Well…here we go. The Bristol Dirt Race is coming up on Sunday, and even though we had two practice sessions to look into on Friday, the heat qualifying races got rained out on Saturday, so we really haven’t seen these cars on the dirt track while truly racing each other. That just adds another question mark to the equation. Technically, Kyle Larson is the pole sitter this weekend, but will have to start from the rear. He will still be scored from 1st in DraftKings, though. You can see the full starting lineup by clicking here. Now let’s gooo!!!

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What To Expect On Sunday?

Kyle Busch wrecked race car at New Hampshire Motor Speedway 2020
Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton | Getty Images

I’ll start with this: there are so many unknowns this weekend for the Bristol Dirt Race that I’m severely limiting my play on DraftKings. Questions that nobody quite has an answer to include:

  • Should we look at previous Bristol data?
  • How much of a wreck-fest will this be?
  • How long are the tires going to hold up?
  • Will the track hold up?
  • Does Eldora Truck Series experience matter?
  • How much should we weigh practice speeds?
  • Should we build lineups with a superspeedway place differential mindset?

What we do know is that this race is 250 laps, and that the Stage breaks will be on laps 100 and 200. There will also be competition cautions on lap 50 and lap 150 due to the extreme tire wear that we saw in practice on Friday. And yes, there were two practice sessions this weekend! Click here for Practice #1 Speeds and click here for Practice #2 speeds.

As far as overall average speed, this was my top 10 over both sessions:

  1. Kyle Larson
  2. Martin Truex, Jr.
  3. Chase Briscoe
  4. Denny Hamlin
  5. Alex Bowman
  6. Christopher Bell
  7. Tyler Reddick
  8. William Byron
  9. Matt DiBenedetto
  10. Kurt Busch

I will talk about the other questions marks in the video breakdown, so check back for that.

GPP / Tournament Picks

Martin Truex, Jr. burnout at Richmond 2019 in Auto Owners car
Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Kyle Larson ($12,000) – If Kyle Larson didn’t have to start in the back on Sunday, he’d be a Cash Core driver for sure. But because he has to start in the rear, it makes him a very risky play in DraftKings. He has no early dominator upside, and a major risk of getting damage while driving through the field, but this #5 Chevrolet is going to be the car to beat on Sunday. Not only is Larson incredibly good on dirt, but he has the fastest car in the Cup Series right now, too. In practice on Friday, Larson was significantly faster than everyone else, and that should be the case in the actual race as well.

Martin Truex, Jr. ($8,000) – Hello Auto Owners Paint Scheme! Love seeing that car on the track. In practice on Friday, Hendrick Motorsports had the most speed, but Joe Gibbs Racing was right there with them–especially Truex and Hamlin. In DraftKings, Denny Hamlin ($9,100) will start on the front row and is likely to lead early. There’s also Kyle Busch ($8,900) up there starting 4th–who I also really like as a tournament play–but don’t sleep on Truex. I also think MTJ is going to be the lowest-owned between the three Gibbs cars here, and that’s why I like being more overweight on him in tournaments.

Cash Core Drivers

Chase Elliott sitting on grid at Charlotte ROVAL 2020
Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

Tyler Reddick ($10,500) – Another question we have to ask ourselves is “when will Tyler Reddick hit the wall this weekend?” But the good news is, NASCAR added extra support in these race cars that will allow drivers to get into the wall and it not be devastating. As far as Reddick goes, this is the type of race that really suits his driving style, and he’s starting back in 27th. Reddick has top 5 potential and showed solid lap times during the practice sessions on Friday.

Chase Elliott ($8,700) – Again, the Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolets were really strong in practice on Friday, and have been all season long, and there’s really no reason to think that anything will be different during the race. On Sunday, Chase will start from back in 26th but has a very good chance at a top 10 finish in the Food City Dirt Race, if not a top 5. If you’re looking at “normal” Bristol numbers, Elliott has the best average running position over the last four races here.

Food City Dirt Race DraftKings Driver Projections

The following chart takes into account the very basics: the starting position and the projected finish of each driver. The projected finishes are averaged from six different ranking systems. Also factored in are projected laps led and fastest laps for each driver. You can click the headers below to sort the chart by that attribute. By default it is sorted by average projected FPTS.

DriverDraftKings SalaryAvg Proj FPTSProj OwnershipStarting PositionCeiling Proj FPTSAvg. Projected FinishDollar Per FPT
Kyle Larson$12,00056.4226.69%183.0004.8$213
Kyle Busch$8,90056.2522.06%480.6005.7$158
Christopher Bell$11,00055.6030.49%1580.8006.2$198
Kurt Busch$7,80052.0026.70%2873.2010.8$150
Chase Elliott$8,70051.9226.56%2678.6009.3$168
Chase Briscoe$9,90049.7227.92%2570.2010.5$199
Denny Hamlin$9,10049.6826.12%277.7004.2$183
Martin Truex Jr$8,00049.1220.21%570.9506.8$163
Ryan Blaney$9,30048.5820.84%370.7506.7$191
Tyler Reddick$10,50046.9836.42%2778.6514.0$223
Joey Logano$8,30045.1014.19%1067.0507.7$184
Ricky Stenhouse Jr$10,20044.6214.40%1362.2509.5$229
William Byron$7,10044.5512.37%866.6008.7$159
Alex Bowman$7,70044.1823.91%763.2008.2$174
Brad Keselowski$7,50042.7015.02%2071.1012.5$176
Austin Dillon$9,70037.1312.25%956.6511.7$261
Matt DiBenedetto$6,70036.577.06%1261.4513.0$183
Kevin Harvick$8,10034.4713.61%662.4512.3$235
Bubba Wallace$8,50034.0214.57%1957.3516.0$250
Stewart Friesen$9,50034.0027.10%3263.2520.7$279
Ty Dillon$6,60034.0029.71%3961.6025.3$194
Aric Almirola$5,80030.8315.26%2350.1518.8$188
Erik Jones$5,60029.0016.22%2451.3520.7$193
Ryan Newman$6,90024.9010.07%1438.6017.2$277
JJ Yeley$6,40020.507.90%3441.0029.0$312
Cole Custer$5,50020.1712.49%2135.1522.0$273
Corey Lajoie$5,00020.179.79%3035.0027.2$248
Chris Windom$7,40019.3311.70%3639.0029.7$383
Anthony Alfredo$4,80019.175.98%2942.0026.8$250
Ryan Preece$6,00018.836.50%2235.2523.8$319
Shane Golobic$6,80016.8313.22%3535.0030.7$404
Chris Buescher$6,20016.674.55%1136.0519.3$372
Daniel Suarez$4,90016.678.35%1846.9523.5$294
Mike Marlar$7,20014.176.60%3832.0032.5$508
Michael McDowell$5,20014.0010.83%1632.8023.0$371
Ross Chastain$5,30013.506.61%1738.0523.2$393
Josh Bilicki$4,70012.173.42%3734.0033.5$386
Cody Ware$4,60006.501.05%3128.0033.8$708
Quin Houff$4,50004.331.26%3321.0035.2$1,038
As someone who has always been obsessed with numbers, Fantasy NASCAR has been the perfect fit with me. I pride myself on the quality of my analysis for each race, and am glad that I have been able to help others along the way. I've been a serious Fantasy NASCAR player for over 10 years now, and I'm just getting started.