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Horsepower Fantasy Racing: Picks for the Food City 500

Sometimes a track will change because of age, or wanting to change to make it better.  Sometimes, or most of the time, it’s positive.  Whether it’s shortening the distance, or most common, changing the surface, change is often a good thing.  At the same time, that can often backfire.

This week’s track is evidence of that.

When Bristol went under the knife back in 2008, going from their 36-degree banking to a progressive setup, the idea was to create a side-by-side scenario to make the racing a bit more exciting.  Smart thinking, but it created another issue.  The fans that knew Bristol thought this style of racing took away from what the track was known for.  The side-by-side action replaced the beating and hammering the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile” that brought about the bump-and-run incidents that still live on today.

The constant sell outs of the grandstands then went away, because the racing it created wasn’t what fans expected.  So, they ground away part of the higher banking.  It worked, and created a compromise between old and new.  But, the old now just had a new groove, right against the wall.

However, this track is still Bristol, and it now and forever will be the Bull Ring.  The racing has changed, however this is still the same track that saw Earnhardt bump Labonte for the win, and see Smoke toss a helmet at a car.

That’s what the writers are hoping for when Sunday’s action rolls around.  The concrete awaits, as do the picks.  Here’s who they want to win the Food City 500:

 

Misan Akuya:  Austin Dillon

I have a feeling.  Was running third in this race until he had an issue and still finished tenth.

Rob Blount:  Kyle Busch

His best track and he’s on a hot streak. He’s going three in a row.

Mary Jo Buchanan:  Kyle Busch

No reason given.

Stephen Conley:  Denny Hamlin

No reason given.

Billy Fellin:  Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Ok, now stay with me here. The numbers say that this isn’t that bad of a pick (plus, it’s early still so swing for the fences). Stenhouse has the best average finish among active drivers at Bristol. Shocked?! Me too! Until I read Ryan McGee’s power rankings and saw that stat. Average finish of 11th, with two top-5s and three top-10s. RFR has been getting better and better this season and I think this will be Stenhouse’s day to shine.

Ashley Hobbs:  Kyle Busch

No reason given.

Ashley Hull:  Matt Kenseth

No reason given.

Kara Martin:  Jimmie Johnson

No reason given.

Ashley McCubbin:  Kevin Harvick

He’s ran up front all year, and the short tracks suit his driving style.

Klarissa Mitchell:  Carl Edwards

No reason given.

Dustin Parks:  Joey Logano

Truthfully this is a difficult track to pick for anymore.  Let’s look at the facts as we speak; Gibbs has been rolling, seriously rolling.  Strong cars across the board and their defending champion is going for three in a row.  But, I’m not going with that trend.  Instead, I’m looking to the most recent winner here.  We’ve not heard much from Ford thus far in 2016, although they have been running extremely strong.  However, the deuce already has a win this year.  So that means I’ll take his teammate, in the orange and blue AutoTrader Fusion.

Patti Rodisch:  Kyle Busch

No reason given.

Sal Sigala Jr:  Brad Keselowski

No reason given.

Rob Tiongson:  Kyle Busch

It’s not every day when you see a driver win three in a row but if Kyle Busch can make it happen on Sunday at Bristol, he’ll assert himself as the definitive top racer in the Cup ranks. When Kyle Busch is winning and his confidence is as good as it gets, it’s pretty hard to stop him.

 

Standings after Texas:

Ashley McCubbin (263) Jimmie Johnson finished 4th – 2

Dustin Parks (242) Carl Edwards finished 7th – 1

Ashley Hull (240) Kyle Busch WON – 5

Sal Sigala Jr (238) Kevin Harvick finished 10th – 1

Patti Rodisch (236) Jimmie Johnson finished 4th – 2

Misan Akuya (215) Carl Edwards finished 7th – 2

Rob Blount (213) Jimmie Johnson finished 4th – 2

Kara Martin (209) Denny Hamlin finished 12th – 1

Mary Jo Buchanan (208) Jimmie Johnson finished 4th – 1

Rob Tiongson (207) Jimmie Johnson finished 4th – 2

Billy Fellin (191) Brad Keselowski finished 18th – 1

Ashley Hobbs (188) Jimmie Johnson finished 4th – 1

Klarissa Mitchell (138) Jamie McMurray finished 13th– 0

Stephen Conley (98) Brad Keselowski finished 18th – 0

 

Summary of Picks:

Kyle Busch-5

Austin Dillon-1

Carl Edwards-1

Denny Hamlin-1

Kevin Harvick-1

Jimmie Johnson-1

Matt Kenseth-1

Brad Keselowski-1

Joey Logano-1

Ricky Stenhouse Jr-1

About Dustin Parks

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