Much is on the line as Roush Fenway rolls into Bristol Motor Speedway looking for its18th NASCAR victory at the half-mile track noted for its intense hot summer night action.
With his dramatic come from behind win at Michigan, Greg Biffle reclaimed the Sprint Cup point lead, while teamate Matt Kenseth overcame tire isses to move to second. Biffle currently leads Kenseth by 20 points and has two wins over Kenseth’s one.
Bristol Motor Speedway ranks in the top five of virtually every category for Roush Fenway Racing in Sprint Cup competition. Roush Fenway’s 10 Cup wins at Bristol are the second most that the organization has at any track and the 11 poles are four more than RFR has at any other track. All in all, Roush Fenway has turned a total of 80,858 laps in Cup action at BMS and over 100,000 in NASCAR competition.
Roush Fenway turned its 100,000 laps of NSCAR action at Bristol in the spring. The team has completed over 50,000 miles of racing, while leading over 4,800 laps in 259 starts in 25 years of NASCAR action at Bristol.
Roush Fenway has won in all three of NASCAR’s major divisions at BMS, including 10 wins in the Cup Series. In addition, Roush Fenway has five wins at Bristol in the Nationwide Series. Overall Roush Fenway has won at Bristol 17 times in NASCAR competition, with six different drivers.
Carl Edwards is one of only three drivers in NASCAR history to have won in all three of NASCAR’s major divisions at Bristol. Mark Martin accomplished the feat as well, with each of his wins coming in a Roush Fenway entry. Edwards is one of only four drivers to accomplish the career sweep at any NASCAR track.
Roush Fenway’s history at BMS began on April 10, 1988 with the No. 6 Cup car almost winning Roush Fenway’s first race at the track and finishing second. Since that time, in addition to the organization’s 10 Cup wins at the track, Roush Fenway cars have finished second at BMS on 13 occasions (5 Cup, 4 NNS, 4 truck), including Edwards last spring (Cup). RFR has finished top two in Bristol 30 times in the past 24 seasons.
Roush Fenway’s history at Bristol has been that of hot streaks. Roush Fenway swept the track in 2003 and put a Cup car in victory lane at Bristol at least once in every season from 2002-2008. In addition, Roush Fenway has sent an entry to victory lane at Bristol in nine of the last 11 years.
Carl Edwards is currently on the outside looking in on the Chase, but a victory at Bristol – where he boasts two career Cup wins, would place him back in the Chase field with only two races remaining until the cutoff at Richmond.
Greg Biffle, #16 3M/Bondo Ford
Bristol Stats: Biffle has an average starting position of 13.4 and average finish of 11.8 at Bristol.
Point Standings: Biffle is currently leading the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver point standings; 20 points ahead second.
Follow: On Twitter fans can follow @163MTeam and @3MRacing for the latest info on Biffle and the No. 16 Pit Bulls.
Greg Biffle on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: “Bristol is always a race everyone looks forward to. The night race is exciting, lots of sparks, under the lights, the stands are packed and it’s kind of just the ambiance of the race and everything is pretty cool. Who knows what to expect there with the repave, or modification to the track surface. Will there be a second grove? How hard is it going to be to pass? What’s the track going to be like? I don’t think anyone knows until we get there.”
Crew chief Matt Puccia on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: “We are looking forward to Bristol. We had a strong run at the first race, we sat on the pole, led a bunch of laps, but a part failure at the end took us out of contention for the win. The new surface after grinding the top banking will be challenging, but I’m confident that the 3M team will be able to handle it.”
Matt Kenseth, #17 Valvoline NextGen Ford
In 25 Cup starts at Bristol, Kenseth has completed 12,225 of 12,513 laps (97.7 percent) and led for 897
Kenseth has an average starting position of 17.0 and an average finishing position of 11.6 at BMS
Kenseth has achieved two wins, 10 top-five and 17 top-10 finishes at Bristol in the Cup series
Kenseth has finished within the top ten in eight of his last ten starts at Bristol
This weekend at Bristol, Kenseth will pilot the No. 17 Valvoline NextGen Ford Fusion
Entering the weekend at Bristol, Kenseth is currently second in the NSCS driver point standings
Matt Kenseth on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: “I’m really not sure how the changes to the track surface at Bristol will affect the racing, but it should be interesting to see how it all works this weekend. If it turns out to be as slick as people are thinking it’s going to be, it’s going to be really tough to run side-by-side. It could be trouble if you’re running along someone and they decide to push you up into that top groove, so we’ll see how it all plays out.”
Crew chief Jimmy Fennig on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: “We’re going back to Bristol with the same car that we raced there earlier this season. We’ll unload with the same set-up we had back in March, but we’re going to need to work on that set-up since we need to learn about the new track surface since they changed the surface. We’ll be looking for more grip and more forward drive since I’m sure those will be the two areas we focus on with our Valvoline NextGen Ford this weekend.”
Carl Edwards, #99 Fastenal Ford
CARL EDWARDS enters Bristol 12th in the NASCAR Sprint Cup point standings, 38 points behind 10th place. He has earned two top-five and 11 top-10 finishes this season.
FOR THE RECORD… In 16 starts at the 0.533-mile bullring, Edwards has two wins, four top-five, seven top-10 finishes and two poles. His average start is 17.8, and his average finish is 13.9. Edwards has completed 7588 of 8013 (94.7%) laps attempted at Bristol.
IN THE LOOP… According to NASCAR’s Loop Statistics compiled over the last 16 races at Bristol, Edwards has turned 277 of the track’s fastest laps which is seventh highest, spent 4,897 laps (65.2%) in the top 15 and led a total of 300 laps (10th most).
ON THE TRACK…The No. 99 Blue Team will unload RK-811 for the weekend. This car first raced at Texas in April (finished eighth), Charlotte in May (finished ninth) and Kentucky in June (finished 20th).
REWIND, BRISTOL, AUGUST 2011… Edwards finished ninth and the top-10 finish clinched his spot in the 2011 Chase with two races remaining before the cut-off point.
Carl Edwards on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: “I haven’t seen the track since they changed it so I’m not exactly sure what to expect. Who knows what will happen. Any time you change a track like that there is no telling. It might make it a completely different race and I guess in the end that is what they are trying to do. I think all of us are hoping for a really good race. We’ve had some success there so I feel like we can go there and win, and that is what we need right now. It would be huge to get the Fastenal Ford in victory lane.”
Crew chief Chad Norris on racing at Bristol Motor Speedway: “Bristol is a lot of fun when you are running well and running up front, although it can turn on you pretty quickly. It doesn’t take much to get caught up in someone else’s mess, which is what happened to Carl in the spring race. We know we need to get a win this weekend to keep our Chase hopes alive so that is what our game plan is for the weekend.”