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NASCAR DFS Food City Dirt Race Preview: DraftKings & FanDuel Fantasy Racing Picks

Phillip Bennetzen



Following a double-header of short track action in Virginia, NASCAR makes the short jog west to Bristol, Tenn., for the second straight season of racing on dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway. Let’s dive into the track information NASCAR DFS players need to know, what to expect for this weekend’s running of the Food City Dirt Race at Bristol and some early NASCAR fantasy picks.

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NASCAR DFS Preview: Food City Dirt Race at Bristol

Food City Dirt Race Information

  • Track: Bristol Motor Speedway
  • Location: Bristol, Tennessee
  • Length: 0.533-mile steeply banked oval (covered in dirt)
  • Banking: 26-30 degrees in the turns
  • Race Distance: 250 laps (75/150/250)
  • Dominator Points:
    • DraftKings: 62.5 – laps led, 112.5 – fastest laps
    • FanDuel: 25 – laps led
  • Past winners: Joey Logano (Spring-2021)
  • Betting favorite: Kyle Larson +450 (BetMGM)
  • Entry List: All 36 Chartered Teams including Noah Gragson (16), JJ Yeley (15) and Josh Williams (78)
  • Weather: High of 65, partly cloudy
  • Watch: FOX
  • Listen: PRN (PRN,, NASCAR SiriusXM Channel 90)

On Track Schedule (All Times Eastern)

  • Friday, April 15
    • 4:05 p.m.: First practice
    • 6:35 p.m.: Final practice session
  • Saturday, April 16
    • 6:00 p.m.: First qualifying race
    • 6:15 p.m.: Second qualifying race
    • 6:30 p.m.: Third qualifying race
    • 6:45 p.m.: Final qualifying race
  • Sunday, April 17
    • 7:00 p.m.: Green flag

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Food City Dirt Race NASCAR DFS Preview

Where to begin? The sad reality that also makes this short, is that whatever was learned from last year’s race probably has no bearing on this year’s dirt race. A lot of ink could be spilled and time invested in combing through last year’s loop data, gauging green flag speed or just watching the race in general… but a lot of competing factors are suggesting that last year’s data could purely be noise.

To begin with, last year’s data would be the final year of the Generation 6 car compared to this new vehicle. In a recent interview, Martin Truex Jr. said as much. “This year on dirt is going to be completely different again because of the new car. What you learned last year is probably out the window. I think that was kind of a one-off race with it being in the daytime and as dry as the track got,” Truex said. Last year’s race was severely impacted by the weather. Rain canceled practice and the following heat races, so nearly everyone was coming into Monday’s race with no real clue of how the track would race.

Then there is that Monday issue. Once the rain started falling on Saturday it did not let up through Sunday, so the Trucks race, originally scheduled for Saturday evening, got pushed to Monday afternoon. Following that event, the Cup Series raced and the dirt was worn out and lost all of its built-up moisture. Needless to say, the track surface was not what Bristol had imagined when they dreamt this race up.

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One of the more intriguing storylines that came out of the 2021 Bristol Dirt race was how drivers with dirt experience all did so poorly. The dirt “wringers” brought in by under-funded squads (Mike Marlar, Shane Golobic, Chris Windom) all did not finish the race. The regular Cup drivers with dirt backgrounds did not fare well either. In the end, the race was dominated by asphalt drivers who just started learning the art of racing on dirt (Truex, Joey Logano, Daniel Suarez) leaning into an idea that perhaps, having a history with dirt was a disadvantage?

“There’s really no way to get prepared, even if I ran 300 dirt races a year, it’s nowhere close to the same thing. We have no idea what to expect,” Kyle Larson said in regards to this race. Perhaps the worst thing a driver can have is a general assumption about the way the track should race and fight that feeling all day, or in Sunday’s race, all evening long. With two practice sessions on Friday and heat races to set the running order for Sunday, drivers should have a much better grip on racing conditions for Sunday compared to last year’s race. With just 250 laps, the number of potential dominators is limited, but if DraftKings and FanDuel lower salary thresholds, then jamming in three or four lap leaders could be easier than last weekend at Martinsville. Regardless, keep an eye on Friday’s two practice sessions to get a good gauge on just who is laying down consistently fast times with minimal fall off through their long runs.

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Phill Bennetzen is a father, husband, and Catholic as well as a self-professed annoying fitness guy. Phill heads up NASCAR content at You can contact Phill by emailing [email protected].

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