Congratulations to Martin Truex Jr. who punched his ticket to the second round of the playoffs with his Richmond win. Two races down and one to go before the second round gets underway.
BASS PRO SHOPS NIGHT RACE
This week the series heads to the Bristol Motor Speedway for the running of the Bass Pro Shops Night Race. This will be a go or go home race for a lot of the playoff drivers. I think Michael McDowell will need to win to advance although there are other scenarios where he can get in without winning, but all of those long shots.
Kurt Busch and Alex Bowman are tied in points for the last spot in the round of twelve with Busch winning the tie breaker as of now. Tyler Reddick is only five points back of those two and Aric Almirola has a three point lead on Busch and Bowman. Then Kyle Busch sits in tenth with only an eight point cushion. There are still others that can get knocked out easily enough, but those are the closest in either direction.
Kyle Busch: I’m picking Kyle to win this week and ensure himself a spot in the round of twelve. He has won three of the last seven races he has run at Bristol and has six top five finishes in those races. It seems when someone really needs to do something they can do it and Kyle is one of the most talented drivers in the whole series.
Kurt Busch: Kurt is another driver who has to have a good showing here to advance to the next round. His last win came in the 2018 season and he has won here six times in his career. He has finished in the top ten in four of his last five starts here and is another driver who seems to do what he needs to do to advance.
Denny Hamlin: Once again this team has a lot of confidence as this playoffs has gotten underway and they won the first race of these playoffs. Denny won his race in 2019 and has four top five finishes in his last ten Bristol starts. However, those are also the only top ten finishes he has in those starts too. He doesn’t need to do anything to advance, so nothing bad can happen to him this week.
Kevin Harvick: Kevin won this race last season, but is still looking for his first win this year. In his three starts before last years win he didn’t finish in the top ten at all, but prior to those three races he has a string of seven straight top ten finishes. This team needs to start winning races if they want to have a shot at a championship this year.
Kyle Larson: The odds on favorite to win this year’s championship, Kyle is looking for his first career win here, but he did finish runner-up in both of the 2018 races. He has five top ten finishes in his last six starts and he is much better this year with his new team than he has been in the past and is a threat to win at any track on any given week.
Chase Elliott: Last years champion has his work cut out for him if he wants to repeat this year, but he’s been pretty good at Bristol, especially during the fall race. He has won three of the last four stages run here and has three top seven finishes in his last five starts at Bristol. This race isn’t that critical for this team so they don’t have a lot of pressure this week.
Joey Logano: There isn’t a lot of talk about Joey once again this year, but this team can sneak up on the competition. I don’t think a lot of the fans give Joey much of a thought when there are other drivers to use. Yet, he always seems to run better than you expect from him, while when you really think he might run well he can disappoint. He has two career wins at this track and should make the second round no matter what happens this week.
Brad Keselowski: Brad won the May race here last season and finished third in the race before that. However, those are the only good races he has run at Bristol in his last ten starts. This team isn’t consistent enough here to warrant our taking a chance on them. This might be the end of the playoffs for Brad as he doesn’t hold a very large lead over the thirteenth place driver.
Alex Bowman: Alex has only finished in the top ten twice in his six starts with Hendrick and he’s going to need one of those finishes most likely this week if he wants to advance. Once again here’s a driver who isn’t consistent enough at this track to have us use him in our lineups this week.
Ryan Blaney: Ryan runs very well here, but doesn’t come away with the finishing position they would hope for. He has lead 439 laps in his last six races at Bristol but has only one top five and two top ten finishes in those starts and one of those was in a race he never lead a lap. He won two races heading into the playoffs and has a twenty-eight point cushion in the standings, so he should make the second round unless something goes terribly wrong.
DRIVER GROUP GAME FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Driver Group Game Group A
- Denny Hamlin
Driver Group Game Group B
- Kurt Busch
- Austin Dillon
Driver Group Game Group C
- Daniel Suarez
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY
- Kyle Busch
- Denny Hamlin
- Kyle Larson
- Kurt Busch
- Chase Elliott
Dark Horse: Austin Dillon
Stay Away From: Martin Truex Jr.
Big 18: Ryan Blaney