Food City 500 Predictions: Christopher Bell Seeks Unique Double

Written by: Reid Spencer
Updated March 15, 2024
4 min read
  • Brad Keselowski hopes to break a losing streak that has reached 102 races.

  • Kyle Busch is the King of the Concrete at Bristol, but can his crew keep up?

  • From dirt to pavement: Christopher Bell can double up at Thunder Valley.

Food City 500 Betting Odds

Odds taken from DraftKings Sportsbook. Bet $5 and get $150 in bonus bets when using our exclusive DraftKings link!

Driver Odds
Kyle Larson +500
Christopher Bell +500
Denny Hamlin +550
William Byron +1100
Ryan Blaney +1100
Kyle Busch +1100
Tyler Reddick +1200
Ty Gibbs +1200
Chris Buescher +1200
Chase Elliott +1400
Brad Keselowski +1400

Our Picks for the Food City 500

  • Christopher Bell to win the race at +500

  • Brad Keselowski to finish in the top three at +400

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Food City 500 Predictions

Food City 500 Predictions

After Long Drought, Owner/Driver Brad Keselowski Is Due for a Win

For the last three years, the spring race at Bristol Motor Speedway has been contested on dirt—2,300 truckloads worth, hauled into the half-mile bullring to cover the more conventional concrete racing surface.

The dirt days at Bristol have run their course, and NASCAR opted to return to the concrete for both races at Thunder Valley this year.

Brad Keselowski is the last driver to win a spring race at Bristol on the concrete, a feat he accomplished in 2020. At the time Keselowski was racing for team owner Roger Penske, but he has since taken on a dual role as co-owner and driver for Roush Fenway Keselowski Racing.

Keselowski hasn’t won in his new role. In fact, his last victory came with Team Penske at Talladega in April 2021, 102 races ago.

But Keselowski is a three-time winner at Bristol, tied with Denny Hamlin for second-most among active drivers, and when we see Bad Brad at +1400 via DraftKings Sportsbook, we’re sorely tempted to place a bet.

Even though Keselowski isn’t our first choice to win this week, he’s coming off a fourth-place run at Phoenix, and we like him to finish in the top three (+400 at DraftKings Sportsbook) at one of his best tracks.

Kyle Busch Is the Concrete King at Bristol, But His Crew Is Questionable

Kyle Busch has eight victories on the concrete surface at Bristol Motor Speedway, the last coming at the spring race of 2019.

In fact, Busch might consider the vaunted short track his personal playground. In 2010, he swept all three NASCAR National Series races at Bristol and repeated the feat in 2017. No other NASCAR Cup Series driver has ever swept three races at the same track in the same weekend—anywhere.

The qualifier is that Busch posted all but one of his eight Bristol victories with Joe Gibbs Racing. Last season he moved to Richard Childress Racing, and though he won three times in his maiden season with RCR, he has struggled of late.

A substantial share of the blame belongs to his pit crew, which hasn’t performed up to elite Cup Series standards. Busch swapped out three of his five over-the-wall crewmen last week at Phoenix.

Though the eight-time Bristol winner is offered at +1100 via DraftKings, we advise steering clear because of the pit crew issues.

Dirt Specialist Christopher Bell Looks Forward to Return to Concrete

Christopher Bell and Kyle Larson are the two most notable drivers in the Cup garage who refined their racing skills on dirt.

Bell won last year’s spring race at Bristol when it was contested on dirt. Yet Bell is content to race on concrete this year, based on his performances in the last two fall races at the track.

In 2022, the driver of the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota finished fourth in the Night Race. Last year, he ran third after winning the pole.

Bell has plenty of momentum. He won Sunday’s Cup race at Phoenix by a whopping 5.465 seconds. Though his price isn’t generous (+500 via DraftKings), we’re backing him this week while he’s on a roll.

Bell could become the only driver to win consecutive races at Bristol on two different surfaces.

How to Watch the Food City 500

  • What: Food City 500 NASCAR Cup Series Race

  • Where: Bristol Motor Speedway

  • When: Sunday, March 17, 3:30 p.m. ET

  • How to Watch: FOX

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Reid Spencer

NASCAR Betting Analyst

Betting Analyst
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.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor in Drama
Favourite Sportsbook: Caesars Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: FanDuel Casino
48 years
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