Kevin Harvick – Don’t overlook this Front Runner Rankings #1 driver in the Bristol Food City 500. His recent level of success at Bristol hasn’t been Top Tier Elite good but he’s a driver who’s thrived on the track this season with the new rules package. Typically at Bristol as of late Kevin Harvick has consistently been a low double digit performer. Since 2010 he has one top ten result and has finished between 11th and 15th 62.5% percent of the time. Last August at Bristol he had a car that looked like it would finish slightly better than that range in the top ten but late in the race he pitted from the front of the field only to get collected shortly after in the “Big One”. In March last year his car was slightly better than his 14th place result. In that race he had a 9th place average running position and earned the 8th best driver rating. In the first race on the ground down surface at Bristol he finished 15th, had a 10th place average running position and earned the 10th best driver rating. (Yahoo A Driver)
Ryan Newman – Ryan Newman has some solid fantasy NASCAR dark horse potential at Bristol. If you pick him don’t expect him to win. He’s only finished in the top five once in his 24 starts. His true fantasy value lies in getting top tens. He’s finished within that mark over 50% percent of the time. In the last 11 Bristol races he has 7 top tens. Last August at Bristol Newman had a good car but he got swept up in the late carnage on the track. If he didn’t have problems he looked like a lock for a top ten. Despite his wreck he had a 10th place average running position and earned the 12th best driver rating. In March last year he finished 7th with a car that ran much of the race in the teens. In the first race on the current Bristol track configuration Newman was running in 10th around lap 170 but he was involved in a wreck. In the last two races this year Newman has finished 7th. (Yahoo B Driver)
Recommended Reading – Bristol Top Tier Elite Picks, Bristol Mid Pack Predictions, Bristol C List Fantasy Preview, Bristol Scouting Report August 2013, Bristol Scouting Report March 2013, Who will win at Bristol?
Kurt Busch – Kurt Busch could be a contender in the Bristol Food City 500. Bristol has long been one of his best tracks and he always look forward to racing here. He’s a five time winner and has finished in the top ten 54% percent of the time. His last win at Thunder Valley was in August 2006. That long winless streak doesn’t mean he hasn’t been in the mix for the win. Last season he was extremely competitive in both races. In August he started on the outside of the front row and led 54 laps. The race unfortunately wasn’t incident free for him. Around lap 76 he lost the lead to Carl Edwards and then he complained about having a loose wheel. His team then called him in for a pit stop to correct the issue. After he was done with his pit stop he was served with a speeding penalty. Shortly after that he continued to have problems and his car got pushed behind the wall to replace a right rear hub. If he didn’t have problems he likely would’ve been in the mix for the win. In March last year he also had adversity in the race but it wasn’t as severe. In that event he was running in 4th but had a loose wheel and had to make an emergency pit stop. He was able to rebound from that and still finish 4th. His driver rating for the event also ranked as the 4th best. (Yahoo A Driver)