After experiencing a rain-delayed midweek race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the NASCAR Cup Series makes the trek to Thunder Valley. The Supermarket Heroes 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway is set to run on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET on FS1. Get your NASCAR DraftKings rosters ready to rumble!
There will be no practice or qualifying for Cup teams’ fifth race in two weeks, as NASCAR wishes to reduce the number of people at the track due to the COVID-19 outbreak. As such, you will need to rely on past data at Bristol (especially from 2018) to help you create your daily fantasy NASCAR DraftKings lineups. You can also look at the results from Phoenix Raceway, which was the first race run using the new short track package. The lower downforce — created by the smaller rear spoiler and front splitter — as well as the higher horsepower helps to showcase a driver’s skills on the track.
Give me all the points. Since there are 500 laps in the race, there are 250 DraftKings points available for fastest laps and 125 points for laps led. You’ll obviously want to place fast, dominant drivers in your lineup. Additionally, some drivers can make up a lot of positions throughout the race, earning you a bonus point for each spot. Choosing the right combination in your lineup can be the difference between winning and losing, so you’ll want to be extra careful. Here's a complete rundown of DraftKings' NASCAR scoring rules.
Before we get to the picks for this week’s event, let's review what happened Thursday night at Charlotte.
Martin Truex Jr.
On the plus side, three drivers from this lineup finished in the top 10. That includes Chase Elliott, who won the race, leading the final 28 laps. Unfortunately, Alex Bowman hit the wall trying to catch Kevin Harvick in the final stage, a mistake that dropped him all the way back to 31st.
But the bigger problem could have been the underdog. Ty Dillon had a power steering issue at the beginning of the race, killing any shot he had at staying in contention. While Dillon did recover somewhat, he never could get past his original starting position.
These two really set back the score. You needed 270.75 DraftKings points to earn $1.83 in the $1 Happy Hour, and 244.50 was the minimum score in the $1 single-entry double up.
DraftKings Daily Fantasy NASCAR Plays/Sample Lineup for Food City presents the Supermarket Heroes 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway
Chase Elliott ($11,300)
Career at Bristol: 8 starts, 0 wins, 3 top fives, 4 top 10s
Average finish at Bristol: 11.5
What a wild week it’s been for the driver of the No. 9 Chevrolet. First, Elliott gets turned by Kyle Busch late in the race at Darlington Raceway May 20. Then, after a heartbreaking ending at the Coca-Cola 600 Sunday night, he won the Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series race on Tuesday. Two nights later, Elliott passed Harvick with less than 30 laps to go and won the Alsco Uniforms 500 Cup race. He truly knows the thrill of victory after the agony of defeat.
Now, Elliott is heading to Bristol on a high note, and I don’t think he wants to come down anytime soon. He has some success there, too with four top 10s in eight races. In the 2018 summer night race, Elliott earned a podium finish after leading 112 laps and notching 45 fastest laps. Additionally, at Phoenix Raceway in 2020 (the first race with this package) he led 93 laps, recorded 60 fastest laps, and crossed the line in seventh. Look for him to continue his strong results.
Clint Bowyer ($9,800)
Career at Bristol: 28 starts, 0 wins, 7 top fives, 15 top 10s
Average finish at Bristol: 14.1
Bowyer has had an up and down year thus far, but he did finish fifth at Phoenix in March. He scored 52 DraftKings points as a result, one of his best totals all season.
As far as Bowyer's history at Bristol, he has earned seven top 10s in the past nine races. In fact, the No. 14 Stewart-Haas Racing pilot is on a four-race top-10 streak at the Last Great Colosseum. Finally, in 2018, Bowyer led 120 laps en route to a sixth-place finish. He’ll start 23rd Sunday but can easily make up those positions and earn another top 10.
Brad Keselowski ($9,100)
Career at Bristol: 20 starts, 2 wins, 5 top fives, 6 top 10s
Average finish at Bristol: 17.3
Keselowski took advantage of Elliott’s questionable strategy to win the 2020 Coca-Cola 600. He scored 72.8 DraftKings points after leading 21 laps and recording 27 fastest laps. Earlier this year in the FanShield 500 at Phoenix, the No. 2 Team Penske driver again scored over 70 DraftKings points, though he finished 11th. His 30 fastest laps and 82 laps led really helped boost his total.
At Bristol, Keselowski doesn’t have as many good results. However, his car has shown speed; he led 131 circuits last year and 67 in the spring 2018 event. Since Kes is starting from the pole this week, he has a good chance to get clean air and lead a lot of laps, which would help increase your fantasy score. Hopefully, the Team Penske veteran avoids trouble and ends the race near the front.
Tyler Reddick ($7,900)
Xfinity career at Bristol: 5 starts, 1 wins, 2 top fives, 4 top 10s
Average finish at Bristol: 6.0
While Sunday is Reddick’s first race at Bristol in a Cup car, he does have some success in the Xfinity Series. The No. 8 Chevrolet driver for Richard Childress Racing led 61 laps before settling for a runner-up finish last spring. He also won the summer event after leading 19 circuits.
So far in 2020, Reddick has two top 10s, one apiece at Darlington and Charlotte. He was well on his way to a similar result at Phoenix until a flat tire ruined his day. The rookie starts 21st Sunday and should again have a fast enough car to run near the front.
Chris Buescher ($5,800)
Career at Bristol: 9 starts, 0 wins, 1 top fives, 1 top 10s
Average finish at Bristol: 23.4
Buescher struggled on Thursday, but he did finish 10th in the Coca-Cola 600. He also was 17th at Phoenix, which gave him a DraftKings score of 33.8.
At Bristol, Buescher recorded his lone top-five performance in 2016 with Front Row Motorsports. I like his ability to gain positions and once again earn top 20s, as he did in both 2018 and 2019. Buescher was 19th two years ago after starting 28th; then, in 2019, he gained 12 positions to end 17th.
His low price helps you to fit one or more top-tier drivers in your lineup. Hopefully, Buescher will notch a good performance on Sunday to maximize his value.
Dark Horse Performer
John Hunter Nemechek ($5,500)
Xfinity career at Bristol: 3 starts, 0 wins, 2 top fives, 2 top 10s
Average finish at Bristol: 7.0
Like Reddick, Sunday is also Nemechek’s first time at Bristol in the Cup Series. However, in NXS last season, he crossed the line in fifth and third.
Nemechek has really outperformed his equipment so far this year, even earning a top 10 at Darlington. Front Row Motorsports has a history of nabbing better finishes at short tracks, giving him a better chance at performing well.
Since Nemechek is so inexpensive, you don’t need a whole lot of DraftKings points for this rookie to get you in the green. Use him.
(Top photo courtesy of ASP, Inc.)