Last week’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway was supposed to give us our first indication of who might be a championship contender for this year. Some drivers look good while others hope it isn’t an indication of their championship hopes. Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle, Ryan Newman and Carl Edwards were in the top five at the NASCAR staple 1.5 mile speedway. Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski and Matt Kenseth did not fare too well. They have a week off from the typical NASCAR tracks to pick it back up. This week’s race is at the iconic NASCAR race track called Bristol Motor Speedway. This week’s race is the Food City 500.
The Bristol Motor Speedway is a 1/2 mile high banked race track located in an NFL stadium. Ok, so it doesn’t fit into a NFL stadium but if you look at it from above it kind of looks like an NFL stadium. It seats 160,000 fans all the way around the track like a football game. That’s 50,000 more seats than the largest football stadium in America.
Track position will be important to winning this race just like the last few races. Since they repaved the track in 2007 there has been more side by side racing but track position is still important because it is still very hard to complete a pass. You can pass on the bottom by passing your opponent and sliding up in front of him. The hope is that he lifts and lets you in. Even though the racing looks different than before the repaving, the best way to pass is still to push the car in front of you out of the way.
Tempers will be flaring between the drivers before, during and after this race. Yes, before the race. Some of these drivers will have raced Saturday in the other series and will have issues with one another. Some other drivers still have issues with one another from some of the previous races. This is the place where payback or maybe just a lack of patience with one another will happen.
Kyle Busch has won five of the last 10 races here and has the highest driver rating of 107. Brad Keselowski won the race in the fall. Jimmie Johnson won this race two years ago. Other drivers who are good here, in order of driver rating, Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Greg Biffle, Kurt Busch, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman and Tony Stewart. Kurt Busch dominated this track before his brother Kyle Busch but has not been doing well at all with his new team and equipment. If you are picking 10 drivers for a Fantasy League you might want to replace Kurt Busch with Denny Hamlin.
If you cannot get to the Bristol Motor Speedway to watch in person it is this Sunday on Fox at 12:30 PM ET. Follow me on Twitter @brian_jr1.