Jimmie Johnson showed us that there is nothing wrong with him or his team when he picked up his first win of the season at Texas a couple of weeks ago. This years race for the championship looks like it could be very tight at this point of the season, but there is still a lot of racing to do before we really worry about that and a lot of things can happen over the next twenty or so races.
FOOD CITY 500
I hope everyone had an enjoyable Easter break from NASCAR and we are ready to get back to it. This week the series heads to one of my favorite tracks on the circuit, the Bristol Motor Speedway. This is a very short track with a lot of banking which results in laps being run in about fifteen seconds for every driver. It doesn’t take much to find yourself a lap or more down here seeing you are a half lap down when you get to the starting line if you start in the back of the pack. Qualifying is very important here and I don’t think you will see so many drivers not passing inspection like we did at Texas.
Kyle Busch: I am picking Kyle to win this race. He leads all active drivers in laps led at this track and has five wins under his belt here. This will be his first win of the season and will give this team a boost in confidence. Kyle has finished in the top ten at Bristol in thirteen of the twenty-three races he has run here and has been close to winning already this season. Look for him to take the checkered flag this weekend.
Brad Keselowski: Brad leads the series with two wins so far this year and could very well pick up his third win this weekend. He has already won at this track twice in his career to go along with five top ten finishes in his fourteen starts here. This team has looked like they are ready to win another championship even though it is early and are probably the favorite in that category right now.
Kyle Larson: Here is the hottest and most consistent driver on the circuit so far this year. This hasn’t been his best track in his short career with only two top ten finishes in his six starts here and only leading laps in one of those races. However, the way this team is running now you can’t count them out at any track on any weekend. I do believe I will save his starts for those tracks he has shown more consistency at in his young career.
Jimmie Johnson: Last race’s winner can reel them off in a hurry as he has shown throughout his career. He has only one win at Bristol in his career, but he has finished in the top ten in eleven of his last sixteen starts at this track. Once again, I think there are tracks where Jimmie is more consistent than Bristol and I will be saving his starts for those places. You just can’t count this guy out on any weekend though.
Joey Logano: Joey has four top ten finishes in his last six starts at Bristol including his two wins at this track. This team has been fast all year, but has been digging themselves into holes by having penalties and poor pit stops on pit road that has taken them out of contention and then they have spent most of the races clawing their way back to the lead lap and getting into contention, but it has been too little too late for them so far this year.
Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Dale came away with his first top five of the season at Texas and is feeling good about his team right now. He is another driver with one win here and he finished second in this race last year. He has also finished in the top ten in almost half of the thirty-three races he has run at this track. I think this team will keep improving as the season progresses and they will win at least one race before the start of the Chase.
Matt Kenseth: Matt has four wins and twenty top ten finishes in his thirty-four starts at Bristol. He trails only Kyle Busch in laps led here for all active drivers which shows me that he runs consistently well and up front at this track. He is a good safe bet to have on any fantasy team this weekend.
Kurt Busch: Kurt is a five time winner at this track and could be a great pick this weekend even though the last of those wins came way back in 2006 and he has only finished in the top ten in three of his last eleven starts here. I think with the new Ford engines and a win already under his belt this year you will see the old Kurt Busch this weekend at Bristol where he is aggressive and makes his way to the front and fights to stay there.
Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: This team has looked pretty good all season and this is one of Ricky’s best tracks. In his eight starts here he has finished second twice, once last fall, and in the top ten in four of those eight starts. He is my dark horse this week even with a small penalty imposed on this team after the Texas race when they were found to have a loose lugnut on their car in post race inspection. That is a safety violation and the reason for the fine.
Kevin Harvick: Kevin picked up his second win at this track last fall and is still looking for his first win of the season after coming so close so often already. While still looking for that first win of the season you might see Kevin be a little more aggressive than he usually is as he fights his way to the front of the pack. If he needs to use his bumper to make passes I think we will see him doing that late in the race if it means he can pick up the win.
YAHOO! FANTASY NASCAR PICKS FOR BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY
Yahoo Driver Group A
- Kyle Busch
- Brad Keselowski
Yahoo Driver Group B
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
- Ryan Newman
- Jamie McMurray
- Clint Bowyer
Yahoo Driver Group C
- Ty Dillon
- Erik Jones
MY TOP-5 OVERALL AT BRISTOL MOTOR SPEEDWAY
- Kyle Busch
- Brad Keselowski
- Matt Kenseth
- Kurt Busch
- Jimmie Johnson
Dark Horse: Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Stay Away From: Martin Truex Jr.
Big 18: Kyle Busch