Kyle Busch – Seven-time Bristol winner Kyle Busch will be the favorite to win on Saturday night. He’s run extremely well here and has back to back wins. This spring, Kyle Busch was impressive and won from the pole. He led 117 laps, earned the 2nd best driver rating and had a 4th place average running position. I will note if there wasn’t a late caution he likely would’ve finished 2nd. Last summer, he had a great car and raced his way to victory lane. In addition to winning he earned the 2nd best driver rating, had a 3rd place average running position and led 156 laps. Additionally, he won Stage #1 and probably would’ve won Stage #2 if there wasn’t a late caution that allowed others to use pit strategy. In many of the Bristol races prior to that he was top five good but walked away with a misleading result. In spring 2017 he showed potential but had multiple cut tires which led to his 35th place finish. “Performance Wise” he was top ten good. In summer 2016 he led over half the race (256 laps) and had the dominant car but his track bar broke on lap 358 and that led to him wrecking (finished 38th). In spring 2016 he had top five potential but he got into the wall a few times and was also spun. On Saturday night look for Busch to finish in the top five and be a serious threat to win.
Kyle Larson – Kyle Larson should be on your short list of favorites at Bristol. He’s run exceptionally well here and has come close to victory lane in many of the recent races. When it comes to running the high-line around “Thunder Valley” nobody is better. Since 2017 he has the best driver rating, the best average running position (4.0), has led the most laps (472) and has a 5.7 average finish. This spring at Bristol I thought Larson had the best car but he finished 2nd when the checkered flag waved. In the race he earned the best driver rating, led 200 laps, had a 3rd place average running position and finished 5th in the first two Stages. What makes that even more impressive is that on lap 177 while leading he spun. If there wasn’t a late caution which regrouped the field at the end, nobody was going to beat him. Last summer, Larson had a strong showing. He earned the 3rd best driver rating, had a 5th place average running position, finished 9th and led 70 laps. Additionally, he finished 3rd in Stage #1 and 6th in Stage #2. In spring 2017 he was phenomenal. In that race he started on the pole, led a race high 202 laps, had a 4th place average running position and finished 6th. At the start of the race his car was in a league of its own but his team didn’t keep up with adjustments. In the three Bristol races prior to that he had top five potential but walked away with misleading results. On Saturday night look for Larson to finish in the top five and compete for the win.
Kevin Harvick – Kevin Harvick will be tough to beat at Bristol. He’s a recent winner who has six straight top tens, you can’t say that about anybody else. Over these six races he has the best driver rating, the best average finish (4.7) and the best average running position (8.0). Earlier this year Harvick started in 39th but raced his way up to a 7th place finish. Additionally, he earned the 10th best driver rating and had a 12th place average running position. Last summer he had a solid showing. He finished 8th, earned the 5th best driver rating and had a 10th place average running position. In spring 2017 Harvick ran well and had a strong performance. He finished 3rd, earned the 5th best driver rating and led 14 laps. In summer 2016 he had a great car and was dominant over the last quarter of the race. In addition to winning he earned the best driver rating, had a 6th place average running position and led 128 laps. In the two races prior to that he finished 7th and 2nd.