In a year with so many hyped-up moments with the dirt race, COTA, and Texas All-Star race, this weekend at Nashville feels more natural. Nashville is a market that NASCAR was always meant for. Charlotte will always be home, but Nashville and NASCAR is a natural fit as a home away from home. 

This week has had hype behind it, but I think having the drivers get behind the hype itself adds to it. Nashville probably isn’t going to blow socks off with amazing racing, because in the past Xfinity was pretty average here. The enthusiasm in the NASCAR community for getting to this market that we needed to be in the whole time can be felt this week. Sometimes it’s about more than the racing.

Since a majority of drivers haven’t even raced at Nashville, it makes predicting how everyone’s performance is difficult. With the limited experience, it’d be easy to just pick Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson, and honestly, it’s a safe bet, but just like last week, I’m going to go with the less obvious and accept the L when it inevitably happens. 

The truth is this track’s closest comparison is Dover, and that is where Hendrick had their 1,2,3,4 finish. So, there is potential for the Hendrick dominance to continue, and it’s more than likely. But, we’ll roll the dice.

Favorite: Brad Keselowski

Last week he came so close to breaking up the Larson show but was unable to close the door. I wanna see if this momentum will carry over into Nashville. This is also where he got his first win in NASCAR for JR Motorsports.

Penske is having an inconsistent season, but if they bring the good stuff this weekend then Keselowski should know how to roll around this track. He has two wins here, and he should have the confidence to know he can take a win from Hendrick if he has the speed.

Dark Horse: Kurt Busch

It is a grey area on whether to count Kurt Busch as a dark horse, but he’s currently sitting outside of the playoffs and five years removed from winning multiple races in a year. Chip Ganassi Racing has taken a few steps up in recent weeks and seems like a team that will compete for a couple of wins this year.

Kurt Busch has been the main driver participating in Cup tests here at the track. He finished 6th in practice while Hendrick Motorsports – the shop where CGR gets their engines from – is top three. I think the speed is there and the aggressive veteran has found some extra speed around the track.

Fantasy:

High-End Picks:

  1. Chase Elliott: $10,700
  2. Kyle Larson: $11,800
  3. Alex Bowman: $9,300
  4. Brad Keselowski: $9,500
  5. William Byron: $9,700

Mid-Tier Picks:

  1. Ryan Blaney: $8,700
  2. Joey Logano: $8,900
  3. Kurt Busch: $8,300
  4. Tyler Reddick: $8,600
  5. Ross Chastain: $7,600

Low-End Picks:

  1. Ryan Newman: $6,800
  2. Ryan Preece: $6,00
  3. Erik Jones: $6,900
  4. Daniel Suarez: $6,300
  5. Bubba Wallace: $6,500

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