DraftKings NASCAR: Food City 500

DraftKings NASCAR: Food City 500

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.


Food City 500

Location: Bristol, Tenn.
Course: Bristol Motor Speedway
Format: 0.5-mile oval
Laps: 500

Race Preview

The NASCAR Sprint Cup series returns to short-track racing this weekend in the Food City 500, Bristol's day race. Kyle Busch will unload his truck brimming with confidence after sweeping victories the last two race weekends, aiming to add a sixth Bristol win to his resume. Matt Kenseth won a rain-affected race last year at the track, holding off the field well past the originally scheduled 500 laps, as NASCAR attempted to have the race finish under green. That race, like many others at Bristol, featured contact between the Penske Racing teammates as well as a wreck between contenders Kurt Busch and Carl Edwards. Kevin Harvick led the most laps on the day, but it was Kenseth who outlasted all of the rain showers and restarts to claim the win.

Key Stats at Bristol Motor Speedway

Number of previous races: 110
Winners from pole: 23
Winners from top-5 starters: 64
Winners from top-10 starters: 88
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 5
Fastest race: 104.589 mph

Last 10 Bristol Winners

2015 fall - Joey Logano
2015 spring - Matt Kenseth
2014 fall - Joey Logano
2014 spring - Carl Edwards
2013 fall - Matt Kenseth
2013 spring - Kasey Kahne
2012 fall - Denny Hamlin
2012 spring - Brad Keselowski
2011 fall - Brad Keselowski
2011 spring - Kyle Busch

Bristol's banking is similar to Texas in steepness, but the track is only one-third of the distance. Cars will constantly fight traffic throughout Sunday's 500 laps but will use the track's progressive banking to work both the high and low lines to get through. The preferred line likely will be just off of the bottom, but at times the high line may come into play. Track position is extremely valuable at a track the size of Bristol, but pitting for fresh tires can enable someone to come from behind to challenge at the front. The keys to making that strategy work will be the number of cars that head to pit road at any given time and drivers remaining mistake-free. Texas featured a plethora of trouble on pit road, and any mistakes of similar nature this week will mean losing a lap to the leaders.

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Kyle Busch - $10,700
Joey Logano - $10,300
Matt Kenseth - $10,000

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Carl Edwards - $9,900
Brad Keselowski - $9,800
Denny Hamlin - $9,600
Kurt Busch - $9,400
Dale Earnhardt Jr. - $9,100

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Martin Truex Jr. - $8,900
Austin Dillon - $8,200
Kyle Larson - $7,600
Jamie McMurray - $7,500
Paul Menard - $7,100

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Danica Patrick - $6,500
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $6,400
Aric Almirola - $6,400
Reed Sorenson - $5,300

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Busch - $10,700
Matt Kenseth - $10,000
Kasey Kahne - $7,800
Kyle Larson - $7,600
Greg Biffle - $6,500
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $6,400

After four consecutive NASCAR wins, Kyle Busch's name is firmly atop the lower-risk lineup for Bristol. It doesn't hurt that he also has five wins at this track. Teammate Kenseth is next in line and has proven to be competitive each week, but needs to shake the bad luck that has plagued him so far. Kasey Kahne turned in a top-10 finish last week in Texas and won this race in 2013. He crashed out in last year's Food City 500 but finished 16th in the fall race at Bristol, and has been racing better in 2016 than he has in recent seasons. Bristol has also been a good venue for Kyle Larson. He has two top-10s from four visits, and led 90 laps in this race last season. Greg Biffle might be the biggest gamble on this roster. The Roush Fenway Racing driver hasn't capitalized on the team's offseason changes like his teammates, but Bristol can equalize the aerodynamic aspects with which Biffle has struggled. He has 13 top-10s from 26 career starts at the track. Biffle's teammate Ricky Stenhouse Jr. may be the best value in the DraftKings field. His points put him solidly in the top 15 drivers this weekend, but his price is that of an "also-ran" driver.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Jimmie Johnson - $10,200
Carl Edwards - $9,900
Brad Keselowski - $9,800
Jamie McMurray - $7,500
Aric Almirola - $6,400
Chris Buescher - $5,800

Jimmie Johnson leads the higher-risk lineup, but choosing him at Bristol isn't much of a risk. His record includes three top-fives in the last three Bristol races, and he has been one of the fastest cars so far this season. Edwards gives this option a taste of the Joe Gibbs Racing powerhouse, and he boasts three Bristol wins along with three top-10 finishes in his last four. The Penske Racing Ford of Brad Keselowski is your third selection due to two track wins and two top-10s from his last four. Jamie McMurray is racing well each week at the moment, and scores a top-10 at Bristol more than 33 percent of the time. Aric Almirola has yet to score a top-10 in 2016 but has consistently bagged top-15 finishes at Bristol. Another one this weekend could help build his momentum going forward. Finally, we take another shot at Chris Buescher. The Xfinity champion is in these races to compete, not to just start like some other drivers in this price range. He placed 25th in this race last season in his only visit to the track in Sprint Cup.

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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