BRISTOL, Tenn — The top favorites are the favorites for a reason. But the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season has been anything but normal. We’ve already seen 18 different winners in the first 28 races run including recent winners of Tyler Reddick (2nd career win at Indy), Kevin Harvick (1st win of season at Michigan), Harvick (2nd straight win), Kyle Larson (2nd win of season at Watkins Glen), Austin Dillon (1st win since 2020 at Daytona), Erik Jones (1st win since 2019 at Darlington) and Bubba Wallace (2nd career win at Kansas) over the last 7 weeks. In fact, over the last 3 weeks the winners came from Richard Childress Racing, Petty GMS Racing and 23XI Racing.
So what makes you think Saturday night’s Bass Pro Shops Night Race (7:30 p.m. ET, USA, PRN) will favor the top dogs?
Here’s some sleepers that have fared well here at the Bristol (Tenn) Motor Speedway in past competition to watch.
- Aric Almirola – Finished 5th in 2020 and in 4 of his final 5 Xfinity Series starts, he had a top 10.
- Alex Bowman – He led the most laps last weekend in a 4th place effort at Kansas and finished 5th here last year.
- Chase Briscoe – Was 13th last year but 4th, 2nd, 2nd, 1st in his final 4 Xfinity Series starts on this track.
- Daniel Suarez – Was 8th in both races in 2019, but his NXS finishes of 2nd, 5th, 6th, 30th, 3nd and 2nd respectively puts him on this list.
- Harrison Burton – His 4 NXS finishes? 10th, 4th, 4th, 7th.
- Austin Cindric – 4 of his final 5 NXS finishes was in the top 6 including 3rd in 2020 and 2nd last year.
- Erik Jones – 5th, 3rd, 8th his last 3 Cup finishes. He won 2 of his final 4 Xfinity Series starts here too including 4 top 8’s in 6 tries. He was 10th at Dover this past May.
- Brad Keselowski – He won in May 2020 here, was 6th last year and 2nd in his 2nd to last Xfinity Series start at Bristol.
- Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – Finished 2nd earlier this year at Dover, was 4th here in 2018, 2nd in 2014 and 2016 and has 2 straight top 6 finishes in NXS competition.
- Cole Custer – 3 top 8 finishes in his last 4 NXS starts here. 35th, 23rd, 28th in Cup gives you reason to pause but those Xfinity Series results….