1) Chase Elliott (Starting – 6th)
Bristol Fantasy Spin – Chase Elliott has emerged into elite performer at Bristol who’ll be tough to beat. He’s never won a points paying race here, but he was dominant under the lights in the All-Star Race en route to victory lane in July (led 60 of the 140 laps). In that exhibition event, Elliott had the best Green Flag Average Speed and was the Fastest Driver Late In A Run. In recent points paying races at Bristol, Elliott has been elite. Over the last four combined Bristol races, Elliott has the best driver rating by a healthy margin, a series best 5.2 average running position, he’s averaged leading the 2nd most laps per race (67.8) and his average finish is a misleading 10.3.
Bristol Track History – This spring at Bristol, Elliott had a great car, but finished an asterisk mark 22nd after wrecking while battling for the lead with 3 laps to go. In the race, Elliott won the first two Stages, had a 4.5 average running position and led 88 laps. Last summer, Elliott had a great car. He earned the best driver rating, had the best average running position (3.5), finished 5th, led 33 laps and his Green Flag Average Speed ranked as the 4th best. Additionally, Elliott finished 2nd in Stage #1 and finished 6th in Stage #2. In spring 2019, Elliott ran well despite his race not being incident free. He started on the pole and led the opening 38 laps until he spun out while leading in a multi-car accident. After that he wasn’t as competitive and he complained about his steering wheel being “heavy”. When the race reached its conclusion he finished 11th, had a 10th place average running position and earned the 10th best driver rating. In summer 2018, Elliott was a contender to win. He earned the best driver rating, finished 3rd, had a 3rd place average running position and led 112 laps. Additionally, he finished 4th in Stage #1 and 2nd in Stage #2.
DraftKings $10,700 / FanDuel $13,000
2) Denny Hamlin (Starting in the back but will be scored from – 7th)
Bristol Fantasy Spin – Denny Hamlin is a super-elite performer at Bristol who’s been the premiere performer in recent races. I think he should’ve won this spring, and in 2019 he had results of 1st and 5th. One variable I like about Hamlin is that he’s already locked into the next round of the Playoffs, so his only agenda is to race hard and get more Playoff points. On Saturday night, look for Hamlin to be a factor to win. BUMP Hamlin back a little. He’s now about a 7th to 12th place driver.
Bristol Track History – Denny Hamlin has thrived at Bristol and in recent races I think he’s been the best. Over the last three combined Bristol races, Hamlin sports a misleading 7.7 average finish and he’s averaged leading 72.3 laps per race. This spring at Bristol, Denny Hamlin arguably had the best car, but he finished an asterisk mark 17th after having problems late while leading with 12 laps to go. Just prior to spinning he paced the field for the previous 53 laps. In the race, Hamlin finished 8th in Stage #1, 2nd in Stage #2 and led a race high 131 laps. Despite his problem, Hamlin ranked as the 3rd “Fastest Driver Late In A Run”, had the 3rd best green flag average speed and had a 5.2 average running position. In summer 2019, Hamlin smashed “Cinderella’s slipper” and passed Matt DiBendetto for the win with 11 laps to go. In addition to finishing first, Hamlin led 79 laps, earned the 4th best driver rating and had the 6th best Green Flag Average Speed. His win didn’t come easy, while leading on lap 80 Austin Dillon had a tire go down and during this incident Hamlin had contact with Johnson which damaged his car. That dropped Hamlin back in the pack and then later on lap 187 while he was running in 10th he made an unexpected pit stop because of a loose wheel. In spring 2019, Hamlin had a strong showing and finished 5th.
DraftKings $12,000 / FanDuel $13,600
3) Joey Logano (Starting – 2nd)
Bristol Fantasy Spin – Joey Logano is truly a gladiator at “The Last Great Coliseum” and on Saturday night there’s no question he’ll be a contender. This spring he had race winning speed, and historically he’s been even better under the lights. Since 2013 in “The Night Race”, he’s won twice and has a 7.25 average finish. One attribute you have to like about Logano is how well the #22 team is running. Since New Hampshire he’s finished in the top 9 every race and has a 5.8 average finish. This weekend, look for Logano to finish in the top five and compete for the win.
Bristol Track History – Joey Logano is a fantasy ace at Bristol who’s without a doubt one of the best in the business. This spring at “Thunder Valley”, Logano could’ve easily won, but with 3 laps to go while he was battling for the lead (he was the leader at the time), Chase Elliott slid up into him and he had hard contact with the wall. The damage was heavy and it led to him limping home to a 21st place finish. From the race I’ll note he finished 5th in Stage #1, 4th in Stage #2, had a 6.8 average running position and led 2 laps. In summer 2019, Logano finished 16th, but I wouldn’t read into that result. In the race Logano made an unexpected pit stop under green on lap 68 while running in 9th (dropped him 3 laps down), and then later around lap 363 he plowed into the back of a crashing Alex Bowman which did a good amount of damage to his car. In spring 2019, Logano had a stellar showing. He earned the best driver rating, finished 3rd, had a 3rd place average running position and led 146 laps. Also from the race I’ll note he finished 4th in Stage #1 and won Stage #2. In the four Bristol races prior to that he had results of 3rd, 4th, 9th, 13th and 5th.
DraftKings $9,700 / FanDuel $12,500