As the summer days wind on down, fans will inevitably focus more on the NASCAR Playoffs. This week is a consequential one as the Round Of 16 gets pared down to the Round Of 12. The scene shifts to Bristol as we take a look at some possible NASCAR picks for this Saturday night.
The top ten drivers are listed below in our NASCAR Odds for this week’s Bass Pro Shops Night Race. One of the drivers with some pressure on him is Kyle Busch.
|Bass Pro Shops Night Race|
|Martin Truex Jr.||+1400||+1400|
It does seem strange that Kyle Busch is getting the nod in the odds for NASCAR Picks this week and yet the numbers are coming in as low as +400. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has not had too enjoyable of a playoff chase so far. Things started off poorly at Darlington where the younger Busch crashed after racing just 125 laps. The 35th-placed finish set him back.
Even last week, it took a good while to get going for Busch. There was that stop-and-go violation for speeding on pit lane and a few aerodynamic issues. The No. 18 car was fortunate enough to scramble to a ninth-place finish. That boosted him up to tenth in the chase. However, Busch is only 13 points ahead of 14th and 26 beyond the 15th spot where William Byron resides.
His chances of advancing hinge on a track where Kyle Busch has excelled. According to racing reference, he has six top-ten results in the last seven races on the asphalt version of the Bristol track. That includes three wins and a runner-up finish in last year’s race. Busch has led a total of 643 laps in that span. This leads all active drivers.
There is a bit of concern with Busch and the possibility of crashing. The last time he did that was in 2017 where he crashed three consecutive appearances on the 0.533-mile Bristol track. The horsepower package and speed runs really suit the younger Busch here.
Again, that 5.33 average finish and 15.8% of laps led is no fluke heading into Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops Night Race.
This is why Kyle Busch headlines the top NASCAR Picks from Bristol on Saturday night. His car is fast, made for the banking, and can run fast on long runs. However, his numbers suggest
It is easy to see why Busch is a very slight favorite again. No driver has led as many laps as him the last three seasons at the short Bristol track. He knows the track extremely well and typically once he finds a way out front, the No. 18 car stays there.
However, Kyle Larson is one of those drivers where winning at all costs can be the only option. Everyone saw what he tried a couple of weeks ago at Darlington as he nearly passed Denny Hamlin on the final lap. Larson, in his last four races at Bristol, has an average finish of 7.25 and the second-best driver rating of more than 106. He has led 13.95% of the laps in that span.
Again, this is where things get fun on Saturday night. Larson leads the chase standings by 24 points over Denny Hamlin and does not have to race with reckless abandon. On the other hand, Kyle Busch absolutely has to. A top five finish likely seals Busch’s bid to make the Round Of 12.
Hence, our NASCAR picks headliner this week is none other than the No. 18 of Kyle Busch.
Ahead of the final race leading, there is a slight chance that Alex Bowman could steal the show. This would tilt the NASCAR Picks at least a little more. Here is why this is not so far-fetched.
Currently, the Hendricks Motorsports Racing Driver stands in a tie for 12th with Kyle Busch’s older brother, Kurt. The No. 48 driver has shown some good speed in the late segments of the Bristol race including last year where Bowman actually was faster than both Busch’s.
According to last year’s race, it was an unexpected and mysterious pit spot that did Bowman in that night. It was unfortunate but something got loose yet few knew what it was. That night, Alex Bowman had a great car and could again on Saturday night.
For NASCAR Picks, our best bet is to be a little enamoured with Bowman. He comes in at +2500 ladies and gentlemen. Those are longshot odds on a night where he needs to be at his best. Alex Bowman starting 11th is not a bad thing. The key is can he get on a long-run roll. If he can, the racer could be one to beat.
The NASCAR Picks among the medium-shot drivers may involve Joey Logano. After all, the No. 22 does have some success on this track over the past three seasons. The Team Penske driver has three top-ten finishes in six races with an average finish of 10.67. His speed intervals are up there with the Kyle Busch and Kyle Larson.
The question becomes can Logano pull this off. He comes in with solid +1000 odds and represents our best medium-shot among the NASCAR Picks on Saturday night. This shapes up to be a fun race full of intrigue, banking, and plenty of speed and strategy.
Take Kyle Busch to win the Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol on Saturday night.
Chris Wassel is a skilled scribe who possesses a fervor for both sports and entertainment. Boasting a journalism background and over two decades of experience, he has crafted pieces that encompass a diverse array of sports including hockey, basketball, football, and others. His writing is characterized by its lucidity and sharpness, and provides a unique viewpoint on entertainment and political matters. While Chris primarily focuses on sports writing, he also writes about a wide range of subjects.