It’s back to the short tracks this week as NASCAR races at the .533 mile Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee this week. Bristol has been characterized as everything from the Last Great Coliseum to racing inside a high school gym. No matter what the high banked short track provides plenty of close door banging action and whoever wins Sunday will have earned the trophy.
Here are our favorites for Sunday’s eighth race of the year for your betting or fantasy racing leagues. The odds are current as of Wednesday afternoon and the Driver Ratings (stats that are a combination of various stats used by NASCAR to determine the best drivers on a given track) are from NASCAR are based on the last 22 races at among active drivers at Bristol Motor Speedway (2005 – 2015).
Matt Kenseth (7-1) has led laps in every race this season but only has one finish in the top 10 (Phoenix) to show for efforts. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver won the pole and is the defending race winner here and has the best driver rating among active drivers 102.5. This could be the week Kenseth gets his first win of the season.
Kyle Busch (5-1) another one of the JGR stable has been on a tear lately. He swept the races the last two weekends and there is little doubt he could do the same this weekend. Busch is tied with his brother Kurt for most wins among active drivers at Bristol,5, and has the second highest driver rating among the field, 101.3. Kyle didn’t enter this race last year due to his injuries so look for him to try and make a strong statement Sunday with yet another win.
Kevin Harvick (6-1) has the fourth best driver rating in the field, 93.3, and was second here last August. Harvick also has 3 DNFs here so it can be hit or miss. However Harvick has been strong at times this season and if he can avoid trouble Sunday could get his first win of the season and his second at Bristol.
Carl Edwards (8-1) the third of the four Joe Gibbs Racing drivers who could be a contender Sunday. He’s been hot so far this season; he as a of driver rating of 91.7, eighth-best among the field, three wins, the last coming in 2014 and finished inside the top 10 in three of the last four Bristol races.
Joey Logano (6-1) may have one of the lowest drivers ratings , 84.2, outside the top 12, but in recent years no one has been hotter at Bristol than Logano. Logano has won two of the last three races here coming up short last spring after an early race crash with his teammate Brad Keselowski.
Others: Speaking of Brad Keselowski (8-1) he has two wins at Bristol and the third best driver rating in the field, 94.1. Jimmie Johnson (7-1) won here in 2010; he has the sixth best driver rating, 92.7. He was also second in this race last year and fourth in the fall.
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Food City 500 will be run on Sunday April 16th. Live coverage will be on Fox starting at 12:00 p.m. ET with the green flag coming at about 1:15 p.m. ET.