Short-track racing is a special and exciting thing. It only happens a few times a year and now we get it for the first time this Cup season and at perhaps the kind of short tracks, Bristol Motor Speedway. Thunder Valley is a high-banked, concrete, half-mile track that produces the fastest racing speeds of any short track on the Cup schedule and the tight racing confines make for a long day of boiling tempers on the track as well.

With 24-28 degrees of banking in the corners and nearly 10 degrees in the straightaways, the laps keep the speeds up and get clicked off at an impressive sub-15-second rate. With that kind of pace to the race there is no break for the drivers and there is no room for error anywhere either. Bristol has also laid down traction compound in the bottom groove of the corners to try and ensure a second racing groove later in the race to allow for more movement through the field. Drivers will also be tasked with trying to handle the low-downforce package that is being run this weekend that will be sliding more than normal on the surface making things even more interesting.

Typically over the last eight races at Bristol there have been 10.1 cautions per race and between the cautions for incidents and the shortness of the laps, over the same span an average of 15 cars have finished on the lead lap with another 5-8 per race one lap down.

At the end of the podcast we briefly talked about contest selection and mentioned that cash game lines will be high which makes it a tough way to go this week. It’s still a good idea to play some cash games as they can bolster your winnings but GPPs offer the lower money line targets this week, especially on Fanduel. As for roster construction, we typically stay away from the guys starting near the front for cash games, but here we typically need two of them to try and get the laps led points that will be required to hit the money line in cash games. There is still the risk of going backward for the pole sitter and those up front, but the amount of laps led will outweigh the negative place differential if you play the correct guys. For the rest of the lineup we’re going with PD plays that can finish up front. For GPPs we can do with one or two dominator plays while filling out the rest with riskier place differential drivers. You can also try and differentiate by trying to target more contrarian laps led dominators. Place differential is a tricky thing though because, as was stated in the podcast, drivers starting too far back are at risk to be lapped very early and that could cost you the upside you’re looking for.

Average Points Scored By Starting Position

This table shows how each starting spot over the last five Spring Bristol races have fared on each site. The range shows the difference between the highest and lowest scoring total for that average so we want the smallest range, if utilizing the table.

 

Starting Avg.     Avg.    
Position DK Pts. Rank Range FD Pts. Rank Range
1 97.60 1 117.50 101.12 1 41.8
2 13.00 39 59.50 58.94 32 43.1
3 60.85 2 73.25 80.46 5 38.1
4 23.80 28 70.00 58.84 33 51.7
5 22.25 29 96.00 51.98 37 80.9
6 20.70 31 178.50 45.82 38 123.2
7 55.25 3 124.50 75.58 12 74.3
8 33.20 16 75.00 72.62 18 49.8
9 24.60 27 75.50 63.30 27 104.1
10 41.15 8 33.50 84.20 2 16.9
Starting Avg.     Avg.    
Position DK Pts. Rank Range FD Pts. Rank Range
11 31.75 18 122.75 71.78 19 76.6
12 36.65 13 17.50 77.70 9 13.1
13 36.00 14 64.50 72.96 16 20.1
14 43.50 5 82.50 79.02 7 34.4
15 16.40 35 52.50 61.18 28 66.5
16 18.80 33 41.50 65.40 25 32.2
17 42.55 7 124.75 75.04 14 91.3
18 29.50 22 46.00 75.10 13 36.3
19 37.60 12 66.00 76.34 11 54
20 26.90 24 77.00 66.04 24 83.2
Starting Avg.     Avg.    
Position DK Pts. Rank Range FD Pts. Rank Range
21 39.10 10 29.50 81.60 4 23.6
22 20.50 32 67.50 59.22 31 86.4
23 49.60 4 38.50 84.06 3 23.8
24 25.90 26 50.00 65.36 26 65.5
25 30.90 19 60.50 71.12 20 51.4
26 38.85 11 72.25 77.58 10 48.8
27 14.50 37 81.50 41.62 39 106.2
28 34.50 15 66.50 74.34 15 50.8
29 12.40 40 34.00 55.08 35 41.8
30 40.75 9 50.25 79.60 6 42.7
Starting Avg.     Avg.    
Position DK Pts. Rank Range FD Pts. Rank Range
31 26.10 25 19.50 69.40 21 15.3
32 30.50 21 38.00 68.28 22 46.2
33 21.50 30 26.00 58.34 34 55
34 17.90 34 32.50 60.84 29 31.8
35 15.90 36 30.00 54.42 36 42.3
36 30.60 20 48.00 68.04 23 51.8
37 27.20 23 54.50 60.32 30 77.1
38 14.50 37 30.00 40.45 40 56.1
39 43.13 6 58.50 77.85 8 39.5
40 33.00 17 22.00 72.75 17 18.1

 

(Max 3)
       
 DriverStartMakeCar Fanduel DraftKingsBreakDown
Ky. Busch7Toyota18 $13000 $10400UPGRADE
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Jo. Logano3Ford22 $12500 $9200UPGRADE
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Cl. Bowyer23Ford14 $9500 $9000UPGRADE
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Ku. Busch12Chevrolet1 $9200 $7500UPGRADE
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Ry. Newman17Ford6 $7300 $5900UPGRADE
Ty. Dillon29Chevrolet13 $5000 $6800UPGRADE
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