Mike Forbes updates us on the postponed dirt races at Bristol Motor Speedway for our NASCAR DFS lineups!!
NASCAR’s return to dirt has been less than ideal. After the Truck and Cup series each had two practices on Friday, the weekend was halted due to flooding rains and a muddy track.
Maybe you saw the Truck series go out and run two laps on Saturday and then immediately get put under the red flag as the fronts of all the trucks in the first heat race were covered in mud. While the track worked on trying to ready the surface for both Series’ heat races, the sky opened up once again and forced NASCAR to cancel the heat races altogether.
That means the lineups were set by NASCAR’s 2021 rules. For us DFS players, that means we have to look at how we want to build our lineups for Monday’s races.
First, let’s look at the Truck Series, which is scheduled to start at noon Eastern time. Three drivers did not have a chance to race their way in due to the rain. That included a couple drivers who were on our radar for the weekend. Jessica Friesen, Ryan Newman, and Trevor Collins will all not be participating when the series takes the Green flag Monday.
The drivers we want to target in this race include Kyle Larson, who is starting in the 28th spot, Chase Briscoe starting 33rd, Bubba Wallace starting 32nd, and Raphael Lessard starting 29th. All of these drivers should be candidates for the first three starting spots. I love where they start, but the risk here is that there is a ton of inexperience in the field, and these drivers are going to have to battle to get up front.
Other drivers to target in the Truck race include Tanner Gray, who looked great in practice and starts 18th. Hailie Deegan looked sporty, and she rolls off 22nd. I also like Marlar starting 38th, but his inexperience in the series frightens me a little.
Drivers starting upfront who are worth a look include Sheldon Creed starting third and Stewart Friesen in the seventh starting spot.
Next, let’s look at the Cup series race. Kyle Larson, who is the favorite to win the race, had to change an engine after practice and is going to start in the back of the field. Due to the Heat races being canceled, NASCAR assigned Larson the pole position, but he will be forced to drop to the back. That means we lose the opportunity to gain all the position points by using Kyle. That also means he will be a liability coming through the field. I still think he may win the race, but I believe there may be better options if you don’t want to spend the money on the highest-priced driver.
Christopher Bell starting 15th, and Tyler Reddick starting 27th have huge upside. Chase Briscoe starting back in 25th is also a great play this week. I also really like Stewart Friesen coming from 32nd. He was not that fast in practice, but he is a great play this week.
Drivers in the middle of our lineup who look good for Monday include Bubba Wallace, who will start 19th and looked good in practice. I also liked what I saw from Joey Logano, who has no dirt experience but put together some fast laps on Friday. Chris Windom starts 36th. He should be able to race his way through the field and could be a value driver in this spot.
There are a few drivers who we can start this week that will cost us less than $7,000. Matt DiBenedetto was fast in practice on Friday. Ty Dillon, who hit a dirt turtle in practice, is a good value, and he starts 39th Monday.
I like what I saw from Cole Custer in practice, and he could be a target if we pay up at the top of our lineups. Shane Golobic put up some fast laps when the trucks were on the dirt Friday. J.J. Yeley should also be on our radar if we are looking for value at the back end of our lineups.
I would have loved to see what the drivers did in their heat races and get an idea of who knows how to pass when the competition is real. Having the Heat races canceled was both a blessing and a curse. It was a blessing because a lot of the cars we like this week will be starting in the back, so we can easily accumulate passing points, but it is a curse because having the inexperienced drivers up front means there is a good chance one of our drivers may run into trouble coming up through the field. The good news is that since it is Bristol, as long as the damage isn’t too great, the cars involved in crashes should be able to still be competitive.
NASCAR also changed up the stage lengths and added competition cautions for the Cup race, so it gives any driver who has fallen a lap down more chances to get back on the lead lap. That will be key as I imagine many drivers falling behind as the dirt racers quickly move through the less experienced drivers.
So let’s go out there and start our week off right with two chances to make some money! Follow me on Twitter @mikejforbes for updates all day! And check out all of our NASCAR content here at Elite Fantasy.