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Drivers to Watch - Bristol

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The NASCAR circuit heads to Bristol, TN, for the first short-track race of the season on Sunday for the Food City 500. Kasey Kahne won this race last March, and fell just short of capturing the season sweep as the runner-up to Matt Kenseth in the August night race at this track. Bristol Motor Speedway is a .533-mile, oval track with a seating capacity of more than 160,000 people. The bankings measure a hefty 36° on turns, and there is 16° banking on the straightaways, which are exactly 650 feet (0.12 miles).

Drivers to Watch

Brad Keselowski (6/1) - He has won two of the past five races at Bristol, which came from ideal starting spots of eighth and fifth. Keselowski also started seventh at this track last March, which allowed him to lead for 62 laps in an eventual third-place finish behind Kasey Kahne and Kyle Busch. So far this season, Keselowski has been outstanding, finishing third at both Daytona and Phoenix before taking home the checkered flag at Las Vegas last week. His odds are pretty low, but for all the chalk that this race has to offer (seven drivers with single-digit odds), Keselowski has the most value of any of these favorites and is our pick to win Sunday's race.

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Matt Kenseth (7/1)
- Kenseth is the other chalk pick to play this week, as the most recent winner in Bristol last August. That continues Kenseth's roaring success at this track with 18 top-10's in 28 starts (64.3%) including 11 top-5's (39.3%) and a two other victories in 2005 and 2006. He has finished outside the top-10 in just two of his past nine Bristol races, with one of the two poor finishes resulting from a crash last March. At 7-to-1, Kenseth is worthy of a small wager.

Greg Biffle (40/1) - If you're searching for darkhorse candidates, don't forget about Biffle who has placed among the top-9 drivers in exactly half of his 22 career starts at the World's Fastest Half Mile, banging out an impressive 12.0 average finish at this track. A good starting spot is always important, and Biffle won the pole at this race two years ago and started third in the August race in that 2012 season. He is currently sitting 12th in the points standings, and with such small odds on the board this weekend, Biffle represents excellent value at 40-to-1.

Clint Bowyer (20/1) - Bowyer is still searching for his first Bristol win, but he does have a dozen top-5's, including two victories, in 48 career short-track races. And despite an average starting spot of 21.5 in the past two years in Bristol, Bowyer has cranked out an average finish of 7.5 in these four races, which included leading for 50 laps in the August night race. His rough start to the 2014 season (26.0 average finish) helps to boost his potential payout to a favorable 20-to-1 this week, which is good enough to drop a 1-or-2 unit bet on.

Paul Menard (100/1) - The best longshot of the weekend goes to Paul Menard, who has tallied top-10's in five of his past six Bristol starts, which includes a 6th-place showing last August. He has captured the lead in three of those six races for a total of 100 laps led. Menard is also brimming with confidence after placing third at Las Vegas last week, and he knows he belongs in this field with 35 laps led this season, including 29 at Daytona.

  
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