The NASCAR Sprint Cup makes its next stop at Bristol Motor Speedway's half-mile coliseum for the Irwin Tools Night Race. We looked at past performances, season trends, and spoke to team contacts to give the internet’s best prediction of how the field should finish.
When: Saturday, August 25; 7:43 p.m./et.
Weather: Partly Cloudy with a daytime high around 83; wind out of the SE at 4 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
The Track: Bristol Motor Speedway
Bristol Motor Speedway is a half-mile oval with high-banking the entire way around. The corners are banked 36 degrees with 16 degree banking on the straight-aways. This is a track where very few drivers have been able to dominate. Brade Keselowski, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, and Jeff Gordon have all had decent success at the track, but that status can change with one nudge to the left-rear bumper.
Key to Race: DON'T BRING YOUR BEST CAR
The Bullring inBristolhas been described a flying an airplane in a gymnasium. There will be no cars that escape Saturday's race without at least a little sheet metal damage. The night race is one of the most entertaining races on the circuit for fans and most frustrating for drivers. Expect tempers to flare as the cars bump and bang. The driver that wins the race will be the one with the best set of pit stops and the most luck.
47 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots. If the first practice is run, but qualifying is unable to take place, the starting lineup will be based on speeds from the car's fastest lap from the first practice, with top-35 cars in owner points no longer segregated from the non-top 35 cars. Previously, the top 35 cars lined up in front of all other eligible car owners.
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski has won the past two races at Bristol. There is no reason to think he can’t make it three-consecutive.
No. 18 Kyle Busch: Rowdy has had one of the top cars in 14 of the past 15 races at Bristol. There is a good chance he can take the checkers again on Saturday.
No. 17 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth has 17 top 10 finishes in 25 career starts and has led 694 laps during the last 13 races at the track. He is a great option on Saturday.
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson had one of the fastest cars in the past seven Bristol races and won the 2010 spring race. He will be tough to beat.
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle has 11 top 10 finishes in 19 career starts at Bristol. He is a very good fantasy option.
6 to 10
No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon has five wins and has led over 2,400 laps at Bristol during his career. He should be in the top 10 once again on Saturday.
No. 99 Carl Edwards: Edwards won two of the last 11 races at Bristol and has placed in the top 16 in 11 of the past 12 races at the track. He is a great pick.
No. 14 Tony Stewart: Stewart has led 771 laps in the past 13 races at Bristol. He will just miss the top five this visit to beautiful Tennessee.
No. 29 Kevin Harvick: Harvick has 12 top 10 finishes in 23 career races at Bristol. He is once again a driver to consider.
No. 88 Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Junior has been decent at Bristol in his career. In his last 21 starts at the track he has finished 17th or better in 20 of them. Look for him to finish just inside the top 10.
11 to 20
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin has led 282 laps in the past 11 races at Bristol. He should have the No. 11 inside the top 15 when the dust settles.
No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.: The success Truex Jr. had at Bristol while in the Nationwide Series has finally carried over with back-to-back top three finishes. He should flirt with the top 15 again this visit to the track.
No. 15 Clint Bowyer: Bowyer has cracked the top 10 in six of his last 11 starts at Bristol. He should just miss the top 10 on Saturday.
No. 5 Kasey Kahne: Kahne has been hit-or-miss at Bristol lately. He should just crack the top 15 this weekend.
No. 31 Jeff Burton: Burton won the 2008 spring race at Bristol and has been fast at the track lately. He will be fighting for another top 15 finish this weekend.
No. 39 Ryan Newman: Newman has nine finishes in the top 10, two in the teens, and four finishes in the 30s during his last 15 races at Bristol. He is a good bet for a top 15 finish again this trip to the track.
No. 51 Kurt Busch: Busch has won five races at Bristol during his career and was awesome at the track in 2010. He is a decent option.
No. 9 Marcos Ambrose: Ambrose has averaged a 15th place finish at Bristol during his career. The Terrific Tasmanian is worth using in all leagues this visit to the Volunteer State.
No. 42 Juan Pablo Montoya: Montoya has cracked the top 20 in seven of his past 10 Bristol starts. We like his chances to do it again on Saturday.
No. 20 Joey Logano: Logano has struggled a little at Bristol so far in his career, but we have a feeling he will be a little better this trip to the Bullring.
21 to 30
No. 27 Paul Menard: Menard has cracked the top 25 in eight of the last 10 Bristol races. He should do it again this weekend.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray: McMurray has finished outside the top 20 in eight of the last 15 races at Bristol. Even, with his strong finish this spring we don't recommend using him as much more than a fourth or fifth fantasy driver this weekend.
No. 47 Bobby Labonte: Bobby is driving well this year and has been fast at Bristol in the past. He isn’t a terrible option.
No. 22 Sam Hornish Jr.: Hornish has struggled at Bristol in his career. We advise avoiding him.
No. 78 Regan Smith: Smith has averaged a top 25 finish at Bristol. He will around his average this weekend.
No. 43 Aric Almirola: Almirola is the definition of a middle-packer. He won’t help you or hurt you.
No. 10 Danica Patrick: We have very little faith in Danica at this difficult track.
No. 55 Brian Vickers: Vickers has been very average at Bristol. There are better options to sneak onto your roster.
No. 34 David Ragan: Ragan continues to struggle at Bristol. He isn’t a fantasy option this weekend.
No. 13 Casey Mears: Mears won’t do enough in the No. 13 car to warrant using in most fantasy leagues.
No. 38 David Gilliland
No. 83 Landon Cassill
No. 36 Dave Blaney
No. 93 Travis Kvapil
No. 32 Ken Schrader
No. 33 Stephen Leicht
No. 49 Jason Leffler
No. 37 J.J. Yeley
No. 87 Joe Nemechek
No. 91 Reed Sorenson
No. 98 Michael McDowell
No. 23 Scott Riggs
No. 30 David Stremme
No. 95 Scott Speed
No. 19 Mike Bliss
No. 26 Josh Wise
No. 79 Kelly Bires
Martin Truex Jr.
Bust of the Week: