This past week, Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee hosted night races for all three NASCAR premier series. On Wednesday night the Camping World Truck Series held the UNOH 200. The Nationwide Series ran their Food City 250 on Friday night and the Sprint Cup Series’ IRWIN Tools Night Race was featured on Saturday night.
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
Qualifying was cancelled due to weather conditions. The 43 drivers who made the race were from the top-35 in owners’ points and teams with the most race attempts. The field was then set by practice speeds from the first practice. No. 13 Ford driver Casey Mears was the fastest in the first practice and will start on the pole but will not be awarded the Coors Light Pole Award. Mears led 26 laps, finished 21st in the race and moved up one spot to 26th in the point standings.
Did Not Qualify:
No. 95 Scott Speed, No. 79 Kelly Bires, No. 91 Reed Sorenson and No. 37 J.J. Yeley.
Denny Hamlin won the IRWIN Tools Night Race, his 20th victory in 247 NSCS races. This is the No. 11 Toyota driver's third victory and 12th top-10 finish in 2012. It is his first victory and seventh top-10 finish in 14 races at Bristol Motor Speedway. Hamlin moved up two spots to eighth in the 2012 NSCS point standings.
Rookie of the Race:
Josh Wise, the No. 26 Ford driver, started 32nd and finished 38th. This was ahead of the rest of the 2012 Rookie of the Year contenders earning him the Rookie of the Race award. Wise, who made 22 of the 24 races so far this season, is currently 39th in the points.
- Joey Logano won the $5,400 3M Lap Leader Award for leading the most laps (139 of 500).
- Toyota Racing Development won the $5,000 Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award (Denny Hamlin’s No. 11).
- Joey Logano won the $5,000 American Ethanol Green Flag Restart award for recording the fastest average speed on restarts and finishing the race on the lead lap. He started the No. 20 Toyota fourth and finished in eighth place. Logano is 18th in the point standings.
- Denny Hamlin’s crew chief, Darian Grubb, won the DIRECTV Crew Chief of the Race award. The $5,000 cash award is presented to the crew chief of the driver who demonstrates the best qualifying and race finish for each event. Hamlin started the No. 11 Toyota eighth in the lineup and won the race.
- Chad Knaus, crew chief on Jimmie Johnson’s No. 48 Chevrolet, won the Moog Problem Solver of the Race award. The $5,500 award goes to the crew chief that improves the most from the first half of the race to the second half utilizing the 40 best lap times (improved 0.215 seconds).
- Jimmie Johnson won the $5,000 USG Improving the Finish Award which goes to the driver who improves the most from start to finish. Johnson started 37th in the lineup and improved 35 places to finish in second place.
- Denny Hamlin won the $5,000 Mobil 1 Command Performance Driver of the Race award given to the winner of the race or the next-highest finishing driver displaying the Mobil 1 decal.
Greg Biffle leads the point standings by 11 points over Jimmie Johnson.
NSCS Top 12 (G/L):
1. Greg Biffle +1
2. Jimmie Johnson +2
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. 0
4. Matt Kenseth -2
5. Martin Truex Jr. +1
6. Clint Bowyer +1
7. Brad Keselowski -2
8. Denny Hamlin +2
9. Kevin Harvick -1
10. Tony Stewart -1
11. Kasey Kahne 0
12. Carl Edwards 0
Clinched a spot in the 2012 Chase for the Sprint Cup: Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr.
Next NSCS Race:
AdvoCare 500, Sunday (night), September 2nd at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
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NASCAR Nationwide Series
Trevor Bayne received a $3,400 check for winning the Coors Light Pole Award for the Food City 250 with a lap of 121.190 mph. This is the No. 60 Ford driver's fifth pole in 85 NNS races. It is his first pole and fifth top-10 start in 2012. It is Bayne's first pole in eight races at Bristol Motor Speedway. He was passed on the first lap, never led a lap and finished in 16th place. Bayne, who only made six of the 23 races so far this season, moved up four spots to 24th in the point standings.
Did Not Qualify:
No. 89 Morgan Shepherd, No. 47 Stephen Leicht and No. 00 Blake Koch.
Sprint Cup regular Joey Logano won the Food City 250, his 15th victory in 103 NNS races. This is the No. 18 Toyota driver's sixth victory and 11th top-10 finish in 2012. The six wins in a single-season is a career high. This is his first victory and sixth top-10 finish in eight races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Rookie of the Race:
Austin Dillon, the No. 3 Chevrolet driver, started fourth and finished fourth. This was ahead of the rest of the 2012 Rookie of the Year contenders earning him the Sunoco Rookie of the Race award.
- Cole Whitt makes the most improvement in the series since his sixth place finish was 27 places better than his last NNS finish. This earned the No. 88 Chevrolet driver a $2,600 check and the Featherlite Most Improved Driver award.
- Austin Dillon won the $2,000 Mobil 1 Driver of the Race award given to the winner of the race or the next-highest finishing driver displaying the Mobil 1 decal.
- Kevin Harvick won the $2,200 3M Lap Leader award as the eligible driver leading the most laps (98 of 250) in the No. 33 Chevrolet.
- Joe Gibbs Racing Engines won the $2,100 Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award. They built the engine in Joey Logano’s No. 18 Toyota.
Elliott Sadler leads the point standings by 19 points over Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
NNS Top 10 (G/L):
1. Elliott Sadler 0
2. Ricky Stenhouse Jr. 0
3. Sam Hornish Jr. 0
4. Austin Dillon 0
5. Justin Allgaier 0
6. Michael Annett 0
7. Cole Whitt 0
8. Mike Bliss 0
9. Brian Scott 0
10. Danica Patrick +1
Next NNS Race:
NRA American Warrior 300, Saturday (night), September 1st at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
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NASCAR Camping World Truck Series:
Cale Gale received a $2,300 check for winning the Keystone Light Pole Award at Bristol Motor Speedway for the UNOH 200 with a lap of 122.560 mph. This is the No. 33 Chevrolet Silverado driver's first pole in 23 NCWTS races. This is Gale's eighth top-10 start in 2012. He never led a lap, was involved in a wreck with about seven laps to go and was credited with a 28th place finish. He is currently 13th in the 2012 NCWTS points.
Did Not Qualify:
No. 36 Grant Enfinger, No. 0 Brandon Knupp, No. 68 Clay Greenfield and No. 10 Jennifer Jo Cobb.
Timothy Peters won the UNOH 200, his fifth victory in 131 NCWTS races. This is the No. 17 Toyota Tundra driver's second victory and 10th top-10 finish in 2012. Peters' 204 laps led are the most in series history at Bristol, and a career-high. He is the second driver in series history at Bristol to lead every lap.
Rookie of the Race:
Ross Chastain won the Sunoco Rookie of the Race award since his third place finish in the No. 08 Toyota Tundra was better than the rest of the 2012 ROTY contenders. Chastain is currently 16th in the point standings.
- Ross Chastain started third and his 15th place finish was 15 places better than his last NCWTS finish. This earned the No. 08 Toyota Tundra driver $2,200 and the Featherlite Most Improved Driver award.
- Timothy Peters won the $1,500 Mobil 1 Driver of the Race award. It is given to the winner of the race or the next-highest finishing driver displaying the Mobil 1 decal.
- Joe Gibbs Engines (Peters’ No. 17 Toyota Tundra) wins the $1,900 Mahle Clevite Engine Builder of the Race award. The award is determined by qualifying and finishing position of the truck.
Timothy Peters leads the standings by 17 points over James Buescher.
NCWTS Top 10 (G/L):
1. Timothy Peters 0
2. James Buescher +1
3. Ty Dillon -1
4. Justin Lofton 0
5. Parker Kligerman 0
6. Matt Crafton 0
7. Joey Coulter 0
8. Ron Hornaday Jr. +1
9. Nelson Piquet Jr. -1
10. Jason White 0
Next NCWTS Race:
Jeff Foxworthy’s Grit Chips 200, Friday, August 31st at Atlanta Motor Speedway.