1) Kyle Larson (Starting – 2nd)
Bristol Fantasy Spin – Kyle Larson will be the favorite to win on Saturday night. He runs extremely well here and nobody is better than him at running the high-line. In recent Bristol races he’s been very competitive despite having quite a few misleading results. In practice Larson appeared to have a pretty good car. His ten lap averages between the sessions ranked as the 4th and 6th best. On Saturday night I would look for Larson to be a finish in the top five, and compete for the win.
Bristol Track History – This spring at Bristol Kyle Larson was extremely strong. He led a race high 202 laps, had a 4th place average running position and finished 6th. Early in the race his car was in a league of its own, later in the race his team didn’t seem to keep up with adjustments. In the three Bristol races prior to that he had top five potential but walked away with a misleading result. Last summer at Bristol he had a great car and had to work his way to the front multiple times. He was caught speeding on pit road on lap 77 while running in 3rd, spun on lap 308 while running in 4th, but then he was later caught up in the Kyle Busch carnage while running in 6th which led to his 24th place finish. In spring 2016 he was very strong but his track bar broke on lap 147 which sent him to the garage and led to his poor 35th place finish. In August 2015 he looked very strong but finished 41st after having multiple problems (flat tire, commitment cone violation, flat tire again and got into the wall hard). In his three Bristol races prior to that he had results of 7th, 10th and 12th.
Yahoo B Driver / DraftKings $10,500
2) Martin Truex Jr. (Starting – 6th)
Bristol Fantasy Spin – Martin Truex Jr. should be on your short list of favorites at Bristol. He was extremely strong this spring, and there’s no reason to think he won’t be one of the drivers to beat again. One aspect I really like about Truex is his momentum. Since Kentucky he’s only once finished outside the top three and in that race he was collected in a wreck while battling for the lead (Indy). On Saturday night I would look for Truex to finish in the top five, and compete for the win.
Bristol Track History – This spring at Bristol Martin Truex Jr. had a phenomenal car. In the race he earned the best driver rating, had the best average running position (3rd), led 116 laps and finished 8th. I will note his result is misleading. While he was running in 2nd with 35 laps to go he got a speeding penalty. Last fall he had top five potential but finished 23rd after getting damage in a wreck while running in 3rd. In spring 2016 he finished a misleading 14th. With 75 laps to go in that race he pitted from 2nd under green for a loose wheel that dropped him two laps down. Additionally in that race he earned the 5th best driver rating and had a 10th place average running position.
Yahoo A Driver / DraftKings $10,700
Further Recommended Reading – Bristol Practice Notes / Practice Speeds Center, Bristol Starting Lineup, DraftKings Start Page, Yahoo Start Page, PROS Rankings, PROS Rankings Extended Edition, Asterisk Mark Report, Scouting Report
3) Matt Kenseth (Starting – 5th)
Bristol Fantasy Spin – Matt Kenseth is a strong performer at Bristol who ranks as one of the best drivers since the track reconfiguration. His results don’t show it but “performance wise” he’s been super elite. This weekend I think Kenseth has some out of sync potential because in 3 of the last 4 Bristol races he’s finished 36th or worse. In practice Matt Kenseth had one of the best cars. In Happy Hour his ten lap average ranked as the best and Erik Jones pointed towards him as having one of the strongest cars. On Saturday night I would look for Kenseth to compete for a top five finish.
Bristol Track History – Bristol has been a great track for Matt Kenseth. He’s won four times, has finished in the top five 40% percent of the time, and in the top ten 60% percent of the time. This spring he had a great car and near the end of the race he had one of the fastest cars on the track. When the race reached its conclusion he finished 4th. Last summer he was probably low-teens good but wrecked and finished 37th. In spring 2016 he had a great car but had multiple tire problems. His first happened while he was leading, his second which resulted in heavy damage was when he was running in the top ten. Before his first problem on lap 187 he led 142 laps. In August 2015 he was very strong but his engine blew up while running in 4th. In spring 2015 he raced his way to victory lane, earned the best driver rating, had a 3rd place average running position and led 47 laps.
Yahoo A Driver / DraftKings $9,400