Food City 500
WHERE: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway
TRACK TYPE: .533-mile banked concrete oval
RACE DISTANCE: 500 laps, 266.5 miles
WEATHER: High near 60 with a 50 percent chance of rain.
TV: Coverage begins at noon on Fox. Green flag is 1:16 p.m.
RADIO: Performance Racing Network (94.3 FM in Columbia area)
Three things to watch
1 Matt Kenseth is fresh off his first win with Joe Gibbs Racing and enters a track on which he has enjoyed success before. Can he make it two in a row?
2 Kyle Busch has five Cup wins at Bristol but in those victories he never started better than 12th. Today, Busch starts from the pole for the first time.
3 Danica Patrick’s first visit to Bristol last August in the Cup series was going fairly well — running in the Top 20 and on the lead lap — when she got caught in an accident with 66 laps remaining.
• While any publicity might seem like good publicity, there are instances when the philosophy should be abandoned. Two such cases occurred Friday. Jeremy Clements, who was reinstated by NASCAR last week after being suspended for using a racial slur in an interview, elected to do a media availability at the track. He didn’t say anything controversial. In fact, he was gracious. The problem is you can’t write another story about what Clements said without in some way referring to the reason why he was suspended in the first place. It’s likely a topic NASCAR would like to see disappear from the headlines. And then there’s Denny Hamlin. After a statement Thursday in which NASCAR said it considered Hamlin’s case “closed,” it seems to me it would have been in Hamlin’s best interests to leave the issue behind him. Instead, he chose to appear before the media on Friday and restated his belief he was in the right, belittled some of his fellow drivers for not having a “backbone” and said NASCAR could go about the business of getting its “credibility” back. Not sure that will go over well, either.
Jim Utter, The Charlotte Observer
|9.||56||Martin Truex, Jr..||Toyota||127.946|
|17.||42||Juan Pablo Montoya||Chevy||127.47|
|28.||17||Ricky Stenhouse, Jr..||Ford||126.528|
|29.||51||A J Allmendinger||Chevy||126.42|
|32.||88||Dale Earnhardt, Jr..||Chevy||125.947|