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Fantasy NASCAR DFS: Food City 500 Post-Qualifying

Following the qualifying round at the Bristol Motor Speedway, Fantasy NASCAR Expert Brian Polking points out who to target on DraftKings for the Food City 500!

Food City 500

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Mother Nature must have something against qualifying at short tracks because just like the Martinsville race a few weeks ago, qualifying for Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol was rained out.

As a result, the field was set by owner points, putting Kyle Larson on the pole. He will be joined on the front row by Chase Elliott, and Martin Truex Jr. will start third. The Team Penske duo of Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano will round out the Top 5.

If you plan on playing NASCAR DFS this weekend, you need to pay close attention to the drivers starting up front. In four races over the last two years, seven drivers have led more than 100 laps in a race at Bristol, and six of them have started in the Top 5.

Of course, the challenge with a rained out qualifying session is that it lumps most of the top drivers at the front of the field, making it tough to decide which big names to pay up for. This is particularly the case at a short track event because of all the points available in the dominator categories. I think you are going to have to pay up for at least a couple of the high-priced drivers starting in the Top 10 this weekend, if not three drivers.

With the starting lineup or the Food City 500 set, I've highlighted my top options to build around this weekend at Bristol as well as some cheaper options to round out your lineups.

Must-Own Drivers

Kyle Busch ($10,600)

In addition to his five wins at Bristol, he ranks first in both dominator categories at the track. In fact, Busch has led more than 190 laps in two of his last three starts here. With the field set by owner points, Busch starts seventh, putting him in a good position to get to the front of the field early.

Kevin Harvick ($10,400)

Harvick has been dialed in at Bristol since joining Stewart-Haas Racing. He is one of three drivers with three straight Top 10s at the track, including a win last fall. He has also led a combined 428 laps in six starts here with SHR. A Top 10 starting spot gives him an excellent opportunity to add to his laps led total this weekend.

Brad Keselowski ($10,300)

He has been one of the strongest drivers all year, and Keselowski should be one of the best plays again this weekend. He is a two-time winner at Bristol, and he ranks third in percentage of his laps led at the track with a 7,1 percent rate. A Top 5 starting spot only boosts his chances of leading more laps this weekend.

Kyle Larson ($10,100)

Larson has always loved Bristol, and he has shown substantial upside in the dominator categories compared to the number of laps he has run at the track. He enters Sunday's race as the point leader, and starting on the pole makes him one of the best bets to score the most points in the dominator categories.

Joey Logano ($10,000)

He is the other driver who has reeled off three straight Top 10s at Bristol, and Logano has two wins in the last five starts at the track. The inclement weather has him starting inside the Top 5, so he is in prime position to contend for another win while scoring his share of points in the dominator categories.

Value Plays

Matt Kenseth ($9,100)

Kenseth was already underpriced considering his stellar numbers in the dominator categories at Bristol, and now that he has to start 22nd, he has a high floor to go with his upside. At the very least, he is a must-own option in cash games, and Kenseth should be one of the most popular plays in all formats this weekend.

Austin Dillon ($7,300)

He has been a bit boom or bust at Bristol, but with four finishes of 13th or better in six starts here, Dillon has some upside from the 21st starting spot. With an affordable price tag and a decent amount of points available in the place differential category, Dillon could be a great option to round out lineups in cash and GPPs.

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. ($7,100)

Bristol is Stenhouse's best track, and he has an impressive 10.6 average finish to prove it. Setting the field by points has him starting back in 19th, and he should be able to gain around ten spots while delivering a solid finish. He is a bargain at this price.

A.J. Allmendinger ($6,500)

His results at Bristol have been all over the place, but Allmendinger is cheap and has room to pad his score through the place differential category. He starts 25th, but he picked up a pair of Top 20s here last season, including a Top 10 in the summer race. Allmendinger is a high-risk, high-reward play, but he could be worth the gamble in GPPs.

Paul Menard ($6,400)

Menard checks all the boxes you look for in a low-priced sleeper. He starts back in 26th, but he has seven Top 15s in his last ten starts at Bristol, including three in his last five. He should be a relatively safe way to free up cap space, especially in cash games.

Sleeper Special

Michael McDowell ($5,500)

He is one of the few drivers priced below the $6,000 mark that you can expect a decent point total from this weekend. McDowell has been able to finish in the Top 25 most of the year, and he has three finishes of 22nd or better in his last five starts at Bristol. McDowell has to start 28th Sunday, so he should at least gain a handful of spots.

Landon Cassill ($5,300)

If you are looking for a punt play to free up a significant chunk of cap space, Cassill can help. He starts 30th, but he finished 22nd and 20th in two starts at Bristol last year, gaining a combined 18 spots. At the very least, Cassill should end with a positive point total by the time place differential is factored in.

2017 Food City 500 Starting Lineup

Pos.

No.

Driver

Sponsor

Make

1

42

Kyle Larson

Credit One Bank

Chevrolet

2

24

Chase Elliott

Mountain Dew/Little Caesars

Chevrolet

3

78

Martin Truex Jr.

Furniture Row/Denver Mattress

Toyota

4

2

Brad Keselowski

Miller Lite

Ford

5

22

Joey Logano

AutoTrader

Ford

6

21

Ryan Blaney

Motorcraft/Quick Lane

Ford

7

18

Kyle Busch

M&M's

Toyota

8

1

Jamie McMurray

Bass Pro Shops/National Turkey Federation

Chevrolet

9

14

Clint Bowyer

Haas Automation Demo Days

Ford

10

4

Kevin Harvick

Jimmy John's

Ford

11

48

Jimmie Johnson

Lowe's

Chevrolet

12

6

Trevor Bayne

AdvoCare

Ford

13

31

Ryan Newman

Grainger

Chevrolet

14

77

Erik Jones

Sport Clips

Toyota

15

41

Kurt Busch

Haas Automation/Monster Energy

Ford

16

11

Denny Hamlin

FedEx Freight

Toyota

17

5

Kasey Kahne

Great Clips

Chevrolet

18

43

Aric Almirola

Smithfield

Ford

19

17

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Sunny D

Ford

20

88

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Nationwide

Chevrolet

21

3

Austin Dillon

New Era Cap

Chevrolet

22

20

Matt Kenseth

DeWalt

Toyota

23

19

Daniel Suarez

ARRIS

Toyota

24

13

Ty Dillon

GEICO

Chevrolet

25

47

AJ Allmendinger

Kroger Click List

Chevrolet

26

27

Paul Menard

Libman/Menards

Chevrolet

27

37

Chris Buescher

Bush's Beans

Chevrolet

28

95

Michael McDowell

WRL General Contractors

Chevrolet

29

10

Danica Patrick

Mobil 1 Annual Protection

Ford

30

34

Landon Cassill

CSX Play it Safe

Ford

31

72

Cole Whitt

RTIC Coolers

Chevrolet

32

32

Matt DiBenedetto

Cosmo Motors

Ford

33

38

David Ragan

Jacob Companies

Ford

34

15

Reed Sorenson

LowT Center

Chevrolet

35

83

Corey LaJoie

JAS Expedited Trucking

Toyota

36

23

Gray Gaulding

SunFrog.com

Toyota

37

33

Jeffrey Earnhardt

Little Joes Autos/Curtis Key Plumbing

Chevrolet

38

51

Timmy Hill

SleepFresh Mattress

Chevrolet

39

55

Derrike Cope

Unsponsored

Toyota


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