DraftKings NASCAR: Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race

DraftKings NASCAR: Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race

This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.

Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race

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

Race Preview

Kevin Harvick picked up the Michigan win he missed out on in the spring last weekend in another dominant performance. He won both stages and took the race win to edge ahead of Kyle Busch in the seesaw battle for dominance. The Stewart-Haas Racing driver led 108 of the 200 laps that afternoon and will look to carry that momentum into Bristol this weekend. Rivals Busch and Martin Truex Jr. both spent more than 20 laps in the lead in Michigan, but neither had the machine to realistically challenge Harvick for the win. That win guaranteed one more playoff spot for a nonwinner. A minimum of five competitors will gain entry to the championship fight by virtue of points alone with just three races remaining in the regular season. Fifteenth-placed Alex Bowman is currently on the bubble with a 62-point cushion over Ricky Stenhouse Jr., but with a 30-point gap to 14th-placed Jimmie Johnson. One more new winner in the next three races would put Johnson on the bubble and Bowman out of contention. It will be hard for any driver to topple Kyle Busch at the short track, though. Busch has won the last two visits leading more than 100 laps each time.

Key Stats at Bristol Motor Speedway

Number of previous races: 115
Winners from pole: 25
Winners from top-5 starters: 66
Winners from top-10 starters: 90
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 6
Fastest race: 104.589 mph

Last 10 Bristol Winners

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
2014 spring - Carl Edwards
2013 fall - Matt Kenseth

Bristol is known for its tight racing and heated tempers, and Kyle Busch was the one doing the bumping earlier this season. He won the rain-delayed Food City 500 by nudging Kyle Larson out of the way with just five laps remaining after enduring an overnight delay in the running. The race started on Sunday but was pushed to Monday due to weather after 204 laps. It was Busch's second win of the season and shut Larson out of Victory Lane despite his leading 200 laps in the event. The tight circuit puts a premium on track position, and the high line is where cars have been fastest recently. That means fighting for the optimal line on restarts could become a factor throughout the night. Teams will look to pit strategy to move forward in the order and could sacrifice stage points in an effort to be in position to fight for the race win. Fantasy owners should look to qualifiers in the top 10 for their selections, and points from leading will be in abundance given the 500 scheduled laps. The top three championship favorites will be early favorites again this weekend, but consistency on pit road and a top qualifying effort likely will be distinguishing factors.

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

DraftKings Tier 1 Values

Kyle Busch - $12,300
Kevin Harvick - $12,000
Martin Truex Jr. - $10,800

DraftKings Tier 2 Values

Brad Keselowski - $9,900
Joey Logano - $9,600
Clint Bowyer - $9,300
Chase Elliott - $9,100

DraftKings Tier 3 Values

Kurt Busch - $8,500
Erik Jones - $8,300
Daniel Suarez - $8,100
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $7,800

DraftKings Long-Shot Values

Alex Bowman - $7,200
Ryan Newman - $6,600
Bubba Wallace - $6,000
Ty Dillon - $5,700

MY PICKS THIS WEEK

Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)

Kyle Busch - $12,300
Kyle Larson - $11,400
Erik Jones - $8,300
Kasey Kahne - $6,400
Bubba Wallace - $6,100
Matt DiBenedetto - $5,300

With 500 laps scheduled for Saturday night's race fantasy owners would do well to select a driver who will spend a significant amount of time out front. Any of the top three drivers in the safer lineup option could do just that. Busch has consecutive wins at the track, leading more than 100 laps in each. Larson has never won at the track, but he did lead a combined 472 laps in the last three Bristol races. Those two drivers alone are a strong duo to head rosters this week. With Jones fantasy owners get another driver who led more than 200 laps in this race last season before finishing second. Kahne announced his retirement from the series earlier this week and will want to go out on a high note. He has been improving with his current team, and Bristol is a track at which he could outperform. He retired from the spring race this season but was fast enough to start 15th. That pace should be available to him again this week but with more reliability. Saturday night will be Wallace's second Cup race at the track, and he finished a respectable 16th in his first try earlier this year. Finally, DiBenedetto should be within striking distance of a top-20 finish given his recent momentum and career average finish of 20.4 at Bristol.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($50K Salary Cap)

Denny Hamlin - $10,200
Brad Keselowski - $9,900
Clint Bowyer - $9,300
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $7,800
Ryan Newman - $6,600
Trevor Bayne - $5,900

The higher-risk lineup for Bristol avoids the favorites for a number of potentially undervalued longshots. Hamlin has been fantastic at Bristol with a 2012 win and three top-10s from his last five visits. He's still looking for a 2018 win, and that motivation could push him forward Saturday night. Keselowski is in a similar situation but had a great race at Michigan last week and led 67 laps after starting third in the spring visit to this track. Bowyer has his 2018 win(s) and has found his legs at Stewart-Haas Racing. He has always been a top short-track racer but hasn't found too much success at Bristol. Still, he should deliver a confident top-10 with the potential of adding laps led, which is good value at this spot on the roster. Another driver who tends to outperform on the short tracks is Stenhouse. The Roush Fenway Racing driver has been heavily criticized for his aggressiveness earlier this season but could put that to good use on Saturday. He has six top-10 finishes from 11 Bristol starts. Newman and the entire Richard Childress Racing team gained some serious momentum with their strength last week, and with a top-10 in the spring Bristol visit, Newman should be an exciting value option for fantasy players. Rounding things out is Bayne. He returns to the track for the second time this season after gaining nine positions on finish differential in the spring. He has been a regular face in the top-15 at this track, and a similar performance on Saturday would go a long way toward earning him future prospects in the series.

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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