Dale Money | May 30th, 2020
It finally came up trumps for Hendricks driver Chase Elliott on Thursday night. After his hopes of victory were quickly dashed in the previous Cup Series race. Elliot was able to close the deal, only a week later. Again rain would not cooperate, pushing the race back another day. Joey Logano would lead the first portion of the event, capturing the first stage and 33 of the laps. Alex Bowman took the stage two win but would finish in 31st place.
With 28 laps remaining in the race, Elliot would make the pass on leader Kevin Harvick. Denny Hamlin would try his best attempt at a late challenge but was no match for the No. 9 driver. Harvick would eventually drift off, dropping to the eighth spot. Ryan Blaney, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Kurt Busch rounded out the top five.
We now move out of the Carolina’s and head out to Bristol, Tennessee for the Supermarket Heroes 500. Looking at Bristol Motor Speedway, it is a half-mile concrete oval track. The track was built in 1960 and currently seats over 160,000 spectators. Denny Hamlin was the victor here last August, after overtaking leader Matt Dibenedetto with 12 laps left to go.
Brad Keselowski is set to start Sunday’s race on pole, with Aric Almirola seated next to him in the second position. Now let’s jump into our top drivers for Sunday afternoon’s race, as I breakdown my high salary and value selections.
Kyle Busch (12,500 DK 14,000 FD)
After Thursday’s let down, in which Busch crashed out after an on-track tussle with Almirola, Busch will be raring to go. Bristol just happens to be his best track as far as victories go. In 29 Cup starts here, Busch has eight wins and 12 top 5’s. This is also the track that Busch has led his most laps, with 2,333.
Busch is set to start 7th in-line, so there is a potential for an array of extra bonus points. Through not only place differential but fastest laps and laps led. He’s led 30 or more laps in four of his past five Bristol races. To be fair he’s also had his share of bad runs, finishing with 4 DNF’s at the track. However, recent showings have been fantastic. Busch has three wins at this event in the last five attempts.
Clint Bowyer (9,800 DK 9,000 FD)
Bowyer has been as solid as they come without having won a race event here, ranked second in average finish at Bristol in these past four contests. He also has the third-best driver rating during those races. Certainly one of my favorite drivers for this race Sunday, In what is normally a tough short track.
Bowyer will be set to run off the starting line in the 23rd position, so there should be plenty of opportunities for points through place differential. He has finished top seventh or better, in his past three Bristol races. After crashing out two weeks ago and then following that up with a 16th place finish on Thursday, Bowyer will be relishing a chance at returning to one of his top tracks. Bowyer can help fill that heart of your lineup, for this week.
Tyler Reddick (7,900 DK 7,300 FD)
Outside of two stinkers at Daytona and Phoenix, the Rookie has run quite competitively. In the past four Cup races, Reddick has recorded a pair of top-eight results and has not finished outside the top 14 once. He’s currently just three points out of the top 16th spot in the Cup standings, behind Jimmie Johnson.
Although this is to be Reddick’s first Cup attempt when it comes to racing at Bristol, he’s had plenty of recent success at the track. During Reddick’s five Xfinity visits here, he has cracked the top ten four of those times. The Richard Childress driver would win his most recent race here, after starting as far back as 38th spot. Even more impressive he would also have to serve a pass-through penalty.
Reddick should give you a decent amount of points through place differential, starting just outside of the top 20. Given his previous strong runs at the Motor Speedway, I can see him being a strong candidate for a possible top 14 or better result.
Daniel Suarez (6,500 DK 4,000 FD)
I’ve laid off Suarez so far this season, however, this is one event that I am strongly considering him. Suarez’s history at Bristol has been pretty good. In his past four Cup races at Bristol Motor Speedway, Suarez has two top ten results and a best finish of eighth place. Slated to start in the 36th position on Sunday, Suarez should get you some useful bonus points through place differential.
When you look at his race log this season, Suarez has finished worse than 28th just once which was at Las Vegas in week two. Consider that Suarez owns the second-best average finish here among current drivers at 13.0, and a top 20 place finish does feel within the realm of possibility. As you look to fill out the back end of your lineup, the No. 96 driver could be a nice underrated pickup.
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