The Cup Series heats up tonight with the 2023 Bass Pro Shops Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Following the race, the 4 playoff drivers ranked the lowest in the points will see their pursuit of a Championship come to an end and the playoff field trimmed from 16 to 12 drivers for the next round.
Bristol Motor Speedway is a 0.533 mile concrete oval that first opened in 1961 and has hosted multiple Cup Series races each and every year since opening. Darrell Waltrip is the all-time wins leader at Bristol, with a dozen wins to his credit. Among active drivers, Kyle Busch leads the way with 9 victories, 8 on concrete, 1 on dirt.
Last year’s edition was won by Chris Buescher, who led a race high 169 laps and held off Hendrick Motorsports teammates Chase Elliott and William Byron to pick up his second career win and his first win with Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing.
Driver to Fade:
We don’t quite think Cole Custer has it in him today, and neither do the oddsmakers. He’s 500-1 at FanDuel Sportsbook, but don’t place any money on this guy today.
We think Michael McDowell will have a Top 20 finish today. He has an average finish of 14.8 in his last 4 starts at Bristol, and has 100-1 odds to win today (via FanDuel Sportsbook). We like his chances to come in at least 20th.
Denny Hamlin has an average finish of 14th over his last few races at Bristol, and we predict he’ll be a factor in today’s contest. Hamlin will collect his 14th Top 10 finish of the season today.
Kyle Busch comes into this one having finished in the Top 5 twice out of his last four races at Bristol. Having already won 3 races this year, Busch figures to be a contender at the famed short track. We predict Busch will take today’s checkered flag and collect his fourth win on the season!