NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Short-track racing at Bristol

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Both with 4 - Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kyle Larson
All with 3: Jimmie Johnson, Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick
All with 2: Chase Elliott, Aric Almirola and Denny Hamlin  

By Track
All with 7: Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick
All with 6: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kyle Larson
All with 5: Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer and Ryan Newman

Recent Pole Winners: 
2018 Kyle Busch
2017 Rained out

Last Year's Race Winner: Kyle Busch

The Likely Suspects: I had the chance to experience the second race at Bristol last year. When people say it's loud and sitting-on-the-edge-of-your-seat exciting they aren't exaggerating. Drivers who do well at Bristol are either the wild/risk-taker type or the patiently picking off their opponents type. My Bristol go-tos are Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Larson, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Clint Bowyer, Ryan Newman, Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin.

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick this week is a tie between Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Kyle Larson. My next picks are Kyle Busch, Erik Jones, Jimmie Johnson and Clint Bowyer. I will complete my team with Bubba Wallace and Matt DiBenedetto.

My Final Four: Kyle Busch, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Erik Jones and Matt DiBenedetto

Second-Look Driver: This week's second-look driver is Ryan Newman. Ryan has the seventh best average finish at Bristol, where he has made 34 series starts, posting two Top 5s, 18 Top 10s and an average finish of 15.7. Last week's second-look driver, Chase Elliott, started third on the grid at Texas Motor Speedway and battled in the top five a good portion of the race, leading 35 laps. The Kelley Blue Book Chevrolet finished the race in 13th place.

Points to Ponder:
  • Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman lead all active drivers in Busch poles at Bristol with three each.
  • Kyle Busch leads the series among active drivers in wins at Bristol with seven (Spring 2007, 2009 sweep, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2017, Spring 2018).
  • The race winner has started from the pole 25 times (21.7%) - the most productive starting position in the field. The last driver to win from the pole was Kyle Busch (Spring 2018).
  • Roger Penske leads the series among active car owners with the most wins at Bristol with 12; followed by Jack Roush, Joe Gibbs and Rick Hendrick with 11 each.
  • Kevin Harvick and Jimmie Johnson lead all active drivers in top fives at Bristol with 12 each.  
  • Jimmie Johnson leads the series among active drivers in top-10 finishes at Bristol with 20.
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. leads the series among active drivers in average finishing position at Bristol with a 11.3 in 12 series starts.
  • Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in laps led at Bristol with 2,233 in 27 starts.
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your picks by 8 a.m. EDT on Friday, April 5 and pick your starters by 3 p.m. EDT on race day, Sunday, April 7.

Enjoy the race!

Carol D’Agostino wields fantasy-racing superpowers. Each week, Carol researches statistics and combs through her personal racing notes to provide fans with fantasy racing advice at NASCAR Fantasy Fusion, a column she has written for Skirts & Scuffs since October 2011. Carol also does race coverage for Skirts & Scuffs at Richmond Raceway, and occasionally at her home track, Dover International Speedway. This year she joins the NASCAR Expert Picks panel at
Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet When she isn’t crunching numbers, you’ll find Carol in business meetings or hammering out a news release or creating a marketing strategy at a small niche public relations firm she founded called Purple Cat. 

NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Short-track racing at Bristol NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Short-track racing at Bristol  Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Thursday, April 04, 2019 Rating: 5