Sleeper Picks for the 2020 NASCAR Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race

| September 17, 2020 1:04 am PDT

I’ll keep this short as I know you’re here to check out sleepers for the 2020 Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race and not to hear me ramble on about how the NASCAR Cup Series waits for no man…

But with just nine slots left to fill for the Round of 12, another four drivers will see their hopes of lifting the Bill France Cup shattered at the Bristol Motor Speedway this Saturday, September 19. That’s just the way she goes.

Beyond that, there will still be a driver from anywhere in the field. Could that driver be one of my sleeper picks?

I have some odds here for you below that might be to your liking. Check ’em out!

Clint Bowyer +1400

Since February 2017, no active driver has a better record at Bristol than Clint Bowyer. 

Driving the #14 Ford Mustang for Stewart-Haas Racing, Bowyer will be looking to put his experience on the track to work this Saturday. He’s certainly in with a chance.

Bowyer has an average finish of 7.29 from seven starts at “Thunder Valley,” which is comprised of two top-fives and six top-tens from an average start of 14.1. His best finish on the track is 2nd, which was achieved in both the Supermarket Heroes 500 in May of this year, and the Food City 500 in April 2017.

Although winless in 2020, Bowyer might come good when the heat is on for places in the next round.

I’ll admit +1400 isn’t an iconic price, but it’s solid given his consistency here. Oh, and did I mention that he has three wins on short tracks like Martinsville and Richmond?

Kurt Busch +1400

Another decent shout here is Kurt Busch, who has an impressive record at Bristol himself.

Busch won the 2018 edition of the Bass Pro Shops Night Race and finished 9th in 2019. Since 2017, he has that sole win, as well as three top-fives and seven top-tens. 

With an average finish of 10.14 from seven starts here, he deserves respect. But more than this, his six wins at Bristol make him a driver that you cannot easily ignore. 

Busch also has two career wins at both Martinsville and Richmond, making him a dangerous prospect on short tracks. 

Although he is winless this season, he has four top-fives as well as 11 top-tens to his name. I wouldn’t turn my back on Busch this weekend.

Jimmie Johnson +2200

The seven-time Cup Series king just missed out on a playoff place, but he still has a few races to run before he calls it quits.

Johnson’s most impressive result this season was finishing third. He did so at Bristol in May, and also clocked third at Dover last month, too.

The NASCAR legend has been in fine form on this track since February 2017. He won the Food City 500 in April of that same year, and also put together an impressive three top-fives and five top-tens in his last ten starts.

We know that playoff drivers usually win playoff races. But how incredible would it be to see Johnson get a win this season?

Odds of +2200 says he can replicate this famous finish.

Matt Kenseth +6600

My final sleeper for the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race is Matt Kenseth.

If you’re looking for a genuine long shot, he could be your man. After all, he has an average finish of 8.00 from an average start of 13.7 since February 2017. Kenseth also has two top-fives and two top-tens from just three starts in that time frame.

Nice, huh? Sure. But get this — the NASCAR veteran has three career wins at “Thunder Valley,” the last of which came in 2015. That’s not a bad return at all, as his average finish of 13.79 from 39 career starts indicates.

He has a chance of upsetting the applecart, most definitely. But will you bet on Kenseth to win this year’s race?

And That’s It

Now that you have my four sleepers for the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race on Saturday night, feel free to do with them as you please.

This is playoffs season, so things tend to be less open when it comes to shocks and surprises. That’s not to say that they don’t happen, but they are certainly not as prevalent as in the regular season.

For that reason, you might be interested in taking a look at my top pick to win the 2020 Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race. The odds might not be as attractive as they are for some of the names above. But there’s a reason for that.

Can you guess who I’ve gone for?

Adam Haynes

Adam is a sports writer and tipster with a strong background in MMA, boxing, and combat sports.

When Adam isn't writing about those, as well as politics, rugby, and Gaelic Games, he can be found working on methods and strategies to beat the bookies.

For his troubles, Adam is a fan of Leinster Rugby, Glasgow Celtic, and trusting the process.

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