The Setup – Food City 500
By Tyler Miller

NASCAR returns to Bristol on Sunday for the Food City presents the Supermarket Heroes 500. This is a 500 lap race at Bristol Motor Speedway, a half-mile, high-banked, concrete race track in southeastern Tennessee. This race sits in stark contrast to the 208 lap race we saw at Charlotte Thursday night. Drafting drivers who run every lap and lead laps will be a premium on Fan Duel. On Draft Kings, you really need to focus on drivers who can dominate the race with triple digit laps led and fastest laps run. Differential is less important in a 500 lap race. Kyle Busch has won the last two spring races at Bristol, can he make it 3 in a row? Let’s get started!

Race Distance: 500 laps, Stage 1 ends on lap 125, Stage 2 ends on lap 250.
Lineup Lock 3:30 pm eastern Sunday
Last year’s winners – Kyle Busch (started 17th) (Spring) – Denny Hamlin (started 1st) (Summer)
Last year’s pole sitters: Chase Elliott (finished 11th) (Spring) – Denny Hamlin (finished 1st) (Summer)
Prior race winners: Spring, Summer
2018: Kyle Busch (1st), Kurt Busch (9th)
2017: Jimmie Johnson (11th), Kyle Busch (18th)
2016: Carl Edwards (1st), Kevin Harvick (24th)
2015: Matt Kenseth (1st), Joey Logano (5th)
2014: Carl Edwards (12th), Joey Logano (5th)

Charlotte Recap:
What went right?

I am really pleased with the drivers I wrote up in for the mid-week Charlotte race. Looking at the first 5 drivers I had listed, Johnson, Hamlin, Bowyer, Elliott, and Blaney finished 5th, 2nd, 10th, 1st, and 4th in Fan Duel scoring. Kenseth had issues all night but battled back to get 2 lucky dogs and +3 differential. Newman was solid for a mid-tier pick with +10 differential and a 17th place finish. Bubba Wallace was a disaster, but I wrote him up with a “I do not trust Bubba Wallace” disclaimer. I also correctly predicted Chase Elliott to win the race. I am going to start betting on my picks to win, I live in New Jersey, its above board.

My Fan Duel lineup ended up being Kenseth, Newman, Johnson, Bowyer, and Elliott, which scored 288.2 and cashed in every contest I entered.

My Draft Kings lineup was Johnson, Elliott, Kenseth, Blaney, Newman, and McDowell, which scored 269.25 and cashed in every contest I entered.

Overall, since NASCAR returned at Darlington two weeks ago, I have cashed in 25 of the 26 contests I entered on Fan Duel. I missed in the $1 quick-pick single-entry tournament for the Coca-Cola 600. On Draft Kings I have cashed in 26 of 32 contests entered for Cup races during that time. As a reminder, I am a single entry player and most of those contests were cash games or single entry tournaments.

What went wrong?
I’m happy that I avoided playing Bubba Wallace, but I’m upset with myself for writing him up in the first place. On Draft Kings I went with Michael McDowell because he was the lowest priced driver and my only option with the way I built my lineup. I missed I Ricky Stenhouse Jr’s top 5 with +20 differential, but I’m ok with that. Stenhouse cannot be trusted, his finishes this year are as follow: 20,3,20,22,40,25,24,4. Maybe I should have seen his 3rd place finish at Las Vegas and had more faith in his 1.5 mile setup, but that’s a bit of a stretch.

What Vegas thinks (Saturday Morning Lines via Draft Kings Sportsbook)
Kyle Busch is back to being the favorite at 4-1, big jumps for Denny Hamlin and Joey Logano this week. Truex and Keselowski dropped down the list.

Kyle Busch 4-1
Chase Elliott 11-2
Denny Hamlin 8-1
Joey Logano 8-1
Kevin Harvick 17-2
Brad Keselowski 11-1
Martin Truex Jr. 11-1
Ryan Blaney 13-1
Kurt Busch 18-1
Alex Bowman 20-1

Driver Ratings at Bristol:
1. Kyle Busch 101.8
2. Matt Kenseth 100.6
3. Chase Elliott 95.9
4. Kevin Harvick 95.2
5. Erik Jones 94.1
6. Jimmie Johnson 92.4
7. Denny Hamlin 91.7
8. Kurt Busch 91.5
9. Joey Logano 90.6
10. Ryan Blaney 90.5
11. Brad Keselowski 88.2
12. Ryan Newman 85.2
13. Martin Truex Jr 83.3
14. Clint Bowyer 83.1
15. Daniel Suarez 79.1

Average Running Position
1. Erik Jones 10.800
2. Chase Elliott 11.271
3. Matt Kenseth 11.368
4. Ryan Blaney 12.065
5. Kevin Harvick 12.618
6. Jimmie Johnson 12.978
7. Kyle Busch 13.067
8. Kurt Busch 13.581
9. Denny Hamlin 14.044
10. Brad Keselowski 14.342
11. Ryan Newman 14.557
12. Daniel Suarez 14.814
13. Joey Logano 15.346
14. Martin Truex Jr 15.755
15. Clint Bowyer 15.838

Laps Led
1. Kyle Busch 2334 (16.1% of laps run)
2. Matt Kenseth 1547 (11.9)
3. Jimmie Johnson 886 (5.9)
4. Joey Logano 764 (6.9)
5. Denny Hamlin 697 (5.0)
6. Brad Keselowski 697 (7.0)
7. Kevin Harvick 683 (4.5)
8. Kurt Busch 605 (4.0)
9. Ryan Blaney 379 (8.4)
10. Clint Bowyer 281 (2.0)
11. Erik Jones 293 (9.8)
12. Martin Truex Jr. 282 (2.0)

2019 Spring top 10
1. Kyle Busch
2. Kurt Busch
3. Joey Logano
4. Ryan Blaney
5. Denny Hamlin
6. Paul Menard
7. Clint Bowyer
8. Daniel Suarez
9. Ryan Newman
10. Jimmie Johnson

2019 Summer top 10
1. Denny Hamlin
2. Matt DiBenedetto
3. Brad Keselowski
4. Kyle Busch
5. Chase Elliott
6. Kyle Larson
7. Clint Bowyer
8. Daniel Suarez
9. Kurt Busch
10. Ryan Blaney

2018 Spring top 10
1. Kyle Busch
2. Kyle Larson
3. Jimmie Johnson
4. Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
5. Alex Bowman
6. Aric Almirola
7. Kevin Harvick
8. Clint Bowyer
9. Joey Logano
10. Ryan Newman

2018 Summer (Night Race) top 10
1. Kurt Busch
2. Kyle Larson
3. Chase Elliott
4. Joey Logano
5. Erik Jones
6. Clint Bowyer
7. Ryan Blaney
8. Alex Bowman
9. Jimmie Johnson
10. Kevin Harvick

Kyle Busch ($14,000/12,500) It doesn’t get any more dominant than Kyle Busch at Bristol. Busch has won 3 of the last 5 races at the track, including each of the past two spring races. Busch has 8 wins in his career at Bristol, he is first in driver rating, and first in laps led. Bristol is coming at the right time for Kyle Busch, after a dismal two races at Charlotte, the 18 team will have a get-right night at Bristol, I like this team to lead dozens of laps and finish in the top 5 from the 7th place starting position.

Chase Elliott ($13,000/11,300) I think you need to draft 3 drivers who can lead 100+ laps and win the race. Chase Elliott is firmly in that conversation this weekend. Elliott has been on fire as of late, he easily could have won the last three races and rolls into Bristol with momentum on his side. Starting 6th might scare away some ownership, but I like pairing Chase Elliott with Kyle Busch at the top of the roster.

Denny Hamlin ($12,000/11,600) It would be foolish to ignore last year’s winner of the Bristol night race. Denny Hamlin has had moderate success at Bristol in his career with 2 wins, 9 top 5s and 14 top 10 finishes (28 races). Hamlin has led laps in 3 of the last 4 races at Bristol and is 7th in driver rating and 9th in average running position. Hamlin finished 5th in the Spring race last year and starts 10th on Sunday.

Matt Kenseth ($8,000/8,100) Matt Kenseth is simply priced too cheap for this race track. Bristol has been one of Kenseth’s best tracks in his career with 4 wins, 15 top 5s and 22 top 10s in 36 starts. Kenseth has the second highest driver rating and is 3rd in average running position. Kenseth had a miserable night at Charlotte on Thursday, all of which was completely out of his control. I like this team to rebound for a top 12, maybe even a top 10 finish at Bristol which makes it a great play at his salary. Kenseth starts 14th.

Ryan Blaney ($10,300/8,600) Ryan Blaney has three straight finishes at Bristol inside the top 10, including a 4th place finish in the spring race last year. Blaney is 10th in driver rating and 4th in average running position at Bristol. He has ran well at the track overall, but had 3 finishes of 30th or worse in 4 races from 2016-2018. Blaney has some momentum on his side, and a 4th place starting position will keep ownership down, but I like him on Draft Kings where he is priced way too cheap for a driver that could lead laps and finish in the top 5.

Matt DiBenedetto ($8,300/7,100) Matt DiBenedetto is going to be the emotional pick for Bristol this weekend, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad play. DiBenedetto finished runner up to Denny Hamlin in the night race last year with inferior equipment compared to what he is racing with now at the Wood Brothers. His career stats at Bristol are less than impressive because of the teams he raced with early in his career, but he has run over 99% of the laps in his 10 starts (4988 of 5011). I think DiBenedetto is a solid play, but it’s risky with his 9th place starting position. I wouldn’t expect another runner up finish, but something in the top 15 is realistic.

Ty Dillon ($5,500/6,100) Ty Dillon is my favorite value play this weekend and I love the fact that some better known guys are starting behind him and will pick up most of the ownership. I simply trust Ty Dillon more than I trust Christopher Bell, Bubba Wallace, or Daniel Suarez. In 7 career races at Bristol, Ty Dillon has finished worst than his starting position once. In his last 3 races at Bristol he’s finished 21st, 15th, and 20th. Starting 29th, I like Ty to gain + 8-10 differential and compete for a top 20 finish.

Corey LaJoie ($3,000/5,700) LaJoie is the only other value driver that I would play on Sunday. He’s just too cheap on Fan Duel. LaJoie is starting 32nd and is coming off 3 straight top 25 finishes. I don’t think Corey will turn many heads, but I think he is a solid contender for a finish in the mid-to-low 20s on Sunday.

My core lineup includes Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, and Corey LaJoie. Using LaJoie gives you a lot of really good options for the other positions on Fan Duel. Good luck to all our subscribers this weekend!

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