NASCAR Picks for Bristol
Length: 0.533 miles
Location: Bristol, Tennessee
Sunday Morning: Be sure to read 7 Sleeper Drivers to Watch at Bristol
The early portion of the Cup Series schedule is filled with a variety of tracks, and this weekend, teams will get their first chance to tackle a short track with a trip to Bristol Motor Speedway. A series of changes to the track layout in recent years have somewhat tamed the half-mile bullring, but while the wrecks aren't as frequent, the racing can still get pretty physical. From a fantasy standpoint, the trip to Bristol shuffles up the rankings a bit as some big names excel at short tracks while other don't quite live up to their typical standards. The same can be said about sleeper picks, and a winning combination for this weekend's race will likely look nothing like the lineups that have had a success so far in 2014.
Kyle Busch, #18 Mars Brands/Interstate Batteries, Joe Gibbs Racing [Yahoo Class A]
He finished second at Bristol last March, adding to an incredible resume at the short track. In addition to his three runner-up finishes, he has been to victory lane five times. Meanwhile his 9.9 average finish at Bristol is the best in the series, and he has finished outside the top 15 just twice in his last 16 starts.
Kasey Kahne, #5 Farmers Insurance/Quaker State, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
Kahne capped a recent run of success at Bristol with a breakout season at the track in 2013. He followed up a win in the March event with a second-place run in the summer race, and in his last seven starts at the track, he six finishes of 11th or better times, including three straight. The defending race-winner should make a strong fantasy option Sunday.
Matt Kenseth, #20 Husky/Dollar General, Joe Gibbs Racing [Yahoo Class A]
The three-time Bristol winner has been enjoying a solid stretch at the track. In addition to winning the night race at the track last season, he has seven top-10s in his last nine starts, including five finishes of sixth or better. Meanwhile, his 11.8 average finish at Bristol since the start of the 2004 season is the third best in the series.
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., #88 National Guard/Diet Mountain Dew, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
Over the past 20 races at Bristol, no driver has been more consistent that Junior. His 9.4 average finish during the stretch is the best in the series, and he has finished inside the top 20 in all 20 starts. More importantly, Junior has 18 top-15 finishes during the stretch, including eight finishes of seventh or better.
Brad Keselowski, #2 Miller Lite, Team Penske [Yahoo Class B]
In the last five races at Bristol, Keselowski is the only driver to win multiple races at the track. In fact, he has three top-three finishes during the stretch. Keselowksi has been particularly strong in the March race at the track, finishing third last year and winning the 2012 event.
Clint Bowyer, #15 5-Hour Energy, Michael Waltrip Racing [Yahoo Class A]
Since joining Michael Waltrip Racing in 2012, Bowyer has been a fantasy stud at the short tracks. At Bristol specifically, he has a 7.5 average finish in four starts with MWR.
Kevin Harvick, #4 Budweiser/Jimmy Johns, Stewart-Haas Racing [Yahoo Class A]
Although his best runs at Bristol came on the old layout, he hasn't exactly been a slouch on the new configuration. He has six top-15s in his last eight starts at the track, including three in his last four. His strong starts to the 2014 season certainly doesn't hurt his value either.
Kurt Busch, #41 Haas Automation, Stewart-Haas Racing [Yahoo Class A]
Busch's record at Bristol suffered a bit as he bounced between smaller teams the past couple of year, but he could return to form at the track now that he is with Stewart-Haas Racing. Keep in mind that he is a five-time winner at the track for his career, and from the summer of 2007 through the March race in 2011, Busch reeled of eight straight top-15s.
Brian Vickers, #55 Aaron's Dream Machine, Michael Waltrip Racing [Yahoo Class B]
During his two-year run as a part-time driver for Michael Waltrip Racing, Vickers was a flat out stud at Bristol. In four starts at the track, he tallied three top-five finishes and compiled a 5.3 average finish. There is no reason to expect Vickers to slow down now that he is a full-time driver with MWR.
Jimmie Johnson, #48 Lowe's/Kobalt Tools, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
While he had a rough year at the track in 2013, Johnson has still been solid at Bristol in recent years. In his last 10 starts, he has seven top-10s, including his only victory to date. I still wouldn't trot him out as my A-List option in Yahoo! leagues, but Johnson has turned himself into a solid driver at Bristol.
Joey Logano, #22 Shell-Pennzoil, Team Penske [Yahoo Class B]
After struggling at Bristol early in his career, Logano has been coming on strong lately. He has five straight finishes of 17th or better, and he has finished eighth or better twice in his last three starts at the track. Logano finished a career-best fifth at Bristol last summer, and as well as he has started 2014, another strong showing could be on tap this weekend.
Jeff Gordon, #24 Drive to End Hunger/Axalta, Hendrick Motorsports [Yahoo Class A]
He has done his best work in the night race, but Gordon has still managed six top-15s in his last eight starts at Bristol. During the stretch, he has finished seventh or better three times. Meanwhile, his 12.8 average finish at the track over the past 20 races ranks fifth in the series.