Welcome back race fans, gamblers, and anyone else who supports the blog. It's great to see you! The much anticipated week in NASCAR is finally here, "It's Bristol Baby!" Hold on, this isn't your Daddy's Bristol. The circuit is heading to the same high banks with a very different surface, and its a beautiful thing already.
I'm really excited for this event. I spent most of my nights last week watching actual dirt cars rip around these high banks and it was pretty cool. Those guys hardly lifted off of the gas pedal and it was fairly one grooved on most nights. So although it didn't make for the best racing for actual dirt cars, I think that we are in for a treat this weekend.
With that being said, there are some things that I don't think I am going to like about how NASCAR is structuring this event. The cup race is during the day, which will make things dusty and dry, the Cup race is way too long, and they aren't doing any LCQ (Last Chance Qualifier) races. Those LCQ's have been the most exciting part of the Truck events at Eldora over the years so I am really sad to see them left out. On the other hand, I do like the passing points structure in the heat races, and judging off of practice yesterday, the heat races will be very fun to watch.
Who Am I Betting?
If you would have asked me a week ago who would be on this list, I would have said that it was an easy choice across the board. Pick the guys with the most dirt experience, pick the guys with the best car control, pick the guys that ran dirt cars at Bristol last week, and if all else fails, pick Kyle Larson. However, I watched both sessions of practice yesterday and a lot of the guys that I wouldn't have thought to pick, actually impressed me. Of course that brings us back to where we have been for the whole 2021 season so far, a crap shoot. Put 20 names in a hat, and pick three out. You will probably do better than I will. I'd prefer to over-think it, it's in my nature.
You would have to be an absolute moron to not have Kyle Larson +325 on the top of your bet slip this week. I mean you would literally have to have shit for brains, nothing between the ears, have a numb skull, be a nit wit, etc. If you don't bet Larson, you would probably climb a glass wall to see what was on the other side, and when you got there it would be me wearing a "I'm with stupid" t-shirt. "Yung Money" won more dirt races last year than anyone on the planet, and it wasn't even close. No one is better with car control, no one is better at finding grip, and no one is better at leaving people in the dust on a dirt track.
The #5 car showed up to practice yesterday, although he probably didn't need it. He didn't set fast time, because he knew that what you do on a fast and tacky track will not matter this weekend. Instead he went out and put down the fastest lap averages by more than a tenth of a second on the field. Of course he did, he's Kyle Larson, but wait a minute, he did it all with a motor that was going sour. I am pumped to see Larson come from the back tomorrow night with a new motor. You should be too.
Second on the list of 20-Lap averages yesterday was none other than Denny Hamlin +1400. The 11 car looked surprisingly good, and so did his teammates. I would say the JGR team seemed to unload the best as far as chassis set up and it showed. Denny also hasn't won yet this year. That is scary for any better, because he has been really good on every different kind of track over the last few years, dominant at times. Look for the Fed Ex Toyota to have a really good run this weekend. He will be in the running to get to the Checkered flag first.
If you have been reading along for the past 5-6 weeks, you know my rule. Always bet Kyle Busch +1500 when his odds of winning are this high. I also watched Busch run one of Johnathon Davenport's Super Late Models in Bristol last weekend and he was pretty impressive. He drove from last to 2nd in a B-main, and then finished in the top 20 of the A against some of the best dirt drivers in the Nation. All be it, he did have a really fast car, but I think he will Sunday too. The big question is, can he keep all four tires on the car for 250 laps? I'm not sure if many will be able to.
If you don't believe in Kyle Busch's dirt abilities, HERE is an awesome video. Man I miss these races.
Have some time today and want to watch an even cooler video? HERE is a link to the full 2007 Prelude to the Dream at Eldora.
So those are my top three picks for the week. However, I am going to throw a couple more names out there that I believe have a real shot to drive up the ramp to victory lane tomorrow in Bristol. Christopher Bell +800 is damn near as good as Larson when it comes to racing on dirt. Tyler Reddick +1600 and Austin Dillon +2500 have a ton of dirt experience too which will really help tomorrow. Hell, I watched Austin Dillon absolutely SPANK the field in the 604 Crate Late Models last weekend. I'm telling you, it wasn't even close. Anyways, you can't go wrong with those three, I will be doing my best to work them into my Fantasy lineup for sure.
Sprinkle of the Week
My sprinkle of the week may seem like it's a little "out of left field." Ross Chastain +12500 has ridiculous odds to win tomorrow's race. Let me tell you why I think Vegas is way off on this one.
Chastain has shown the stock car racing universe time and time again that he can drive a racecar with the best there are. I have seen this guy run Trucks, Xfinity, and Cup multiple times in the same weekend, and be competitive in all three. Also, he looked pretty damn good in practice yesterday. Don't say I didn't tell you so if the 42 car makes a late run to the front and steals the show. He has the patience, ability, and equipment to get the job done. At +12500 odds, that's a no brainer.
Pray for Pay Parlay
If anyone was paying attention, we almost hit a monster parlay last week. Unfortunately, being that close only counts in horseshoes or hand grenades. Kyle Busch dominated the truck race as expected, Truex dominated the Xfinity race until a late pit penalty broke my heart in two, and Kyle Larson dominated all but the last 10 laps of the Cup race.
This week, I have a good one for you. Stewart Friesan +650 runs more dirt races than anyone, and he wins a lot of them. Look for him to beat even Larson in the trucks tonight. Also, the before mentioned Kyle Larson should win the Cup race tomorrow. Put those two together in a parlay and you are getting +3088 odds. Not too shabby.
Bets of the Week
Kyle Larson +325
Denny Hamlin +1400
Kyle Busch +1500
Sprinkle of the Week
Ross Chastain +12500
Pray for Pay Parlay
Stewart Friesan and Kyle Larson +3088
FanDuel Daily Fantasy
K. Larson $14000
C. Bell $13500
A. Dillon $10000
T. Reddick $7800
R. Chastain $4500
As always, thank you all for reading and betting these races with me. God bless you all, and God bless dirt track racing!!!!