TheBass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway is set for Saturday,September 18, at 7:30 PM. Tune in on NBCSN, MRN radio, or SiriusXM NASCAR RadioChannel 90 to catch Saturday night’s action.
Saturdaynight short track racing at Bristol Motor Speedway. Can’t get much better thanthis! Bristol Motor Speedway is a half-mile oval with 22-24 degree banking. It’s also nicknamed “The Last Great Colosseum," simply because it will resemble the ancient Roman times when drivers are struggling to keep their carsalive. This is also the last race in the round of 16 playoff drivers. After tonight’s race, four drivers will be eliminated from championship contention and next week will only feature 12 possible candidates for the championship. Who is on the bubble? Michael McDowell, William Byron, Tyler Reddick and Alex Bowman. McDowell needs a win to advance. The other three drivers can have solid days and potentially advance to the next round. Kurt Busch is the last driver above the cut line, so he cannot afford another replica of last week’s performance where he wrecked out early.
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Joey Logano (-105 DraftKings) vs. KyleBusch- I will admit we got pretty lucky here. As the race went on, it wasevident that Kyle Busch had a better car than Logano. Logano was running in thetop 10 most of the day but Busch was in the top 5. As luck would have it, Buschgot a pit road speeding penalty with 55 laps remaining. When Busch served his penalty, Logano was able to leap frog him and take home the matchup win. Busch finished 9th while Logano finished 5th. Good win for us!
Twitter H2H Matchup – Aric Almirola (+115BetOnline) vs. Alex Bowman- Wrong driver was favored here but another late pitroad penalty cost us cashing this ticket. Almirola had a better car, but pitroad mistakes are very costly. Bowman finished 12th while Almirolafinished 14th. Rebound and try again next week.
Drivers to Look Out For
Kyle Busch (+420 FanDuel)- After adisappointing finish last week, Busch is going to be tough to beat tonight. Howdoes his history stack up at Bristol? Pretty darn good. In the last four racesat Bristol he has an average finish of 2.75, and that includes a win in Aprilof 2019. He also won back-to-back races here in August 2017 and April 2018. In terms of speed rankings at a track that uses 750 HP package (what they will be using tonight), Busch ranks out 7th. I give him a big statisticaladvantage in his driver history compared to the other drivers. He is eight points above the cut line so expect the #18 Toyota Camry not to give anyonebreaks. Rowdy will be fighting for that checkered flag!
Kyle Larson (+480 FanDuel)- The oneHendrick driver that hasn’t had problem so far is Kyle Larson. Good thing forLarson is he is at a track where he can do well. Yeah you can point out to thefact that he hasn’t won a race here, but he has had some impressive finisheswith his time at Ganassi. In the last seven races at Bristol, Larson has an average finish of 7.3 including back-to-back second places finishes in 2018. Oh yeah, he also ranks second in terms of speed ranking at ovals that use 750 HP package. He’s proven all year that he is one of the top drivers in the series. Laron starts fifth so I expect him to be making moves quickly to take control of the race. Watch out for the #5 Hendrickcars.com Chevy
Denny Hamlin (+650 FanDuel)- Classic Dennis post-race last week. Yeah, his pit crew had a slightly longer pit stopthan his teammate, and he throws them under the bus the first chance he gets. Let’smove on. I think he could be one of the top drivers only because he has beenthe fastest car at 750HP ovals. With an average speed rank of 3.22, his sits much higher than second place Kyle Larson who has an average speed rank of 5.55. His recent finishes at Bristol have not been that impressive, but he does have a win here in August of 2019. I also like Hamlin because he has turned it on in the playoffs. He won two weeks ago, locking himself into the next round. He was dominating last week until a late long pit stop shuffled him back into a second place finish. Hamlin is motivated and while he is not my favorite driver, he is very good. Look out for Kyle Busch’s Joe Gibbs teammate in the white FedEx Toyota Camry being a force tonight.
Best Value Bet
Kyle Larson (-105 DraftKings) vs. Kyle Busch- Top dogs square off in this matchup, and I love Larson in the underdogrole. If nothing crazy happens, I could see Larson dominating this race. Let’stake a look at this matchup. Larson has been much faster at ovals that use the750 HP package. Larson ranks out second, with an average speed rank of 5.5 while Busch ranks out at seventh, with an average speed rank of 8.7. Take out the spring 2019 race where Larson had multiple problems, since 2017 Larson has average finish of 5th, a 4.5 average running position, and he’sleading around an average of 110 laps per Bristol race. Oh, and from 2017, 2018 and 2020, Larson has the second most fast laps in a race. While Busch has the history, and it is a dominant history, he does not have the speed this year tocontent with Larson. Most important stat: out of the nine tracks that have used the 750 HP package, only once has Busch finished ahead of Larson. Larson has been the dominant driver in this package so go with the #5 Hendrick team!