The rankings below are based on a mixture of expected output and DraftKings’ NASCAR salaries for that day. The ordering is not based on the highest projected fantasy totals, but rather by the value of each driver.
The DraftKings Food City 300 NASCAR slate locks at 7:45 p.m. ET on Friday.
1. Ty Gibbs ($11,500) — What will happen when Ty Gibbs is not buried in the field to start? It didn’t seem to hurt him last week, he started 15th and went on to lead the most laps. Not only does the No. 54 JGR Toyota have track position, but Gibbs will get reps in the ARCA race.
2. Austin Cindric ($11,200) — He should have won the Bristol fall race last season, but he lost his power steering for the final 20 laps and finished third. At Dover a couple months ago, once Cindric got track position in stage 3, he cruised to victory.
3. Justin Allgaier ($10,800) — Without practice, DFS NASCAR players have to rely on track history and current form. Unfortunately, these data points are not very predictive. Last week, Allgaier checked every box and underperformed. This week, Allgaier again checks the current form and track history boxes.
4. Brandon Jones ($9,400) — Bristol is a volatile race track and even the best drivers struggle to complete races at the Colosseum. Ironically, one of the most reckless drivers in the series has finished five of the last six races with an average finish of eighth in those five races.
5. Sam Mayer ($9,900) — Daniel Hemric has never won a NASCAR race in 200 attempts. Mayer has only raced a handful of times and not only does he have a win, but the win was at Bristol. Mayer has experience and will earn more in the ARCA race this weekend.
6. Ty Dillon ($9,000) — This is a top-10 car with a top-10 driver, and the results will only get better as Dillon gets more reps. Dillon jumped in cold and earned two top-15 finishes in his first two starts with Our Motorsports. Unlike a lot of the drivers in the field, Dillon has plenty of experience at Bristol to lean on this weekend.
7. Noah Gragson ($10,200) — Last spring at Bristol, Gragson stole a win from his teammate Justin Allgaier with an aggressive late race restart. In the fall race, he was never in the picture but he had a top 10 car. At Dover, Gragson’s car struggled because the setup was built for a track that was supposed to tighten up as it took rubber, but the track never rubbered up.
8. Harrison Burton ($9,600) — This has been a solid season for Burton, but for JGR and crew chief Jason Ratcliff, this has been a terribly disappointing season. Championships are nearly irrelevant in the Cup Series and wins matter the most. In the lower series, championships are comparable to Triple-A baseball championships. Wins are the only thing that matter in the Xfinity Series and Burton does not have any this season.
9. Michael Annett ($8,300) — From 2018 to 2019, Annett earned three consecutive top-10 finishes at Bristol. Last season, he was collateral damage when Austin Cindric and Ross Chastain got into their weekly wreck. In the fall race, Brandon Jones turned Joe Graf and Graf wrecked into Annett.
10. Daniel Hemric ($9,200) — At Dover, Hemric’s team struggled to find a setup that suited him and he finished ninth at the high-bank concrete oval. Last spring at Bristol, Hemric had only the seventh best driver rating against a soft field, and several top-tier drivers wrecked out early.
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11. AJ Allmendinger ($10,500) — Bristol doesn’t feel like an Allmendinger track, but then again, no track was an Allmendinger track before this season. Kaulig Racing builds fast cars and Allmendinger is as dialed in as he’s ever been.
12. Myatt Snider ($7,800) — Last fall, Snider was driving Ryan Sieg’s back-up car and he punctured a hole in the oil pan. The team needed that car for Sieg in the playoffs, so Snider was forced to retire early. In the spring race, Snider finished fifth for RCR at Bristol.
13. Riley Herbst ($8,100) — The SHR No. 98 car won the Bristol fall race last season, but Chase Briscoe won everywhere last season and Herbst has three top 5s to his name this season. With his only experience at Bristol coming in the form of no-practice racing, he still needs a couple more races before he’ll be a contender.
14. Justin Haley ($8,700) — His fast laps in the last two Bristol races are not an indicator of speed. Unscheduled pit stops led to fresh tires, so Haley recorded fast laps. The unscheduled pit stops were the result of aggressive driving.
15. Jeffrey Earnhardt ($5,400) — JD Motorsports cars are 20th to 25th place cars, but at a volatile track like Bristol, that number can be bumped up to 15th to 20th based on attrition. In Earnhardt’s two races with JD Motorsports at Bristol last season, he finished 17th and 15th.
16. Ryan Vargas ($4,900) — Jeffrey Earnhardt is the safer punt based on experience — who thought that sentence would ever be written? Vargas works as a JD Motorsports double punt or a pivot from Earnhardt in GPPs.
17. Landon Cassill ($7,700) — In 2019, Cassill finished 10th for JD Motorsports at Bristol. That car was much better funded, but the approach is still the same: avoid the wrecks. With a starting position of 35th, there’s not much that Cassill needs to do in order to be DFS relevant.
18. Sage Karam ($6,500) — This is a science experiment if there ever was one. Take a below-average IndyCar driver and put him in a stock car at Bristol. Also, don’t let him practice. This isn’t an experiment, it’s a premise for a reality prank show.
19. Bayley Currey ($5,600) — The last time Currey started shotgun on the field, he finished 34th, the time before that 32nd and 34th the time before that. Maybe this isn’t a good idea? Currey is a talented driver, but he’s aggressive and his equipment is held together by bear bond and prayers.
20. Chad Finchum ($5,100) — It’s time to dust off the home track narrative. Not only are we using this unreliable, unscientific metric, but we’re going to employ it for a Carl Long car. Finchum has raced sparingly this season, so being that this is one of his few opportunities, he’ll likely have a decent car. In each of his last three races at Bristol, Finchum has a top 25 finish.
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