NASCAR DFS Bass Pro Shops Night Race

NASCAR DFS Bass Pro Shops Night Race Kyle Busch

Brad Keselowski would put on a commanding performance on Saturday, as he led 192 of the 400 laps. With the win, he joined Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin as the only drivers to have already qualified. Hamlin would also clinch at Richmond, having done it through points. So far in the playoffs, an unlikely dark horse has emerged in Austin Dillon. I think it was fair to say the No. 3 driver did not come into the tournament on many people’s radars as far as the round of 12 qualifier. However, having come off a second-place result at Darlington the previous Sunday, Dillon would bring another strong performance this past weekend at Richmond. In the end, he would finish fourth behind Joey Logano.

We now put that wild Richmond event behind us and head out to Bristol, Tennessee, to finish out the round of 16. Bristol Motor Speedway is just a half-mile in size and has extremely high banking. Known in NASCAR circles as Thunder Valley, this popular short track is indeed one of the most dangerous. Due to the tight racing, high speeds, and very high bankings, it all adds up to plenty of problems throughout the race. And while the track itself is indeed one of the tiniest in NASCAR, the venue is in fact one of the largest in the world. Consider that this building holds a whooping 165,000 spectators.

Now with just one race left to go in the round of 16 and roughly seven or eight drivers still fighting to advance. It should make for a very interesting Saturday night. Previous race winner Keselowski will start on pole, opposite teammate Logano. So without further ado, let’s delve into the driver options for this upcoming Cup series event. I’ve broken down the selections between high salary, mid-range, and value play. Best of luck to everyone with their lineups this weekend.

High Salary

Joey Logano (12,500 FD 9,700 DK)

Logano has already picked up two podium finishes and now looks to wrap up the round of 16 with another convincing run. Logano’s past two visits to Bristol have been shaky to be sure, however, it was only last April that he finished here with a third-place result and a driver rating of 132.3. Slated to start second in the running order, Logano should perk your interests as a potential dominator. Consider that in two of the last four Bristol starts, he has led at least 95 laps. Expect Logano to be a solid challenger for this weekend’s victory.

Kyle Busch (12,000 FD 10,400 DK)

Arguably the biggest enigma of the 2020 season, Busch now gets Bristol, a track in which he has won an incredible three of the last six times. While Busch has still not managed to break through and pick up that first victory of the season, he has put up some positive results so far in the playoffs. Slated to start the race in 9th, Busch has enough wiggle room in which to add potential points through place differential, fastest lap, and laps led. Keep in mind he has led 70 or more laps in five of the last six Bristol events. If there ever was an opportunity in which to finally get himself into the win column, it would be Thunder Valley.


Jimmie Johnson (9,400 FD 8,600 DK)

In the past three seasons, Bristol has ranked as Johnson’s second-best track with an average finish of 9.0. In his most recent visit to Thunder Valley back in early July, Johnson would win the first stage en route to a top-three finish. Given the dangers of this tiny short track, Johnson has a solid history of staying out of trouble. Consider that in 37 attempts at Bristol, he has a single DNF. Slated to start 24th in the running order, Johnson has plenty of opportunities in which to bull his way through at least ten or more drivers. In fact, considering his very recent success here, I would not be surprised if Johnson finished with a top 10 outcome.

Value Play

Ryan Newman (8,000 FD 7,300 DK)

With this being Newman’s best track in average finish over the last seven attempts, I would argue he is one of the more underrated drivers for Bristol. And with a 26th place starting position, Newman is deep enough in which he can add close to a dozen bonus points through place differential. Keep in mind that in his past six starts at Bristol, he has the worst finish of 15th and the best finish of six. With the solid recent history and an affordable price tag, Newman makes for a very sneaky space filler for such a high-risk track.

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