Fantasy Picks: Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol


The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is running its second event at Bristol Motor Speedway this Saturday night.

There has been a lot of racing at Bristol – in fact the Cup Series has been racing there twice a year since 1961 – but the track has undergone a lot of renovations, especially in the last handful of years. The most important of these changes changes for those playing in fantasy leagues is the attempted removal of the top groove after the spring race in 2012.

Follow along here at Tireball Sports as we break down some of the better fantasy options this week!

Five to Pick

Jeff Gordon – I can not think of a single reason to be picking against Jeff Gordon right now. Gordon scored his third win of the season at Michigan last week and has five wins in his career at Bristol. He has finished seventh in the last two races at Bristol and his only poor start since the repave came in the Spring of 2013 when he was involved in a crash

Matt Kenseth – Kenseth won this race a year ago. His finishes at Bristol may not always work out, thanks to accidents, but he always shows up to the 0.533-mile track with a car capable of winning. The No. 20 team wants to end the regular season with a win so expect Kenseth and company to come out swinging. Going off of driver rating only Kyle Larson has a higher rating and his is flawed due to just one race at Bristol.

Kasey Kahne – Ok we get it. He has not had the best year. However, he still is just on the cusp of a Chase spot. Kahne won the 2013 Spring race at Bristol and is the only driver to score a top ten in all four races since the repave. He finished eighth here earlier this season and while he hasn’t won lately he also has not bombed out. Kahne has top ten finishes in two of his last four races this season with a worst finish of 16th.

Kyle Busch – Kyle and his brother Kurt have ten wins here. With limited space we choose Kyle because he has ability to run away with this thing on Saturday night.  He has 12 top tens in 19 races so we can look past the 29th place finish from earlier this year.

Marcos Ambrose – Again we really wanted to write about the combined ten wins between Kurt and Kyle Busch, we had to slip a darkhorse in here for leagues that require a mid-packer. Ambrose has six career top tens at Bristol including three of his last four starts. He is not going to make the Chase this season but Ambrose should have enough for a top ten run at Bristol.

Three to Avoid

joeyloganoAJ Allmendinger – He may have won at Watkins Glen but there are no right turns at Bristol. In 12 starts his best finish here is 12th and he finished 25th here earlier this season. Avoid the trap and look elsewhere.

Joey Logano – We get it. New year, new Logano but are you really going to base your fantasy season on that? Logano has two top en finishes in his last four races here but he also has two really bad finishes including a 20th place run there earlier this season. Logano could do well at Bristol but there are simply better options.l

Jamie McMurray  – A handful of years McMurray would have been a great darkhorse pick but that was years ago. A lot of people still remember that g0od run in 2010… His numbers have taken a tumble here recently and he has not shown much this season to suggest things are going to turn around on Saturday. McMurray has one top ten finish in his last seven races this season.

John Boarman
John Boarman
Founder and Owner of Tireball Sports.

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