This weekend we have the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, which should provide us with some excellent short track racing entertainment on Sunday afternoon. However, as we all know, races at tracks like Bristol can be very difficult and frustrating for fantasy racers. Track position will be very important on Sunday and a mistake on pit road could easily ruin a driver’s day. Those who have a car that drive well will make their way to the front, and then it will be a mad dash to the checkered flag. This should be fun…good luck!
Fantasy Favorites for Bristol
Matt Kenseth – At short tracks, handling and comfort become much more important than horsepower, which definitely plays into the hands of the drivers at Joe Gibbs Racing. We saw it back at Martinsville with Denny Hamlin taking home the checkered flag, and it could surprise me whatsoever if either him, Matt Kenseth, or Carl Edwards went to victory lane this Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway. My money is on Kenseth. No racer has a better average driver rating over the last two years at this track than Kenseth (117.7) and he has led a series-high 461 laps over that span. Finish-wise, Matt hasn’t finished inside the top 10 in the last two spring races–he probably had top 5 cars, though–but he won the 2013 fall race at “The Bullring” and came home 3rd in that event last August. In The Showcase, Kenseth will receive 3 handicap points for Sunday’s race, which is a decent value for a guy of this caliber. Matt has had disappointing finishes in three of the last four Sprint Cup races but this team is capable of breaking out with a win on any weekend, and it’s going to happen soon.
Joey Logano – I consider Joey Logano one of the best intermediate track drivers in the Sprint Cup series but he has majorly improved his short track racing over the last couple of years and probably doesn’t get enough recognition for that. Joey is the most recent winner here at Bristol Motor Speedway although it’s worth noting that he has never finished inside the top 10 in the spring race. With that being said, in the last three fall Bristol races, Logano has ended up 1st, 5th, and 8th. In The Showcase, “Sliced Bread” is the top rated driver and will recieve 0 handicap points. This shouldn’t be that surprising considering he has had good finishes here at Bristol as of late and has yet to finish worse than 10th in Sprint Cup action in 2015. Logano now has back-to-back top 5s at Martinsville and Texas and should be in the hunt for a third in a row on Sunday.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr. – This #88 team has been feast or famine thus far in 2015 with the former happening more often than the latter. I really like what new crew chief Greg Ives and driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr. have going on right now and it’s only a matter of time before we see these guys in victory lane. Will it happen this weekend? It’s possible, but Junior’s only win here at Bristol came way back during the 2004 season. Still, Earnhardt has just two finishes worse than 16th at this track over the last 12 events, so you know the talent is there. If the #88 team can put a good setup in this car on Sunday, it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Junior win. This is one of his best (and favorite) tracks on the circuit. In The Showcase, NASCAR’s most popular driver will receive a very generous 7 handicap points because his average finishes over the last six races at Bristol as well as in the Sprint Cup series overall are being brought down by some terrible results. With this handicap value, Junior should be considered a must-pick on Sunday unless the #88 Chevrolet looks really bad–which I don’t see happening.