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NASCAR Fantasy Cheat Sheet

The Food City 500

by Brian Brown
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

The NASCAR Sprint Cup makes its next stop at Bristol Motor Speedway's half-mile coliseum for the Food City 500.   We looked at past performances, season trends, and spoke to team contacts to give the internet’s best prediction of how the field should finish.



When:  Sunday, April 19; 1:13 p.m./et.



Weather:  Scattered T-Storms with a high around 71; wind out of the E at 6 mph.  Chance of precipitation is 80%.



The Track:  Bristol Motor Speedway


Bristol Motor Speedway is a half-mile oval with high-banking the entire way around.  The corners are banked 36 degrees with 16 degree banking on the straight-aways.  This is a track where very few drivers have been able to dominate.  Matt Kenseth, Kasey Kahne, Brad Keselowski, Kurt Busch, and Jeff Gordon have all had decent success at the track, but that status can change with one nudge to the left-rear bumper.





The Bullring inBristolhas been described a flying an airplane in a gymnasium.  There will be no cars that escape Sunday's race without at least a little sheet metal damage.  This race is one of the most entertaining races on the circuit for fans and most frustrating for drivers.  Expect tempers to flare as the cars bump-and-bang.  The driver that wins the race will be the one with the best set of pit stops and the most luck.  Kevin Harvick’s recent dominance will be tested this weekend as often the best car and driver won’t earn a trip to Bristol’s Victory Lane.





45 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots. 



Fantasy Cheat Sheet:


Top 5


No. 2 Brad Keselowski:  Keselowski has won two of the past six races at Bristol.  There is no reason to think he can’t make it three-out-of-eight.

No. 4 Kevin Harvick:  Harvick has 12 top 10 finishes in 28 career races at Bristol.  The way he has driven this season we aren’t going to bet against him, but we prefer to save him for a track where down-force gives him more of an advantage.

No. 20 Matt Kenseth:  Kenseth has 19 top 10 finishes and led the most laps at the track last spring.  He is a great option.

No. 48 Jimmie Johnson:  Johnson had one of the fastest cars in the past 12 Bristol races and won the 2010 spring race.  He will be fast again.

No. 41 Kurt Busch:  Busch has won five races at Bristol during his career.  He could re-earn his King of Bristol nickname this weekend.



6 to 10


No. 19 Carl Edwards: Edwards has won three of the last 16 races at Bristol, including last spring. He is a great pick.

No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon has five wins and has led nearly 2,500 laps at Bristol during his career.  He should be in the top 10 once again on Saturday.

No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.:  Junior has been decent at Bristol in his career.  In his last 26 starts at the track he has finished 17th or better in 23 of them.  Look for him to finish just inside the top 10.

No. 22 Joey Logano:  Logano finally appeared to solve Bristol’s riddle when he won the Night Race last year.  He should return to the top 15 this visit to the wilds of Tennessee.

No. 5 Kasey Kahne:  Kahne won at Bristol in 2013.  He is a good choice again this weekend.



11 to 20


No. 11 Denny Hamlin:  Hamlin won the 2012 Night Race at Bristol and has led nearly 580 laps in the past 16 races at the track.  He should have the No. 11 inside the top 10 when the dust settles.

No. 16 Greg Biffle:  Biffle has 13 top 10 finishes in 24 career starts at Bristol.  He is a very good fantasy option.

No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.:  Stenhouse was fantastic last season at Bristol.  He is worth using in most leagues.

No. 15 Clint Bowyer:  Bowyer has cracked the top 10 in eight of his last 16 starts at Bristol.  He should notch another decent finish on Saturday.

No. 78 Martin Truex Jr.:  Truex has been dynamite so far this season and has had past success at Bristol.  He is worth using in most leagues.

No. 42 Kyle Larson:  Larson ran great at Bristol last year.  He could crack the top 15 again with a little luck.

No. 31 Ryan Newman:  Newman’s lack of consistency at Bristol bumps him just out of our top 15.

No. 14 Tony Stewart:  “Smoke” has two top five finishes in the past eight starts at Bristol.  He is due for a change in his bad luck.

No. 27 Paul Menard:  Menard has cracked the top 25 in 13 of the last 15 Bristol races and he has quietly been driving excellent the past month.  He is a great sleeper choice.

No. 1 Jamie McMurray:  McMurray led 148 laps at Bristol last fall before finishing in eighth place.  He will likely bring a similar setup this weekend and has value as a fourth driver.



21 to 30


No. 18 David Ragan:  Ragan has averaged a middle-of-the-pack 23rd at Bristol in his career.  He will be just a slightly faster this visit.

No. 3 Austin Dillon:  Dillon was great at Bristol last spring then struggled in the fall.  He will just miss the top 20 this visit.

No. 43 Aric Almirola: Almirola didn’t lead a lap at Bristol last spring, but he managed a third place finish.  We don’t think he has enough speed to replicate another top 20 finish.

No. 13 Casey Mears:  Mears has averaged a 19th place finish so far this year, but he won’t do enough to warrant using in most fantasy leagues. 

No. 10 Danica Patrick:  Patrick has been good the past month of this season, but Bristol is a track that has challenged her.  She isn’t an option.

No. 51 Justin Allgaier:  Allgaier cracked the top 20 in both races at Bristol last year.  There are worse options.

No. 47 A.J. Allmendinger:  “Dinger” is struggling a bit the past month.  There a better options for sleeper picks this weekend.

No. 38 David Gilliland:  Gilliland ran terrific at Bristol last season.  He is worth trying in the deepest of leagues.

No. 9 Sam Hornish Jr.:  Hornish has just one top 25 finish the past five races.  He isn’t going to help your fantasy team. 

No. 55 Brett Moffitt:   Moffitt hasn’t exactly set the world on fire since taking over the No. 55 car.  He barely worth using as a fifth driver in most leagues.



Field Fillers:


No. 6 Trevor Bayne

No. 7 Alex Bowman

No. 23 J.J. Yeley

No. 26 Jeb Burton

No. 30 Ron Hornaday

No. 32 Mike Bliss

No. 33 Alex Kennedy

No. 34 Chris Buescher

No. 35 Cole Whitt

No. 40 Landon Cassill

No. 46 Michael Annett

No. 62 Brendan Gaughan

No. 83 Matt Dibendetto

No. 95 Michael McDowell

No. 98 Josh Wise



My Yahoo! Fantasy NASCAR Team for this Week:


A. Matt Kenseth

B. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

B. Kurt Busch

C. Justin Allgaier