Draft Kings NASCAR: Bass Pro Shops/NRA Night Race
Draft Kings NASCAR: Bass Pro Shops/NRA Night Race

This article is part of our DraftKings NASCAR series.

Bass Pro Shops/NRA Night Race 

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

Race Preview 

Kevin Harvick led 22 laps from a front-row start in his second win of the season last week at Michigan International Speedway. The Stewart-Haas Racing team is finding its footing before the playoffs commence, which could open the door to a bit more unpredictability for fantasy players as the races click away. Up this week is the bullring of Bristol Motor Speedway. The annual late-summer night race often produces excitement and the pressure of making the playoffs can amplify that for the on-track action. Lately, races at the track have been a Busch affair with brothers Kyle and Kurt taking the last four consecutive wins. The last driver not named Busch to win at the track was Jimmie Johnson in April of 2017. Kurt snuck his win in last season by leading just 24 of the 500 laps while three other drivers led more than 100 laps each. In this year's spring race Kyle did something similar, leading 71 laps despite Penske Racing teammates Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano both leading more than 140 each. Those figures go to show that anything can happen at this tiny circuit and dominating the evening may not matter when it comes down to the final laps.  

Key Stats at Bristol Motor Speedway 

• Number of previous races: 117 
• Winners from pole: 25 
• Winners from top-5 starters: 66 
• Winners from top-10 starters: 91 
• Winners from 21st or lower starters: 6 
• Fastest race: 104.589 mph 

Last 10 Bristol Winners 

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 
2015 fall - Joey Logano
2015 spring - Matt Kenseth
2014 fall - Joey Logano

Bristol's tight confines make it a track position kind of circuit. Despite its unpredictability, it pays to start up front. The furthest back anyone has won here in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series in the last 10 years was 24th. That was achieved by Kevin Harvick in the 2016 version of this race. While top-20 starters winning is not uncommon, it is more likely that the race will be won by someone starting inside the top 10. The short circuit and long pit road make it extremely easy to get las behind quickly if any problems arise. Sound pit strategy and flawless execution on stops is a requirement. On top of that, making the right strategy calls for fresh tires or track position will also be required. Trouble happens fast at this track and drivers will have to avoid getting caught in other driver's issues. Surviving until the end and then pouncing on late-race opportunities to make passes or gain spots in the running order will be the focus.  

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values  

Kyle Busch - $12,700 
Kevin Harvick - $12,200 
Martin Truex Jr. - $11,600 
Brad Keselowski - $11,200 

DraftKings Tier 2 Values  

Denny Hamlin - $10,700 
Joey Logano - $10,200 
Chase Elliott - $9,800 
Kurt Busch - $9,500 

DraftKings Tier 3 Values 

Erik Jones - $8,900 
Ryan Blaney - $8,600 
Clint Bowyer - $8,200 
Chris Buescher - $7,400 

DraftKings Long-Shot Values 

William Byron - $6,800 
Matt DiBenedetto - $6,700 
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $6,600 
Ryan Preece - $6,100 

MY PICKS THIS WEEK 

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap) 

Joey Logano - $10,200 
Kurt Busch - $9,500 
Erik Jones - $8,900 
Clint Bowyer - $8,200 
Daniel Suarez - $7,200 
Ty Dillon - $5,900 

While he hasn't visited Victory Lane at Bristol since 2015, Joey Logano has been one of the more consistent top finishers at the track. He led 146 laps here in the spring and 95 last fall for two top-five finishes. His worst finish at the track since his last win was 13th in 2017. Kurt Busch has also been very good at this circuit. He is the only other driver to have won here besides his younger brother in the last two years. He was also the runner up to his brother here in the spring despite starting 27th. Erik Jones led 10 laps here in the spring before trouble dropped him to a 24th-place finish. He was second from pole in 2017 and fifth in 2018. Clint Bowyer has been sliding backward in the standings but will be looking to this weekend as a chance to right the ship. He has never won at Bristol but has four top-10s from the last five and 14 from 27 total career starts here. Teammate Daniel Suarez has also been quite good with no finishes worse than 18th and his first top-10 at the track in this season's spring race. Ty Dillon finishes off this selection with a 15th-place finish and six laps led in the spring race. That finished tied his career best at the track from 2017.   

Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap) 

Kyle Busch - $12,700 
Chase Elliott - $9,800 
Ryan Blaney - $8,600 
Matt DiBenedetto - $6,700 
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $6,600 
Ross Chastain - $5,500 

The prices for this week's favorites leaves little room for a balanced roster. Kyle Busch heads the high-risk lineup as a result of that circumstance. He has won three of the last four races at the track but hasn't made friends in recent weeks and hasn't won since Pocono in June. He could dominate Saturday night's race or crash. Chase Elliott has been a persistent contender at Bristol. He not only won again at Watkins Glen, but has four top-five Bristol starts in the last four races with a third-place finish last season. He led 112 laps in that race and another 38 here in the spring. Ryan Blaney brings Penske Racing power to the lineup and the team as a whole has been very good here recently. Blaney finished fourth in the fall race with 158 laps led. While Matt DiBenedetto lost his ride for next year he should view this week as an audition. He is having his best season in the series and was 12th here in the spring. He is driving for his future and can sneak into the top 10 Saturday night. The short tracks have been kind to Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in his career. He finished 24th or worse in the last two Bristol races but has six top-10s at the track from 13 starts. Ross Chastain has three Bristol races under his belt in the Cup series with a best finish of 26th in this race last season. He was 29th here in the spring.

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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