NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Down in the dirt at Bristol

With Ryan's Blaney's win last week in Atlanta, the different-winners streak continues. Can we make it seven different winners as we race in the dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway? I'm pretty sure Kyle Larson hopes not. Kyle delivered a dominating performance in Atlanta only to be passed in the closing laps. If Kyle does win on Sunday he'll need to do so coming from the back due to an engine change.

This Week's Pick Strategy:  
Umm. Pick and pray? After watching both practices I think we could very well see a non-dirt racer win on Sunday. Someone like, say...Denny Hamlin. Denny will be making his dirt debut in a NASCAR national series event at the Food City Dirt Race. He looked strong and consistent throughout both practices. I will be morphing my Bristol greats with the dirt track elites to make my final picks.

Drivers with Most Top 10s at Bristol (Last 5 Years):
Kevin Harvick - 7
Joey Logano - 6
Both with 5 - Chase Elliott and Denny Hamlin 
Ryan Blaney - 4

Cup Drivers Average Finish at Eldora Speedway
Rank Active Drivers Avg. Finish Starts
1 Chase Briscoe 3.667 3
2 Bubba Wallace 4.000 2
3 Christopher Bell 4.000 3
4 Austin Dillon 5.667 3
5 Tyler Reddick 6.333 3
6 Stewart Friesen 8.500 4
7 Ryan Blaney 9.000 2
8 Kyle Larson 9.667 3
9 Ty Dillon 10.800 5
10 Ross Chastain 12.000 1
11 William Byron 14.000 1
12 Chris Windom 16.500 2
13 Erik Jones 16.500 2
14 Ryan Newman 16.500 2
15 Cole Custer 17.500 2
16 JJ Yeley 21.000 1
17 Brad Keselowski 28.000 1

The Likely Suspects:  I'll be focusing on these drivers: Kyle Larson, Christopher Bell, Denny Hamlin, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, the Busch brothers, Austin Dillon and Tyler Reddick. 

My 2 Cents: My no-brainer pick is Kyle Larson. My next choices are Denny Hamlin, Ryan Blaney, Christopher Bell, Alex Bowman, and Ryan Newman. I will complete my team with Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Chase Briscoe.

My Final Four: Joey Logano, Kyle Larson, Alex Bowman and Christopher Bell.

Points to Ponder: 
  • Six of the seven winners from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at Eldora Speedway are entered this weekend – Austin Dillon (2013), Bubba Wallace (2014), Christopher Bell (2015), Kyle Larson (2016), Chase Briscoe (2018), and making his NASCAR Cup Series debut this weekend, Stewart Friesen (2019).
  • In total, 17 drivers entered in this weekend’s Food City Dirt Race at the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt track have competed on the dirt at Eldora Speedway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series from 2013-2019.
  • One driver that shined every time he got behind the wheel on dirt at Eldora was Stewart-Haas Racing’s 2021 Sunoco rookie candidate, Chase Briscoe. He has won at Eldora Speedway (2018), but he also leads all the active Cup drivers with previous starts at Eldora in average finish with a 3.667 in three starts.
  • Seven different NASCAR Cup Series drivers will be getting a little more seat time on the dirt as they will be running in the the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt track: Daniel Suarez, Chase Briscoe, Bubba Wallace, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, Kyle Larson, and Martin Truex Jr. 
Remember, if you're playing Driver Group Game and are using an eight driver entry form, make your picks by 8 a.m. ET on Saturday, March 27th and your final four by 3:30 p.m. ET on race day, Sunday, March 28th.

Enjoy the race!

Carol D'Agostino has been playing Fantasy NASCAR for 15 years. She launched  NASCAR Fantasy Fusion for Skirts & Scuffs in October 2011. Each week, Carol pours through statistics and combs through her personal notebooks to arm fans with analysis and picking strategies that will leave their friends wondering how they got so smart. Carol also does race coverage for Skirts & Scuffs at Richmond Raceway and occasionally at her home track, Dover International Speedway. She is also part of the distinguished NASCAR Expert Picks panel at formerly called Fantasy Racing Cheat Sheet.
When she isn’t wielding her fantasy-racing superpowers, you’ll find Carol hammering out a news release or creating a marketing strategy at a small niche public relations firm she founded called Purple Cat or executing downtown revitalization projects for a small town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Down in the dirt at Bristol NASCAR Fantasy Fusion: Down in the dirt at Bristol Reviewed by Carol D'Agostino on Saturday, March 27, 2021 Rating: 5