This article is part of our NASCAR DFS series.
Food City 300
Location: Bristol, Tenn.
Course: Bristol Motor Speedway
Format: 0.53-mile oval
NASCAR Xfinity Food City 300 Race Preview
The 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season draws to a close this week with the Food City 300. Noah Gragson tied Ty Gibbs with five wins so far this season after winning back-to-back races for the second time in his career. Two playoff spots remain to be claimed this weekend after Jeremy Clements won an appeal over his Daytona win. In the case of a new winner, only four drivers remain eligible to clinch one of those spots on points alone, with just Daniel Hemric, Landon Cassill, Ryan Sieg, and Sheldon Creed remaining mathematically capable of making it through. However, a victory would seal the deal, and that is what every driver will be aiming for Saturday. AJ Allmendinger is the defending race winner, and Bristol has produced 51 different race winners from its 78 appearances on the Xfinity Series schedule.
Key Stats at Bristol Motor Speedway
- Number of races: 78
- Winners from pole: 11
- Winners from top-5 starters: 41
- Winners from top-10 starters: 56
- Winners from 21st or lower starters: 7
- Fastest race: 94.740 mph
Previous 10 Bristol Winners
2021 - AJ Allmendinger
2020 fall - Chase Briscoe
2020 spring - Noah Gragson
2019 fall - Tyler Reddick
2019 spring - Christopher Bell
2018 fall - Kyle Larson
2018 spring - Ryan Preece
2017 fall - Kyle Busch
2017 spring - Erik Jones
2016 fall - Austin Dillon
Like other short tracks, the key to success at Bristol is track position. Winners at this track do not typically start outside of the top 10, and having a poor handling car early puts drivers in danger of losing the lead lap quickly. While much of the race will be spent navigating traffic, drivers do have the ability to change their lines to suit the car's handling. Bristol's short lap distance and long pit road means there aren't many options for strategy without yellow flags, too. Pitting under green means losing laps to the leaders and running the risk of getting trapped there by an untimely caution. For those reasons strategy will tend to follow the timing of caution periods. Drivers at the front of the field have the chance to dictate the race from the front, but restarts will be the prime chance for others to move forward and claim the lead for themselves.
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DraftKings Value Picks for the Food City 300 (Based on Standard $50K Salary Cap)
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NASCAR DFS Picks for the Food City 300
Lower-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
A cutoff race can tend to produce some unexpected results, and that is especially true at Bristol. Brandon Jones heading to Victory Lane wouldn't be a surprise, though. He has five top-10s from 12 starts at the track. With his spot in the playoffs secured, fantasy players should expect him to run a typical top-five effort this week. Austin Hill also does not have to worry about the playoffs. This will be his first visit to the track on this surface, but he does have multiple truck starts at the track with a top-10 finish. In contrast, Daniel Hemric does have playoff concerns. However, his comfortable points position means a clean race with nothing overly fancy should see him through. He also boasts five top-10s from his six prior starts at the track. Brandon Brown, on the other hand, would need a victory to earn a playoff spot. While a win may not be likely Friday night, a top-10 could be within his reach. He finished 14th or better in his last four Bristol starts and should be a reliable option for a top-15 again. Jeffrey Earnhardt has three top-15s from his eight Bristol starts and will be making his 10th start of the season this week. Bristol is also a track where Alex Labbe can make a difference behind the wheel. Labbe has six prior Bristol starts with two of those ending in top-15 finishes.
Higher-Risk Lineup ($50K Salary Cap)
The higher-risk lineup for Bristol focuses on drivers aiming for the win who may be willing to take some risks along the way. Ty Gibbs, as fantasy players know, is always swinging for the fence. He has five victories already this season, and he would love to grab another and potentially the regular-season championship, too. He has one prior Bristol series start with an 11th-place finish. Sheldon Creed will be feeling like he could win and get in the championship fight, too. He's been close multiple times this year and brings a best truck finish at Bristol of sixth from his three track starts in that series. Riley Herbst should feel confident of advancing into the playoffs. He has a comfortable points tally but will still need to avoid any disasters this week. He has two top-10s from his three prior Bristol starts, and a win this week would give him the confidence he has been searching for heading into the elimination races. Bristol is a track Jeb Burton could also surprise at. He has one top-10 at the track as well as a 12th-place finish from 2016. He led seven laps in last year's race, but has had a lousy run of results stretching back to New Hampshire. He might be the choice for a walk-off playoff entry, though. Myatt Snider is another driver on a run of bad luck. He would need to win to get into the championship battle, but with two top-10s from three Bristol starts it could be within reach. He finished eighth in this race last season. Wrapping up the selections is Joe Graf Jr. He brings lineups two top-20 Bristol finishes from his three track starts. He has been capable of delivering top-15 finishes this season and could claim another this week.