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Food City 300 Predictions: Experience Should Play the Key Role This Friday

Written by: Reid Spencer
Updated September 15, 2023
11 min read
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr. makes a one-off start but has been out of the car too long.
  • Take a close look at Brandon Jones and his impressive record at Bristol.
  • Veteran Justin Allgaier is the only former Bristol winner in Friday’s field.

Food City 300 Betting Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook.


Justin Allgaier


John Hunter Nemechek


Josh Berry


Trevor Bayne


Sam Mayer


Cole Custer


Austin Hill


Sammy Smith


Chandler Smith


Sheldon Creed


Brandon Jones


Our Picks for the Food City 300

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Food City 300 Odds

Food City 300 Predictions

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Will Win a Popularity Contest—Not Friday’s Race

The farther Dale Earnhardt Jr. gets from full-time NASCAR competition, the less likely he is to win a race.

After retiring from NASCAR Cup competition in 2017, Earnhardt continues to make rare appearances in the NASCAR Xfinity Series. On Friday, he’s running a NASCAR National Series event for the only time this year.

Earnhardt’s odds for the Food City 300 opened at +3500 at DraftKings Sportsbook, and the 48-year-old NASCAR Hall of Famer has already seen some action. As of Thursday night, his line was down to +2800.

In this case, a sentimental bet is a losing bet, so stay away from Earnhardt in his one-off appearance. His ship won’t come in at Bristol.

Brandon Jones Finally Has Gotten Comfortable with JR Motorsports

Last week, we steered you away from Brandon Jones, and he almost made us look foolish. Almost, but not quite.

Jones chased John Hunter Nemechek to the finish line last Saturday at Kansas Speedway and claimed the runner-up position.

That shows us that Jones is finally acclimating to the JR Motorsports culture and equipment, and he acknowledged he will return to the team next season.

Driving for Richard Childress Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing, Jones posted three top fives and six top 10s at Thunder Valley. He finished second in last year’s race at the .533-mile short track.

Though we’re not picking Jones to win the Food City 300, we think he’s a good bet to finish in the top three at +550 via DraftKings.

Experience Should Propel Justin Allgaier to the Win at Bristol

Justin Allgaier is the only former Xfinity Series winner at Bristol in the field for Friday’s Food City 300.

Allgaier got that victory back in 2010, but since then he has fashioned a formidable record at the vaunted short track.

In 22 Bristol starts, Allgaier has produced 10 top 10s and 14 top fives. He has finished second twice against competition that often has featured full-time NASCAR Cup Series drivers.

Now that the Bristol race is part of the Xfinity Playoffs, Cup drivers are no longer allowed to compete. That and the experience factor make it easy for us to pick Allgaier on Friday night, even at the short +275 odds offered at DraftKings.

You’ll note we didn’t mention the oddsmakers’ second choice, John Hunter Nemechek, a six-time winner this season. Nemechek has only three Xfinity starts at Bristol, the last coming in 2019.

That’s why we prefer Allgaier at +275 versus Nemechek at +330 via DraftKings.

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How to Watch the Food City 300

  • Race: Food City 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series Race
  • Location: Bristol Motor Speedway
  • Time: Friday, Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • How to Watch: USA 
Image for Reid Spencer


Reid Spencer

221 Articles

Award-winning motorsports writer Reid Spencer has served as lead writer for the NASCAR Wire Service for 16 years, having also spent a four-year stint as NASCAR columnist and beat writer for Sporting News. He is currently serving as president of the National Motorsports Press Association. Email: [email protected]

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