NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Round 1 Closer in Bristol

 

Drivers with Most Top 10s (Last 5 Years):
By Race
Both with 4 - Kevin Harvick and Denny Hamlin
All with 3 -  Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, and Ryan Blaney

By Track
All with 7 - Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, and Kevin Harvick
Both with 6 - Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman
Both with 5 - Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch
All with 4 - Chase Elliott, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., and Ryan Blaney

Last Year's Race Winner: Denny Hamlin

The Likely Suspects:  Ending Round 1 with short-track racing, particularly at Bristol, is a recipe for excitement and mayhem. I'll be focusing on these drivers: Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Clint Bowyer, Jimmie Johnson, Joey Logano, Kurt Busch, Kyle Busch, and Ryan Blaney.

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick are the Busch brothers. Kurt and Kyle Busch. My next choices are Chase Elliott, Clint Bowyer, Austin Dillon, and Matt DiBenedetto. I will complete my team with Christopher Bell and Ty Dillon.

My Final Four: Chase Elliott, Clint Bowyer, Kurt Busch, and Christopher Bell.

Second-Look Driver: This week's second-look driver is Kurt Busch. The Nevada native has made 39 series starts at Bristol posting one pole, six wins, 12 top fives and 21 top 10s. His average finish at Bristol is 14.0. Kurt has a decent chance to make it in the next playoff round and could gain some much needed momentum with a great finish at Bristol. He is currently 11th in the standing tied with Aric Almirola, a slim seven points ahead of the Round of 12 cutoff.
 
Last week's second look driver Kyle Busch didn't have the race he needed or wanted. The No. 18 M&M'S Toyota Camry started and finished sixth on the grid. "Just not quite enough turn in the middle of the corner to keep wrapping on the long runs. The short runs it seemed like I was actually a little bit loose and then it was starting to go a little bit tight and then it was tight loose. Just not enough overall grip I guess. Kind of been fighting that a little bit this year. The guys gave a great fight," he explained. 
Kyle is now ninth in the standings with 2,076, 18 points ahead of top-12 cutoff)

Points to Ponder:
  • The race winner has started from the pole or first starting position 27 times (22.6%) - the most productive starting position in the field. 
  •  Kyle Busch leads the series among active drivers in wins at Bristol with eight victories in 30 starts (Spring 2007, 2009 sweep, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019). And Kyle leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series in laps led at Bristol with 2,434 in 30 starts. 
  • Kevin Harvick leads all active drivers in runner-up finishes at Bristol with five. 
  • Matt Kenseth leads all active drivers in top fives at Bristol Motor Speedway with 15 top-five finishes. 
  • Jimmie Johnson leads the series among active drivers in top-10 finishes at Bristol with 21. 
  • Christopher Bell leads the series among active drivers in average finishing position at Bristol with a 9.0 in two series starts.
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game, make your picks by 7:30 p.m. ET on race day Saturday, September 19th.

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 in 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 FRCS). 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: Round 1 Closer in Bristol NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Round 1 Closer in Bristol Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Saturday, September 19, 2020 Rating: 5

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