NASCAR

Daily Fantasy NASCAR: Current Form, Track History, and Betting Odds for the Bass Pro Shops Night Race

Daniel Suarez was fast in the Bristol dirt race and had top-10s in both races on concrete tracks this year. Which other drivers have noteworthy data entering the Bass Pro Shops Night Race?

The name of the game this week in NASCAR DFS is "upside."

As discussed in this week's track preview, a whole lotta points are going to be scored in the Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol. If you want to take down a tournament, you need five drivers simultaneously popping off, one way or another.

The two routes to upside are via laps led and place-differential. If a driver doesn't fit in either bucket, they're going to be a tough sell on Saturday night.

Luckily, we should have a good idea of who can get the job done, and we've got a handful of drivers who fit the bill to perfection in each bucket.

In addition to track history, we can determine this by digging into a blend of different track types scattered across the 2021 schedule. Bristol is a high-banked, concrete track that does feature some grating on the tires. We can cover the concrete portion by digging into the races at Dover and Nashville. The 750-horsepower package tracks where tire management matters a lot are Richmond and Darlington. It's helpful that those are the past two tracks on the schedule, meaning we can see what teams have done at somewhat similar tracks during the playoffs.

The track history section does include this spring's race at Bristol. However, that race was run on dirt rather than concrete, creating a whole new dynamic. As such, I'd de-prioritize that race, even relative to other races on less similar tracks across this year. I wouldn't toss it out entirely, but some massive caveats are necessary when discussing the race.

As always, the data listed is each driver's average running position rather than their finish. In last year's spring race at Bristol, Denny Hamlin ($13,000 on FanDuel), Chase Elliott ($12,500), and Joey Logano ($11,500) all had issues while battling for the lead late and finished outside the top 15. However, they all had a top-seven average running position, and Elliott won the All-Star Race in Bristol later that summer. Their finishes undersell the speed they had that day.

The other data listed is each driver's starting position, FanDuel salary, and win odds at FanDuel Sportsbook. The win odds are in fractional form, so Hamlin's being listed at 6.5 means he's +650 to win.

Current
Form
Track
History
DriverFD
Salary
Win
Odds
StartRichmond
2
Darlington
2
NashvilleDoverDarlington
1
Richmond
1
2021
Dirt
2020
Fall
2020
Spring
2019
Fall
2019
Spring
Martin Truex Jr.$12,00020171119131422112714
Denny Hamlin$13,0006.5222106424175911
Joey Logano$11,500123588963477203
Chase Elliott$12,5008.546128611121044410
Kyle Larson$14,0004.85831172127----522
Christopher Bell$9,7002668131421118281416----
Ryan Blaney$10,80018791037981211142583
Kevin Harvick$11,00013897858715382224
Kyle Busch$13,5004.29727928892158137
Brad Keselowski$10,5001910914181120101818766
Alex Bowman$9,000311112261561481513281523
Aric Almirola$8,700351211126223712351082437
Tyler Reddick$8,500351315101913715121031----
William Byron$9,3003114162511468525141717
Kurt Busch$10,00018153351112301519132089
Michael McDowell$4,500200162535212525272220203125
Ross Chastain$9,5003517791014151632----3028
Austin Dillon$8,00050181317181118102114143513
Matt DiBenedetto$7,5005519192319241511191425512
Chase Briscoe$6,7001702019231830152322--------
Daniel Suarez$6,30013021202015142318427261212
Erik Jones$5,500170222128182217231312111020
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.$7,2008523191862023181139231735
Ryan Newman$5,8001502421172124142872620139
Chris Buescher$6,000150252615311312261316242211
Cole Custer$6,50013026232021183125222129----
Ryan Preece$5,000200272515262224271519222228
Bubba Wallace$7,00085282619231522241217171721
Justin Haley$3,50020029282732--2838----------
Anthony Alfredo$4,0002003028282228273238--------
Corey LaJoie$4,500200312513272823223729272527
B.J. McLeod$2,50020032302931323130----3234--
Josh Bilicki$3,000200333530313533373239--33--
Quin Houff$3,000200343533393131342831343533
J.J. Yeley$2,0002003532--26--29--29343231--
James Davison$2,00020036--36--363235--34------
Garrett Smithley$2,0002003733--2734--33--3533----
David Starr$2,50020038----35----------------


From a lap-leading perspective, it's hard not to drool over Hamlin and Kyle Larson ($14,000).

Hamlin has been out front all year on ovals using the 750-horsepower package. He has led 868 laps across those 10 races, topping Larson in 2nd at 692. The only other driver to lead more than 275 laps in this sample is Martin Truex Jr. ($12,000), who has historically struggled at Bristol.

Larson torched the field in both of the concrete races. He led a combined 527 of 700 laps in Dover and Nashville and easily could have won both races. When looking for lap-leaders, those two are the primary core options.

The issue with those guys is the massive salaries they carry. We need salary-savers to jam them in, but we also need to make sure said salary-savers have enough upside themselves. Three who stand out there are Bubba Wallace ($7,000), Chase Briscoe ($6,700), and Daniel Suarez ($6,300).

My favorite of the bunch is Suarez, who nearly won the dirt race this spring. That doesn't matter a ton, but Suarez was also stout in the other concrete races, finishing ninth in Dover and seventh in Nashville. Starting in 21st, Suarez can generate upside via place-differential if he can crank out another top-10 run.

Wallace and Briscoe don't have the same success this year but have shown speed at Bristol previously. Wallace was 10th in last year's spring race while running in brutal equipment, and his best finish in this package this year was an 11th-place run on the concrete at Nashville.

Optimism around Briscoe stems from his time in the Xfinity Series. In four concrete races last year, Briscoe had two wins and a runner-up, and he consistently flashed on tracks with higher banking.

The ranking of these three for me is Suarez followed by Wallace and then Briscoe. Wallace gets the nod due to his lower starting spot (28th versus 20th) and the fact that he has done well here in the Cup Series before. Either way, these are three of the drivers we can lean on to make the salaries and Larson and Hamlin easier to afford.