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NASCAR Fantasy Live Picks, 2014 Bristol, Irwin Tools Night Race

With only a few weeks remaining until the playoffs begin, many teams will be taking great risks to qualify for the Chase. Bristol Motor Speedway is a short-track with deep banking, and the end result will be multiple paint transfers. From a fantasy racing perspective, Bristol is a relatively predictable track where the top drivers are expected to finish near the top. With short tracks, there are more point opportunities for laps led and fast laps. As a result, my suggestion is to pick your three favorite drivers, then fill in the other two spots with the salary cap leftovers.

When using the Fantasy NASCAR Statistics Wizard tool to look at the multiple data points at Bristol since 2005, three drivers stand out from the pack. Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, and Kyle Busch provide the best chances for success. Kyle Larson has the best average running position and loop data of any driver, but he only has a sample size of one race. Of the drivers with more than one race in their history, Jeff Gordon has the best average running position of 9.8. Gordon runs in the top 15 for 81% of his laps since 2005. In this same time span, Gordon is 10th in total laps led and fifth in fast laps. This is a little low, but there are high expectations for Gordon.

Kyle Busch has led the most laps of any drivers and also leads fast laps since 2005. With an average finish position of 12.9 and 66% of his laps in the top 15, Busch also should be near the top when the checkered flag falls. Matt Kenseth is second with fast laps and laps led since 2005. He also ties Gordon with 81% of his laps in the top 15. Jimmie Johnson has the historical data to show his success, but I will not trust his team for a few more weeks. They are working on setups and have proved to be a high-risk high-reward team over the past month.

I like these three drivers this week, and I better like them because choosing these three drivers does not leave much salary cap space. Landon Cassill has averaged a 21st place average over the last five Bristol night races. If he gets close to this finish, he will be worth starting. David Ragan has been one of my value starters for many races this year, and almost always provides value for his salary cap space. He has a 22nd place average at Bristol and should be functional. Keep an eye on Reed Sorenson as well as he is expected to outperform his salary cap number.


NASCAR Fantasy Live on uses a salary cap formula that prevents us from simply choosing the top drivers each week. The scoring system uses the statistics of laps led, fast laps, start-to-finish differential, and final position.

This article uses a formula that determines how many points a driver has earned per race over the last five years and divides that number by the salary cap figure. The end result is a number that will show how many fantasy points to expect from each fantasy dollar. We will look at the driver who just missed my cut this week, Dale Earnhardt Jr., to show the details of the formula.


  • Total laps led last five Bristol night races: 45 laps led = 4.5 fantasy live points per race
  • Fast laps: Cannot be calculated with 100% accuracy
  • Final position: 12th place average = 32 fantasy live points per race
  • Start-to-finish differential: Plus ten = 10 fantasy live points per race
  • Fantasy Live Points Per Race: 46.5
  • Fantasy Live Salary Cap Figure: $28
  • Final Ranking 46.5 / $28 = 1.70 points per fantasy dollar

Please review the rankings below for the last five Bristol night races. For rookie drivers, we are using their numbers from the last Bristol race to give you an idea what to expect from them. This week’s selections are shown in bold.

GROUP A ($25.00 or higher)

  • Kyle Busch 3.43
  • Jimmie Johnson 2.50
  • Jeff Gordon 2.42
  • Matt Kenseth 2.21
  • Kasey Kahne 1.71
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. 1.70
  • Clint Bowyer 1.53
  • Carl Edwards 1.32
  • Joey Logano 1.19
  • Brad Keselowski 0.81
  • Kevin Harvick 0.47

GROUP B ($20.00 – $24.99)

  • Austin Dillon 2.26
  • Brian Vickers 2.06
  • Kyle Larson 2.05
  • Marcus Ambrose 1.89
  • Denny Hamlin 1.80
  • Greg Biffle 1.76
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 1.75
  • Jamie McMurray 1.67
  • Martin Truex Jr. 1.53
  • Paul Menard 1.37
  • Kurt Busch 1.12
  • Ryan Newman 0.98
  • Aric Almirola 0.29

GROUP C ($15.00 – $19.99)

  • Justin Allgaier 2.67
  • Jeff Burton 1.97
  • Danica Patrick 1.44
  • Casey Mears 0.94
  • AJ Allmendinger 0.39

GROUP D ($10.00 – $14.99)

  • David Ragan 2.38
  • Cole Whitt 1.67
  • David Gilliland 0.94

GROUP E ($9.99 or lower)

  • JJ Yeley 4.62
  • Landon Cassill 4.28
  • David Stremme 4.17
  • Reed Sorenson 3.43
  • Michael Annett 2.67
  • Alex Bowman 1.53
  • Dave Blaney 1.00
  • Michael McDowell 0.32
  • Josh Wise (-0.13)
  • Ryan Truex (-1.26)

One reply on “NASCAR Fantasy Live Picks, 2014 Bristol, Irwin Tools Night Race”

I like Larson out of the 40 spot over Kenseth and will provide enough cap space to replace Ragan with burton

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