RaceDayScore NASCAR: Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race

RaceDayScore NASCAR: Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race

This article is part of our RaceDayScore NASCAR series.

Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race

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

Race Preview

Last week's rest gave drivers and teams a chance to recharge and reset before this week's pressure-cooker of a race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Denny Hamlin's win two weeks ago at Watkins Glen gave him something positive to carry through the off week, but others will have grown impatient as they look to seize their opportunities to earn a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Including this week's race there are just four more opportunities for those drivers on the outside of the Chase grid to work their way in. The pressure climbs ever higher, and the tight door-to-door racing at Bristol will only serve to heighten those tensions.

Key Stats at Bristol Motor Speedway

Number of previous races: 111
Winners from pole: 24
Winners from top-5 starters: 65
Winners from top-10 starters: 89
Winners from 21st or lower starters: 5
Fastest race: 104.589 mph

Last 10 Bristol Winners

2016 spring - Carl Edwards
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

Traffic is the name of the game at the short Bristol oval. Teams will have to find a chassis setup that will enable their drivers to remain quick throughout the turns while changing grooves as they pass slower cars. There is no getting away from other drivers on the tight circuit, and any lapse in attention could be disastrous. Avoiding the mistakes of others as well as your own will be key in remaining in contention for the win. Bristol's long pit road makes green-flag stops seem interminable and makes for a harsh penalty when a driver is forced to stop for damage or penalties. Faster drivers preferred the track's higher line through the corners in the spring race, but the lower groove is required at times to pull off passes. The key to moving ahead at this track is speed at the corner exit. Drivers who can maximize their launch down the two straights will have an advantage as they pull themselves forward in the running order.

(Based on Standard $60K Salary Cap)

Tier 1 Values

Brad Keselowski - $11,700
Joey Logano - $11,500
Matt Kenseth - $11,000

Tier 2 Values

Martin Truex Jr. - $10,900
Tony Stewart - $10,500
Kyle Larson - $10,300
Jamie McMurray - $10,100

Tier 3 Values

A.J. Allmendinger - $9,800
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $9,700
Casey Mears - $8,700

Long-Shot Values

Chris Buescher - $8,300
Matt DiBenedetto - $8,200
David Ragan - $8,100


Lower-Risk Lineup ($60K Salary Cap)

Joey Logano - $11,500
Kevin Harvick - $11,400
Carl Edwards - $11,300
Matt Kenseth - $11,000
Cole Whitt - $7,700
Michael Annett - $7,100

Bristol's lower-risk lineup offers some of the best drivers at Bristol as well as some that are currently on hot streaks. Logano heads this grouping with two of the last four wins at the track along with a 10th-place finish there in the spring. Harvick finished seventh at Bristol earlier this year and was on a streak of four consecutive top-10 finishes before trouble in Watkins Glen. He also led laps in four of the last four Bristol races including 184 in last year's spring event. The spring winner Edwards makes a confident pick in this group due to his current streak of four top-five starts. He'll be desperate to convert another top start into a victory this week. Kenseth presents a slightly undervalued driver at $11,000 while ranking second in the Race Day Score points scheme through both the last 10 years at the track and the five most recent races. Whitt has five Bristol starts under his belt with a top finish of 27th, and Annett has a 23rd-place finish from his five tries.

Higher-Risk Lineup
($60K Salary Cap)

Kyle Busch - $11,100
Martin Truex Jr. - $10,900
Tony Stewart - $10,500
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. - $9,700
Casey Mears - $8,700
Chris Buescher - $8,300

As usual, the higher-risk lineup takes a few gambles. Kyle Busch is a small risk with a high potential for reward. He's among the best at Bristol throughout his career and boasts five wins. Truex has struggled a bit more with just two top-five finishes at the track, but he started inside the top 10 here in the spring and finished 14th. That's a big improvement, and we should expect more this week. Stewart has been nothing less than impressive in recent weeks, and finished fourth and sixth in two of the last three Bristol races. In just seven career Bristol starts, Stenhouse already has two top-fives and three top-10s. He should be capable of at least a top 15 this week. Mears and Buescher are both on the cusp of regular top-20s in the series and at Bristol. Both of these drivers finished inside the top 25 in their last two Bristol starts, and Buescher has the extra motivation of a spot in the Chase waiting for him if he can outperform that expectation.

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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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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