NASCAR DFS package over at the RotoGrinders Marketplace.

 

 

 

Current Track

 

This weekend we have the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. It's a .533-mile short steep-banked oval track and a 266.5-mile/500-lap race. It’s a three-stage race; stage one and two are 125 laps each, while the final stage is 250 laps. Over the last eight races here, we have seen an average of 10.125 cautions per race for an average of 83.125 laps. That’s taking away 41.5625 of the possible 250 points for fastest laps on average. There is not a great comp to Bristol, but I like to look at Dover and Darlington, which are also steep-banked tracks. I also like to look at the last four races at Bristol, and the last two races in which we’ve had stages and the bottom groove with treatment. 

 



Drivers To Watch

 

Kevin Harvick There has been three cars well above the rest this season, including Kevin Harvick, who has won three of seven races to start the season. Over the last six races at Bristol, he has a 112.5 driver rating, which is the highest outside of Erik Jones (only 2 races). He has three top five finishes in the last six races. Harvick is averaging 51.5 fastest laps and 56.5 laps led in that span, which is an average of 77.5 DraftKings points. Over the 10 races at Bristol, Dover, and Darlington since 2016, Harvick has a 108 driver rating, which is the second highest behind Martin Truex Jr. With fastest laps coming throughout the field, I’m looking for drivers that have speed, and this team has had plenty of speed this season.

 

 

Kyle Busch If you’re just looking at average finish, you’re going to be off Kyle Busch this weekend. Don’t ever just look at average finish. Busch has led over 150 laps in three of the last five races here but has an average finish of 24.2. He has wrecked in three of the last four races here, and two of those wrecks were caused by tires going down. His driver rating over the last five races here is 103.4, which is the third highest behind Harvick and Jones (only two races). If we look at the six races outside of Daytona this season, Busch has five top five finishes in six races, with an average finish of 2.8. He has a 124.4 driver rating, which is the best. He will be looking for his seventh win at Bristol this weekend.

 

 

Martin Truex Jr. I tend to stay away from writing up all three top drivers in pricing, but I think there’s a good chance at least two of these guys are the highest scoring drivers this weekend. Last year in this race was the first time in his career that Truex led over 100 laps at Bristol. Over the last six races here, he has a 95.6 driver rating, but if we look at the last four (2016 on), he has a 106.3 driver rating, which is the third highest behind Jones and Harvick. He has five top five finishes in the last six races this season and has the third highest driver rating coming into this weekend. Truex also has a 118.4 driver rating at the three steep track comps since 2016, which is the highest among all active drivers.

 

 

Erik Jones You’ve seen me reference him a couple of times above, and now it’s time to dig in deeper. Bristol is his best track and he feels really confident coming into the weekend. Jones has a 116.4 driver rating in two career races here. He started on the pole in August of 2017 and led 260 of 500 laps with a second-place finish, and in five career XFINITY races at Bristol, he has three top five finishes including two wins. Coming off of his best race of the season, Jones is certainly someone to watch this weekend.

 

 

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. When people think about Stenhouse Jr., they think about him on super speedways. He’s actually had great success at Bristol, as in 10 career races, he has an average finish of 10.8. With zero laps led over the last six races, he is averaging 47 DraftKings points per race, and he’s averaging 10 fastest laps per race. Stenhouse was running well at Texas last weekend before a brake issue with less than 15 laps to go. I like his chances to bounce back and have a good finish this weekend.

 

 

 

Drivers Running Well

 

Clint Bowyer This whole Stewart-Haas team is off to a great start this season, but Bowyer continues to be one of the best cars on the track. Outside of Daytona, Bowyer has a 101.2 driver rating in six races, and he has an average finish of 8th. He has four top 10 finishes in those six races -- only Kyle Busch, Harvick, Logano, and Truex have more than him in that span. Bowyer was hit or miss on steep tracks last season, but he did finish second in this race last April. Depending on how he looks in practice and where he qualifies, he’s certainly someone I’m looking at closely.

 

 

Denny Hamlin When Hamlin has avoided issues, he’s been great this season, and he’s one of the guys in particular to watch at steep banked tracks. Over the last 10 races at the comp steep-banked tracks, Hamlin has a 101.5 driver rating with eight top 10 finishes. He also has four top five finishes and a win in that span. Hamlin is averaging 16.8 fastest laps per race over the last four Bristol races, and he’s averaging 42.75 DraftKings points. He has a 97.9 driver rating this season, and he has an average running position of 11.1. I think Hamlin is a sneaky option depending on practice and qualifying, but if he shows speed, I won’t be shocked by it at all.

 

 

Matt DiBenedetto I usually like to use this segment for drivers that have been in good form on the season, but I wanted to point out DiBenedetto's success at Bristol. Over the last four races here, he has an average start of 28.5 and his average finish is 17th. In six career races here, DiBenedetto has positive place differential in all six races. He’s averaging 39 DraftKings points in the last four races here, so at his price, he’s certainly a great value option if he doesn’t qualify too highly this weekend.



Stevie "stevietpfl" Young is a top-ranked DFS player and GrindersLive host who specializes in NFL, MLB and NASCAR. He provides both written content and media work for RotoGrinders.
Email :Stevie "stevietpfl" Young



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