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Food City 500 at Bristol

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Good ole Thunder Valley. Bristol Motor Speedway routinely hosts some of the most exciting races of the year. Racing here has been dubbed “wrestling with cars”. There should be plenty of paint swaps and racing stripes by the time this one is over. Unfortunately it is looking like that won’t be until Sunday night or maybe even Monday given the rain in the forecast.


Stay Away From

Tony Stewart 30-1

Despite being a past winner in Bristol, Smoke has struggled for the most part at this track. In 29 career starts he has only finished inside the top 5 six times and the top 10 eight times. His average finish is just 18.10. In his last three starts here he has an average finish of just 24th. Combine his history here with his season thus far coming off of that leg injury and this is a definite stay away even at 30-1. Also, being a Smoke fan, I do hope this plays out like my Keselowski pick one week ago.

Best Bets

Kyle Busch 6-1

This guy owns this place. He is the only active driver with an average finish inside the top 10. He has won five times on this track in his 18 career starts. There is a reason he is the favorite this weekend. Despite the history of this place providing big wrecks and unpredictable moments, it’s really impressive that he has never had a DNF and that list is very short. He will be starting 7th so he will have the track position at the start of the race which should allow him to stay up front with the leaders for most of the day.

Dale Jr 8-1

Only Kyle Busch can say he has a better average finish among active drivers than Dale Jr and nobody can say they have started this particular season better. He has only won here once before but he is incredibly consistent for an inconsistent race track. He has raced here 28 times and has finished inside the top 10 in 14 of them. Jr will be starting 14th and he has already proven that with a win already in hand, he is going to do whatever it takes to win again.

Denny Hamlin 12-1

This past Bristol winner will be sitting in pole position when the green flag drops. Denny hasn’t been all too consistent in Bristol, but he has shown he knows what it takes to win here and has shown that he has the speed to compete this week.

Jeff Gordon 12-1

Kyle Busch may be the best in Bristol, but don’t tell Jeff Gordon that. Gordon has won in Bristol five times and has led nearly twice as many laps at this track than any other active driver. However, he hasn’t had tremendous success in the last few races here and he has run here 42 times, so the numbers might lie a little bit. That being said, he is starting sixth and has an opportunity to run up the front all day long.

Best Value Bets

Greg Biffle 40-1

The Biff has had a great career in Bristol. He has never reached victory lane, but his average finish of 12th, is the third best among active drivers. He is starting 8th this week and may not have been that fast in practice, 40-1 is incredible value for a driver starting inside the top 10 with his history at this track.

Brian Vickers 40-1

Anyone want to guess which driver has the best average finish at Bristol in the past four races with a 5.25? He is starting near the back of the field so he will have to start moving forward in a hurry to not fall a lap down early but this is a rare track in which a driver can theoretically win after falling a lap or two down. Either way 40-1 is great value.

Casey Mears 300-1

I can’t imagine this is going to happen given the fact that he is starting in the middle of the pack but he was the fastest car in final practice, so 300-1?... yes please.

My Pick

Kurt Busch 20-1

Here is another five time Bristol champ. He hasn’t had the consistency that his brother has had, but he still has an average finish of 14.04. But this week he has been fast. In the first practice he had the fastest car. In second practice he was 3rd fastest and in the final practice he was 5th fastest. He didn’t have the greatest qualifying run, but he will be starting in 13th position. He has great history at this track, a new super team and this week has the speed to get SHR another win. By the way what great value.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

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