NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES
Race #: 24 of 36
Bristol Motor Speedway
Saturday, Aug. 25 on ABC, 7 p.m. (ET)
Track Size: 0.533-miles
Banking/Corners: 26 degrees
Banking/Frontstretch: 5 to 9 degrees
Banking/Backstretch: 4 to 8 degrees
Distance: 266.5 miles (500 laps)
Award-winning singer/songwriter Jamey Johnson to play Bristol pre-race concert
In addition to writing most of his own material, Johnson has co-written singles for Trace Adkins, George Strait and Joe Nichols.
On Livin’ For A Song: A Tribute to Hank Cochran Johnson teams up with Willie Nelson to sing “Don’t You Ever Get Tired Of Hurting Me,” and the duo is joined by Leon Russell and Vince Gill on “Everything But You.” Other songs include “Living for a Song,” with Johnson, Nelson, Merle Haggard and Kris Kristofferson and Patsy Cline’s hit “I Fall To Pieces,” with Johnson and Haggard.
“Lawless,” billed as a “Western crime film”, set in Virginia’s Franklin County, stars Shia LaBeouf and will be released at the end of August.
For more information, please call the BMS ticket office at 1-866-415-4158 or visit www.bristoltix.com.
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Each guest arriving at their seat to watch the IRWIN Tools Night Race,will find two surprises: a flag to wave at the start of the event, as well as a coupon for $10 off at Outback on any two entrees. Outback gives fans a free Bloomin’ Onion the Monday immediately following a Sprint Cup race if Ryan Newman finishes among the top 10.
Unhappy with the on-track activities in March, Speedway Motorsports Inc.’s Bruton Smith fired up his heavy equipment and set to work milling down the top groove of the 0.533-mile oval’s progressive banking.
Whether this brings back the “old,” pre-2007 Bristol, in which racing was primarily punctuated with passing via bumps and gouges, remains to be seen. The progressive banking produced side-by-side competition in which passes could be executed without re-arranging a competitor’s doors and fenders and significantly reduced caution periods.
Greg Biffle is back atop the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series standings following last Sunday’s Pure Michigan 400 victory. Biffle won for the second time this season, giving him three additional bonus points when the standings are reset for the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup™, which begins Sept. 16 at Chicagoland Speedway.
The driver of Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 16 3M Ford largely had dropped out of the championship conversation after losing the points lead in early June.
Biffle’s the third different points leader in as many weeks following Jimmie Johnson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. The provisional Chase seedings haven’t moved since Indianapolis when Johnson won for the third time to match victory totals of reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart and Brad Keselowski.
Biffle is the 10th consecutive different winner – a run that began at Pocono Raceway in early June. The top four in the championship standings – Biffle, Matt Kenseth, Earnhardt and Johnson – have separated themselves from the next six contenders.
Biffle has been the most consistent, posting top 10s and a win in four of his past five races. Earnhardt and Johnson each have three top 10s. Kenseth has a single top five and two finishes outside the top 20.
Kasey Kahne and Ryan Newman retained the provisional “Wild Cards” in Michigan. Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon, Marcos Ambrose and Joey Logano must wait for another day – or in the case of Bristol, night – to oust their rivals. Hope remains for non-winners Carl Edwards, Paul Menard, Jamie McMurray and Jeff Burton.
Kahne holds the best cards: Two victories to his challengers’ one or zero. He’s also only 33 points out of the top 10 and the possibility of entering the Chase with at least six bonus points.]
With track changes expected to make track position and pit selection crucial, Gordon’s ability to qualify is an asset. The four-time champion’s average start (8.3) is best in the field and his Driver Rating (99.8) trails only Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth. Jeff Gordon’s last Bristol victory came in 2002.
- Practice - 12 p.m. ET and 2:30 p.m. Friday on SPEED
- Qualifying - 5 p.m. ET Friday on ESPN2
Ten drivers in all have a mathematical chance at clinching a Chase spot. Seven can secure a top-10 berth in the Chase this Saturday at Bristol Motor Speedway. Regardless of what any other driver does, points leader Greg Biffle will clinch with a finish of 28th with no laps led, 29th with at least one lap led and 30th with the most laps led. The scenario for Matt Kenseth is eighth with no laps led, ninth with at least one lap led and 10th with most laps led. Dale Earnhardt Jr. lands a spot in the postseason with finishes of sixth with no laps led, seventh with at least one lap led and eighth with the most laps led. Five-time NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson will punch his Chase ticket with a victory or second-place finish while leading the most laps.
Brad Keselowski, Martin Truex Jr. and Clint Bowyer also can reserve spots in the Chase but are not yet in charge of the their own destinies. The magic number is 97. Any driver 97 points ahead of 11th place leaving Bristol will officially clinch a top 10 spot.
Those who can clinch at least a Wild Card: Brad Keselowski, Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Kasey Kahne and Clint Bowyer. A win and Keselowski and Stewart are in. Hamlin, Kahne and Bowyer have to win on Saturday night, and get some help.
Bristol Motor Speedway boasts one of the more unique driver introductions in all of NASCAR, as drivers choose their own entrance music as they walk down the stage in turn 3. This weekend, an added buzz will surround the festivities, as Michael Buffer – of “Let’s Get Ready To Rumble” fame – will announce all 43 drivers.
NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES
Race #23 of 33
Bristol Motor Speedway
Friday, Aug. 24, on ESPN, 7 p.m. (ET)
Distance: 133.24 miles (250 laps)
In 1995, Food City signed on for three years as associate sponsor of the No. 3 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet, owned by Richard Childress and driven by the late Dale Earnhardt. In commemoration, the regional grocer has named Richard Childress as honorary starter of the 20th Anniversary Food City 250. Childress will wave the green flag to signal the start of the August 24, 2012 event.
Trevor Bayne (hometown: Knoxville) returns to his home state for this weekend’s NNS Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway with a paint scheme honoring one of the state’s biggest icons, University of Tennessee Head Women’s Basketball Coach Emeritus Pat Summitt. Bayne will be driving the Roush Fenway Racing-owned No. 60 Yourracecar.com Ford Mustang sporting the phrase “We Back Pat.” The Volunteer-orange race car is part of a promotion to raise awareness for The Pat Summitt Foundation, which raises funds and awareness for the battle against Alzheimer’s. Summitt will serve as Grand Marshal of the Food City 250 on Friday night. In 38 years at UT, Summitt led the Lady Volunteers to eight NCAA titles.
- Practice: 9 a.m. ET Fri. (TV: 10 a.m. ET) on SPEED
- Qualifying - 3:30 p.m. ET Friday on SPEED
This weekend, Danica Patrick will be pulling double-duty by competing in both the NASCAR Sprint Cup and NASCAR Nationwide races. She won’t be alone. Kyle Busch, Sam Hornish Jr., Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Kasey Kahne, Joe Nemechek, Scott Riggs and Josh Wise will also attempt to run both races.
Brad Keselowski is the only driver slated to pull triple-duty in all three national series races.
NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES
Race #13 of 22
Bristol Motor Speedway
Wednesday, Aug. 22 on SPEED, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Distance: 106.6 miles (200 laps)
Kyle Busch Motorsports remains winless in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series but this could be the week the drought ends. No, Kyle won’t be gunning for a fourth Bristol Motor Speedway victory, but KBM has another concrete specialist in the team’s No. 18 Toyota.
Brian Scott will make his second start of the year for KBM having finished 13th at Dover International Speedway in June. Scott’s only NCWTS victory came at Dover in 2009. He currently drives for Joe Gibbs Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series, where he ranks ninth in the standings.
- Practice: 10 a.m. ET and Noon, Wed. (not aired)
- Qualifying - 4:35 p.m. ET Wed. (TV: 5 p.m. ET) on SPEED
Other NCWTS highlights:
Jack Sprague (1999) and Travis Kvapil (2003) also won at Bristol in their championship seasons. … Johnny Benson was the last NCWTS regular to win in Thunder Valley in 2007. Five of the last six races have been won by NASCAR Sprint Cup veterans. Brad Keselowski and Brendan Gaughan are the only NSCS points-eligible drivers entered this year. … Ryan Blaney makes series debuts this week driving for Brad Keselowski Racing. … Jason White (second) and Sunoco Rookie Dakoda Armstrong (third) posted career-best finishes in Michigan.
Sources: NASCAR Media, BristolMotorspeedway.com