What: Food City 500
When: April 16th
Where: Bristol Motor Speedway
2016 Winner: Carl Edwards
I will follow Yahoo's Fantasy Auto Racing where you pick 2 A Racers, 4 B Racers and 2 C Racers. As such I will pick one from A, 2 from B and 1 from C (as if they were your starters) along with one Dark Horse pick.
Track: Bristol Motor Speedway constructed in 1960, the Last Great Colosseum has it's roots in authentic racing. This all concrete surfaced oval track features turns at 26-30 degrees with straighs at 6-10 degrees. It's short at just over half a mile (0.533) and be prepared for some bumping to occur here. This makes it both amazing to watch and tough to predict as many racers get knocked out mid-race. The sound that emits from this course is amazing.
Matt Kenseth. He's not having the best season and is actually among the worst A group racers this year but he thrives on the short tracks, specifically this one. Take away the blown tire that caused him to slam into the wall last year (finishing 36th) and look instead at his win in 2015 and 4th place finish in 2014. Matt should be a top ten lock pending he finishes the race.
Kyle Larson. With his continued success AND his track record of success at Bristol, I think Kyle can be a top 5 finish this Sunday. Ignoring his wreck last year, he finished 7th place in 2014 and has shown strong ability to succeed at the Food City 500. Just in case anyone has been asleep for the last month and a half, here are his last 6 race finishes: 2nd, 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 17th, 2nd.
Kasey Kahne. Another driver who is very familiar with Bristol, Kasey also has had some unlucky wrecks in two of the last 3 years here which caused him to have two 37th place finishes. I also like him coming off a 38th place finish as that usually lends itself to a great hungry and yet cautious mix to succeed in the next race.
Elliot Sadler. In his one race this year he started the pack in 40th and worked his way up to finish 20th. That race was Daytona and what it showed me this season is he can come in cold to a race and quickly adjust, he'll need that at Bristol. He has no experience here which is definitely a deterrent, but he is not unfamiliar with short tracks and has traded paint on a few occasions.
Justin Allgaier. First race of the year for Justin but he has a top ten finish here in 2014. When you get a short track like this, a hungry less known driver can outlast a very talented driver. This is where I think Justin has an advantage.