The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series soon will be back under the lights, as drivers are set to compete in Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
With its high banking and stadium-like seating, the 0.53-mile oval in Bristol, Tenn., offers some of the most eye-popping racing in all of NASCAR. As is always the case with short-track racing, predicting who will come out on top can be difficult.
But that’s where we come in.
Whether you need help picking an A-List driver who has a shot at winning or an up-and-coming C-List racer who could help steal you some points, we’ve got you covered. Here are the drivers you should give seats to, and the ones you shouldn’t, for Saturday’s race at Bristol:
Must pick: Kyle Busch
Despite having just one victory this season, Busch has run extremely well all year, and we like his chances to get back into victory lane this weekend.
Tire issues have caused “Rowdy” to finish outside the top 30 in four of his last five races at Bristol, but he’s still won here five times. Moreover, in 24 races at Bristol, Busch has 13 top-10s and eight top-fives. Start him with confidence.
Stay away: Danica Patrick
With the the fantasy season winding down, you’d have to be crazy to start Patrick under any circumstance. But if you just can’t help yourself, at least don’t do it this weekend.
In 10 starts at Bristol, the Stewart-Haas Racing driver has finished outside the top 25 seven times. That’s brutal. She’s been racing surprisingly well lately, but now’s not the time for fantasy owners to start taking risks, especially with B-List drivers like Kyle Larson on the board.
Sleeper pick: Kurt Busch
If you just can’t stand the Busch brothers, this might not be the weekend for you.
Like Kyle, Kurt has five victories at Bristol. Moreover, he’s finished in the top 15 in four of his last six races at the short track. Races like these are the kind where you might need to think outside the box, and Busch just might reward you for doing so.
Value pick: Erik Jones
Jones looked great at Bristol earlier this season, as he was around for the top five for much of the race, though tire issues ultimately forced him to settle for 17th.
Daniel Suarez has been awfully impressive lately, and you wouldn’t be crazy if you tossed him in your lineups. But Jones has been — and continues to be — the best C-List driver in the sport.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Spurlock/USA TODAY Sports Images