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NASCAR DFS: Food City 500 (Free Preview)

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Food City 500

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Coming out of the first off week of the season, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway for some short track action. The half-mile, high-banked oval is always among the most popular with both drivers and fans, and there should be no shortage of action in Sunday's Food City 500.

When it comes to DFS NASCAR at Bristol, it's all about the dominator categories. Sunday's race is scheduled for 500 laps, so that means the points available in the laps led and fastest laps run categories will be at their highest. More importantly, history says that a couple of drivers will exploit these categories.

In the six races over the last three years, nine different drivers have led at least 120 laps in a single race at Bristol. Five drivers have led at least 170 laps in that span with two leading well over 200 laps. The fastest laps run category tends to be a little more dispersed, but you can still expect to see a couple of drivers deliver at least 50 fastest laps with one driver topping 70.

Needless to say, there are probably going to be a couple of drivers who score in the triple digits at DraftKings this weekend, and you are going to need both in your lineup if you plan on winning any significant prize money.

With that in mind, I tend to top load my DFS lineups at a short track like Bristol to give myself the best chance of scoring points in the dominator categories. You always want to look for a couple of cheap options which can exploit the place differential category, but if it comes to it, I will punt a lineup spot to afford another driver who can lead a bunch of laps.

Qualifying and practice will help determine my final picks, but in the meantime, here is a closer look at the drivers I will be targeting heading ahead of Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Must-Own Drivers

Kyle Busch ($10,600)

Busch has done his share of dominating at Bristol throughout his career. He is a five-time winner at the track, and since joining the Cup Series, he ranks first in both dominator categories by a sizeable margin. By the way, Busch isn’t slowing down at Bristol, and he has led over 190 laps in two of his last three starts here.

Kevin Harvick ($10,400)

Although he has had some bad luck cost him some wins at Bristol, his overall resume at the track is stellar. He ranks second in fastest laps run and fourth in laps led, and Harvick has been locked in here since joining Stewart-Haas Racing. He led 128 laps in a win last summer, and he has led a combined 428 laps in six starts with SHR.

Value Plays

Matt Kenseth ($9,100)

If you are looking for a cheaper option to build around this weekend, Kenseth is your man. He is a four-time winner here, and he ranks second in laps led and third in fastest laps run. Kenseth has led 40-plus laps in seven of his last ten starts at Bristol, including 142 in the spring race last year.

Clint Bowyer ($8,400)

He won't come cheap for a driver who typically doesn't do much damage in the dominator categories, but Bowyer is one of the steadiest performers at short tracks. Of the drivers who have participated in the last ten races at Bristol, Bowyer's 11.8 average finish is the best. His average place differential of +11.0 during that same span is also appealing. If he starts in the middle of the pack or worse, he will be worth every penny.

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