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NASCAR DFS: Bass Pro Shops Night Race Picks

The NASCAR Cup Series heads to the last great colosseum of Bristol Motor Speedway! Saturday night we’ll get the Cup Series under the lights for one of the best races of the year. And to top it all off, this is a cutoff race ahead of the round of 12. Tyler Reddick laid claim to the victory at Kansas so that marks four Toyota wins at Kansas in the new NextGen car and three of those wins go to 23XI Racing. Martin Truex Jr., the regular season champion, is at risk of not making the round of 12. There is so much on the line for this race and it’s one of the more challenging tracks for DFS. Without wasting anymore time, here are the Bass Pro Shops Night Race picks for Saturday’s action under the lights!

If you haven’t read this week’s NASCAR DFS Preview article, be sure to do so. It was published before pricing came out and I was stunned to see Brad Keselowski priced so high. But that article details the track and race expectations. Another thing to keep in mind is a new tire combination for Bristol. Goodyear introduced a new right-side tear combo. This is meant to increase tire fall off for more in-race strategy. Also, this is a short track, but this isn’t the short track aero package. This is the intermediate package so don’t rely too much on how drivers have performed on other short tracks.

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Bass Pro Shops Night Race Picks: The Top Ten

  1. Christopher Bell (#20 Joe Gibbs Racing)
  2. Denny Hamlin (#11 Joe Gibbs Racing)
  3. William Byron (#24 Hendrick Motorsports)
  4. Michael McDowell (#34 Front Row Motorsports)
  5. Martin Truex Jr. (#19 Joe Gibbs Racing)
  6. Brad Keselowski (#6 RFK Racing)
  7. Chase Elliott (#9 Hendrick Motorsports)
  8. Ty Gibbs (#54 Joe Gibbs Racing)
  9. Bubba Wallace (#23 23XI Racing)
  10. Corey LaJoie (#7 Spire Motorsports)

Five Toyota’s in the top eight and all six are starting in the top 12. They have speed and within this top ten we will potentially find the top two scorers on the slate. Christopher Bell won the pole for the third straight race. He’s the only driver in NASCAR history to win the pole in each of the first three playoff races. However, he’s done nothing with pole position in the previous two races. Additionally, Denny Hamlin looked better in the long run metrics. Denny also didn’t get to run in the better practice session. Additionally, Chris Buescher won this race out of nowhere in 2022. If I had to guess who could be this year’s dark horse, it might be Ty Gibbs. His speed in the long run was very impressive during practice.

Which Value-Priced Bass Pro Shops Night Race Picks Got A Points Movement Bump?


  • Erik Jones – $7,400; Starting P31
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – $7,000; Starting P25
  • Harrison Burton – $5,600; Starting P32
  • Todd Gilliland – $5,300; Starting P30


  • Joey Logano – $8,000; Starting P28
  • Erik Jones – $7,000; Starting P31
  • Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – $6,200; Starting P25
  • Harrison Burton – $3,500; Starting P32

For Bristol, this much position differential could be a curse. The only driver I feel good about on DraftKings from this group is Erik Jones and maybe Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Bristol is a brutal track if you start this deep in the field. Drivers starting at the rear get lapped quickly and easily if the equipment sucks. Most of the top scorers will be starting in the top 20. But perhaps there are some “diamonds in the rough” in this range. Erik Jones has shined so far in the playoffs. He isn’t a playoff-eligible driver, but he finished 21st last year with this team and has a strong resume at Bristol from his time with JGR. You do not need to load up on too many drivers starting this deep. Allocate your budget to dominator points on DraftKings.

Which Higher-Priced Picks Got A Similar Bump?

  • Kyle Larson – P36
  • Kevin Harvick – P21
  • Chris Buescher – P20
  • Joey Logano – P28 (DraftKings)

Think of positional differential the way you would for a road course. Take it if it’s available to you. These are drivers you can feel good about moving up at Bristol. Kyle Larson had the fastest car in practice. But he screwed the pooch in qualifying and starts dead last. He’s already locked into the round of 12 and starts deep in the field. However, he is a driver that has win equity despite starting so far back. The added positional differential certainly doesn’t hurt. Chris Buescher won this race in 2022 starting in the exact same spot as where he’s starting in 2023. He projects to be a very popular play, similar to Larson. And lastly, Kevin Harvick is a top ten machine. Both he and Logano are in play Saturday night.

Bass Pro Shops Night Race DFS Picks


  • Denny Hamlin – $11,200; Starting P2
  • William Byron – $10,200; Starting P3
  • Chris Buescher – $9,300; Starting P20
  • Erik Jones – $7,400; Starting P31
  • J. Allmendinger – $6,400; Starting P22
  • Corey LaJoie – $5,500; Starting P10

We need to understand that the scoring difference between DraftKings and FanDuel should deeply influence how we build lineups this weekend. DraftKings rewards 0.25 points per lap led and 0.45 points per fastest lap. FanDuel rewards just 0.1 points per lap led and 0.1 points per lap completed. Getting out in front is far more important on DraftKings, especially with 500 laps on the docket. I faded the Kyle Larson chalk with this lineup. At his price tag I’d rather target drivers that can collect 30+ dominator points. And I do that with Hamlin and Byron. Meanwhile, we have position differential with Buescher, Jones, and Allmendinger. And finally, I’m just hoping LaJoie holds his own and finishes on the lead lap or one lap down. His car looked capable in practice and qualifying.


  • Kyle Larson – $14,000; Starting P36
  • William Byron – $13,000; Starting P3
  • Chris Buescher – $10,500; Starting P20
  • Erik Jones – $7,000; Starting P31
  • J. Allmendinger – $5,500; Starting P22

This lineup on FanDuel is fairly popular in terms of position differential plays. I don’t have a ton of faith in Erik Jones’ upside, but I think he can finish top 20. Larson has PD and the potential to win. But so do William Byron and Chris Buescher, as we saw last year. Byron has been great at numerous tracks this year. Byron is a way to pivot off Denny Hamlin and Christopher on the front row. But overall, this has the look of a sound “Bristol” lineup for FanDuel. It has positional differential, dominator upside, and win equity.

White Flag Thoughts Before You Go

It’s Bristol, baby. This race is chaos. We’ll probably see less than 15 drivers finish on the lead lap. About half the field will finish multiple laps down. This race can be absolutely wild. You could have a driver lead 200 laps and wreck. Those dominator points would mean almost nothing at that point. It can be frustrating for daily fantasy sports. However, it’s an exciting race to watch each year. And to deliver more good news, NASCAR won’t be running the dirt race at Bristol next year. So we get two traditional Bristol races in 2024. Saturday night’s race will definitely shake up the playoff landscape. Best of luck when building your lineups! I hope to see one of you in victory lane!

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