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 24; 7:43 p.m./et.
Weather: Partly cloudy with a daytime high around 83; wind out of the ENE at 5 mph. Chance of precipitation is ZERO.
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. Brad 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. Saturday’s 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.
44 cars will attempt to qualify for 43 spots.
Fantasy Cheat Sheet:
No. 2 Brad Keselowski: Keselowski has won two of the past four races at Bristol. There is no reason to think he can’t make it three-out-of-five.
No. 18 Kyle Busch: Rowdy has had one of the top cars in 16 of the past 17 races at Bristol. There is a good chance he can take the checkers again on Saturday.
No. 48 Jimmie Johnson: Johnson had one of the fastest cars in the past eight Bristol races and won the 2010 spring race. He will be tough to beat.
No. 20 Matt Kenseth: Kenseth has 17 top 10 finishes in 27 career starts and has led 804 laps during the last 15 races at the track. He is a great option on Saturday.
No. 11 Denny Hamlin: Hamlin won last year’s Night Race at Bristol and has led 469 laps in the past 13 races at the track. He should have the No. 11 inside the top five when the dust settles.
6 to 10
No. 24 Jeff Gordon: Gordon has five wins and has led nearly 2,500 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 13 races at Bristol and has placed in the top 16 in 11 of the past 14 races at the track. He is a great pick.
No. 29 Kevin Harvick: Harvick has 12 top 10 finishes in 25 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 22 starts at the track he has finished 17th or better in 22 of them. Look for him to finish just inside the top 10.
No. 15 Clint Bowyer: Bowyer has cracked the top 10 in eight of his last 13 starts at Bristol. He should notch another top 10 on Saturday.
11 to 20
No. 5 Kasey Kahne: Kahne has led 10- laps and won at Bristol this spring. He is a great choice again this weekend.
No. 78 Kurt Busch: Busch has won five races at Bristol during his career and was awesome at the track in 2010. He is a very nice option.
No. 16 Greg Biffle: Biffle has 11 top 10 finishes in 21 career starts at Bristol. He is a very good fantasy option.
No. 56 Martin Truex Jr.: The success Truex Jr. had at Bristol while in the Nationwide Series has finally carried over with four consecutive top 12 finishes. He should flirt with the top 15 again this visit to the track.
No. 14 Mark Martin: Martin takes over the No. 14 car for Tony Stewart, who will miss the remainder of the season due to a broken leg. Bristol isn’t one of Martin’s best tracks, but he is worth using if you can get him for a bargain price in your fantasy league as he will drive top equipment for most of the remainder of the season.
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 10 finishes in the top 10, two in the teens, and five finishes in the 30s during his last 17 races at Bristol. His inconsistency bumps him out of our top 15.
No. 9 Marcos Ambrose: Ambrose has averaged a 17th 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 eight of his past 12 Bristol starts. We like his chances to do it again on Saturday.
No. 22 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 10 of the last 12 Bristol races. He should do it again this weekend.
No. 43 Aric Almirola: Bristol isn’t one of better tracks. Avoid him this weekend.
No. 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.: Normally we love Stenhouse Jr., but rookies are always risky at Bristol.
No. 55 Brian Vickers: Vickers has been very average at Bristol. There are better options to sneak onto your roster.
No. 1 Jamie McMurray: McMurray has finished outside the top 20 in nine of the last 17 races at Bristol. We don't recommend using him as much more than a fourth or fifth fantasy driver this weekend.
No. 13 Casey Mears: Mears won’t do enough in the No. 13 car to warrant using in most fantasy leagues.
No. 47 Bobby Labonte: Bobby hasn’t done much this year. He isn’t much of an option.
No. 10 Danica Patrick: We have very little faith in Danica at this difficult track.
No. 83 David Reutimann: Reutimann has averaged a 24th place finish at Bristol. He is not much more than a dreaded field filler.
No. 34 David Ragan: Ragan continues to struggle at Bristol. He isn’t a fantasy option this weekend.
No. 51 Ryan Truex
No. 87 Joe Nemechek
No. 93 Travis Kvapil
No. 36 J.J. Yeley
No. 38 David Gilliland
No. 32 Ken Schrader
No. 7 Dave Blaney
No. 19 Mike Bliss
No. 30 David Stremme
No. 33 Landon Cassill
No. 35 Josh Wise
No. 40 Tony Raines
No. 95 Scott Speed
No. 98 Michael McDowell
My Yahoo! Fantasy NASCAR Team for this Week:
A. Brad Keselowski
B. Kyle Busch
B. Kurt Busch
C. Casey Mears