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Statistically Speaking

Update: Texas (Spring)

by Dan Beaver
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Bristol Motor Speedway is a little schizophrenic.  

She will show a new personality on Sunday in the Food City 500.

Track officials have tried many things to make the racing better on this course and the current plan has been to put rosin in the lower part of the turn to make this a single-groove track. The bump-and-run holds the potential for more excitement than side-by-side racing—at least that is the current opinion about this half-mile bullring.

Mother Nature might have different plans. Rain fell halfway through Saturday’s Xfinity race.

Kyle Larson and Ty Dillon are trying to foil Bristol’s plans. They tried to work in an upper groove in order to have a little more room to get around the competition. On Saturday, the preferred line moved around, which caused this to behave a little more like a dirt track. Racers who are best at searching for the maximum grip will excel on Sunday irrespective of their ranking on the speed charts listed below.

Larson and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. are going to be ones to watch.

Rain canceled qualification on Friday, which gives the No. 42 the pole for the third time this year. Two of those top starts came as the result of the rule book. As a result, Larson had a much better race at Martinsville Speedway because he was able to get out to a lead. The same will be true this week.

Stenhouse backed into the wall in Saturday morning’s practice session and the team was prepared to roll out a backup. After assessing the damage, they decided to repair the primary so they would not have to give up their 19th-place starting position. Stenhouse never seemed to get rid of his loose condition. That could play a factor in the race, but he has 500 laps to search around.

At its core, Bristol is still a rhythm track and that means that players have to pay some attention to the speed chart. Kyle Busch (starts seventh), Erik Jones (14th), Martin Truex Jr. (third), Chase Elliott (second), and Ryan Blaney (sixth) had the fastest single laps over the course of three practice sessions.

Busch was the leader on this combined board and he should be able to get the jump on Blaney and the remainder of the leaders early in the going. The exception will be Elliott who will settle into a comfortable spot after losing a position or two in the opening laps.

Durability over long runs is something else fantasy players want to heavily consider at Bristol.

Kasey Kahne was consistently quick on the 10-lap chart with the fourth-best time on Friday, second-best Saturday morning, and the best in Happy Hour. He will need that after starting deep in the field in 17th.

Joey Logano did not make any long runs in the first two practice sessions, but was third-best in Happy Hour.

That makes Jones the best overall performer this week. In addition to having consistently fast single-lap speeds, he was also exceptional on long runs with the seventh-best time in the morning and fifth-best in Happy Hour. He truly excelled in Saturday morning’s session, however, and led the pack. 

 

Start

Driver

Practice 1
Rank

Practice 2
Rank

Final Practice
Rank

Avg. Rank

           

7

Kyle Busch

2

1

1

2.8

14

Erik Jones

1

2

5

5.5

3

Martin Truex Jr.

4

7

9

5.8

2

Chase Elliott

11

14

4

7.8

6

Ryan Blaney

3

9

18

9.0

17

Kasey Kahne

13

6

3

9.8

10

Kevin Harvick

18

4

8

10.0

16

Denny Hamlin

6

3

17

10.5

9

Clint Bowyer

15

12

7

10.8

5

Joey Logano

9

20

12

11.5

1

Kyle Larson

7

17

26

12.8

15

Kurt Busch

12

15

11

13.3

11

Jimmie Johnson

16

22

5

13.5

22

Matt Kenseth

5

10

20

14.3

20

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

24

5

10

14.8

8

Jamie McMurray

8

21

29

16.5

25

AJ Allmendinger

17

8

16

16.5

4

Brad Keselowski

21

18

24

16.8

13

Ryan Newman

14

27

14

17.0

23

Daniel Suarez

27

16

2

17.0

21

Austin Dillon

23

11

19

18.5

26

Paul Menard

19

22

15

20.5

19

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

10

26

30

21.3

12

Trevor Bayne

28

31

21

23.0

27

Chris Buescher

25

19

22

23.3

30

Landon Cassill

26

25

13

23.5

24

Ty Dillon

20

28

23

23.8

18

Aric Almirola

22

30

28

24.5

29

Danica Patrick

37

13

25

26.0

28

Michael McDowell

29

29

27

28.3

33

David Ragan

30

24

31

29.5

35

Corey LaJoie

31

32

32

32.5

32

Matt DiBenedetto

32

34

34

33.0

34

Reed Sorenson

33

33

 

33.3

31

Cole Whitt

34

36

35

34.0

36

Gray Gaulding

35

35

33

34.8

37

Jeffrey Earnhardt

36

37

 

36.7

38

Timmy Hill

38

38

37

37.8

39

Derrike Cope

39

39

36

38.3

 

10-Lap Averages

 

10-Lap Averages

 

10-Lap Averages

 

Avg

Practice 1

 

Practice 2

 

Final Practice

 

Rank

                         

4

Kasey Kahne

      125.124

 

2

Kasey Kahne

  126.442

 

1

Kasey Kahne

  127.482

 

2.3

 

Joey Logano

 

 

 

Joey Logano

 

 

3

Joey Logano

  127.253

 

3.0

7

Erik Jones

      124.404

 

1

Erik Jones

  127.178

 

5

Erik Jones

  127.142

 

4.3

 

Clint Bowyer

 

 

11

Clint Bowyer

  125.793

 

2

Clint Bowyer

  127.264

 

6.5

9

Chase Elliott

      124.214

 

3

Chase Elliott

  126.442

 

10

Chase Elliott

  126.538

 

7.3

13

Paul Menard

      123.296

 

4

Paul Menard

  126.388

 

9

Paul Menard

  126.638

 

8.7

8

Jimmie Johnson

      124.302

 

13

Jimmie Johnson

  125.577

 

7

Jimmie Johnson

  126.847

 

9.3

2

Kyle Busch

      125.429

 

24

Kyle Busch

  123.805

 

4

Kyle Busch

  127.156

 

10.0

19

Daniel Suarez

      122.162

 

6

Daniel Suarez

  126.356

 

6

Daniel Suarez

  126.856

 

10.3

12

Kurt Busch

      123.609

 

7

Kurt Busch

  126.267

 

13

Kurt Busch

  126.167

 

10.7

5

Matt Kenseth

      124.665

 

15

Matt Kenseth

  125.482

 

15

Matt Kenseth

  126.100

 

11.7

 

Martin Truex Jr.

 

 

12

Martin Truex Jr.

  125.762

 

12

Martin Truex Jr.

  126.434

 

12.0

 

Ryan Newman

 

 

14

Ryan Newman

  125.550

 

11

Ryan Newman

  126.457

 

12.5

6

Jamie McMurray

      124.654

 

10

Jamie McMurray

  125.815

 

22

Jamie McMurray

  125.307

 

12.7

1

Denny Hamlin

      125.657

 

16

Denny Hamlin

  125.203

 

23

Denny Hamlin

  125.126

 

13.3

21

Austin Dillon

      121.914

 

5

Austin Dillon

  126.383

 

14

Austin Dillon

  126.109

 

13.3

14

Ryan Blaney

      123.296

 

18

Ryan Blaney

  124.992

 

8

Ryan Blaney

  126.654

 

13.3

15

AJ Allmendinger

      123.112

 

8

AJ Allmendinger

  126.152

 

19

AJ Allmendinger

  125.730

 

14.0

3

Kyle Larson

      125.176

 

29

Kyle Larson

  121.907

 

16

Kyle Larson

  126.061

 

16.0

 

Kevin Harvick

 

 

9

Kevin Harvick

  126.085

 

24

Kevin Harvick

  124.939

 

16.5

11

Ty Dillon

      123.905

 

20

Ty Dillon

  124.419

 

20

Ty Dillon

  125.557

 

17.0

18

Brad Keselowski

      122.780

 

 

Brad Keselowski

 

 

17

Brad Keselowski

  126.050

 

17.5

10

Aric Almirola

      124.097

 

17

Aric Almirola

  125.174

 

28

Aric Almirola

  123.724

 

18.3

17

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

      122.789

 

25

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

  123.387

 

18

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

  125.904

 

20.0

24

Trevor Bayne

      121.416

 

21

Trevor Bayne

  124.364

 

21

Trevor Bayne

  125.444

 

22.0

16

Michael McDowell

      123.081

 

28

Michael McDowell

  122.137

 

 

Michael McDowell

 

 

22.0

20

Landon Cassill

      122.077

 

19

Landon Cassill

  124.484

 

31

Landon Cassill

  119.830

 

23.3

26

Cole Whitt

      119.029

 

23

Cole Whitt

  124.003

 

 

Cole Whitt

 

 

24.5

23

Matt DiBenedetto

      121.450

 

22

Matt DiBenedetto

  124.234

 

29

Matt DiBenedetto

  123.505

 

24.7

22

David Ragan

      121.680

 

27

David Ragan

  122.585

 

26

David Ragan

  124.571

 

25.0

25

Chris Buescher

      121.238

 

26

Chris Buescher

  122.818

 

 

Chris Buescher

 

 

25.5

 

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

 

 

 

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

 

 

27

Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

  124.294

 

27.0

27

Corey LaJoie

      117.957

 

31

Corey LaJoie

  120.834

 

30

Corey LaJoie

  121.299

 

29.3

 

Danica Patrick

 

 

34

Danica Patrick

  118.414

 

25

Danica Patrick

  124.743

 

29.5

28

Gray Gaulding

      117.823

 

32

Gray Gaulding

  120.569

 

 

Gray Gaulding

 

 

30.0

 

Reed Sorenson

 

 

30

Reed Sorenson

  121.835

 

 

Reed Sorenson

 

 

30.0

 

Jeffrey Earnhardt

 

 

33

Jeffrey Earnhardt

  120.387

 

 

Jeffrey Earnhardt

 

 

33.0

 

Dan Beaver

Dan Beaver has been covering fantasy NASCAR for more than 20 years with a little help from his >650,000 record database. He can be found on Twitter @FantasyRace.