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Bristol. The history, short track racing and hot tempers make Bristol one of the most special places in the entire NASCAR world. Fans will come in from all over the world to see the cars race around the high banks of the World’s Fastest Half-Mile. Names are made on this short track in Bristol, Tennessee and every year, a new face is running up front. As the Sprint Cup Series rolls into Bristol for another race in the 2013 season, excitement is assumed to show up simply because it’s Bristol Baby! The revamped surface made for an incredible and classic Bristol race last August and more of the same is expected this weekend.
The Food City 500 is set to take place on St. Patrick’s Day (March 17th, 2013) and the green flag is anticipated to fall at 1:30 PM EST. The race will feature 500 action packed laps that make up 266.5 miles. The weather forecast for Sunday looks some-what disappointing since there is a 40% chance of showers and the high temperature is only expected to reach 52 F and the low will be 46 F. The race will be broadcasted live on FOX and a radio version of the broadcast can be heard on PRN.
During last year’s Food City 500, the race was not Bristol like and was even considered “boring.” This was the race that led to Bristol adjusting their surface to bring back the “Old Bristol.” An early pile-up in this race last year took out some big names including Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, Kevin Harvick and Kasey Kahne. Following that wreck, the race went on fairly calm with little beatin’ and bangin’ which is not like a Bristol race at all. Brad Keselowski went on to take the checkered flag to win his first race of the season on his way to his first championship. This weekend’s race will only be the second race on Bristol’s revamped surface but, if last Augusts’ race was any indication of what we will see on Sunday, we’re in for a show.
This race marks the first short track race for the Gen 6 car and we have very little idea if the Gen 6 car will affect the races at short tracks at all. If anything, the new car will make the racing even more exciting. Jimmie Johnson and Brad Keselowski have started the season on a torrid pace and they will look to keep their strong start going this weekend. Keselowski has had lots of luck at this track in the past few seasons but, he wrecked during last Augusts’ race on the revamped surface which sends mixed signals if Keselowski can get to victory lane on Sunday. Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth are always strong at Bristol and they will be in the mix for the win on Sunday. Lastly, we can’t forget Denny Hamlin who has won the only race on Bristol’s new surface which makes him a sure-bet to run up front on Sunday.
Bristol marks the first race where the points accumulated by the drivers so far this season will be put into play if qualifying were to get cancelled. This makes Jimmie Johnson grin since he leads the standings after three races. The champ, Brad Keselowski, is not too far behind and he will be looking to take-over the top spot in the standings this weekend. Ryan Newman, Danica Patrick and Kurt Busch are among drivers who will need to step it up this weekend to avoid falling too far behind in the points standings. All three of those drivers are flirting around thirtieth in the standings. After a great points weekend last Sunday, Kyle Busch will look to make even more gains in the points at Bristol. Points can be shaken-up after Bristol and that possibility is definitely promising to occur this weekend.
Bristol is a fan favorite track and everyone will be excited to see the cars on-track this weekend. The short-track racing feel that Bristol offers is one of a kind and that’s what makes Bristol special. Drivers love Bristol just as much of the fans do and they go all-out to get to victory lane every time we are in Thunder Valley. Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin are favorites to come out of Bristol on-top this weekend but, anyone could pull-into victory lane on Sunday. The Bristol race-weekend is here and that gets everyone excited. NASCAR is at its best at Bristol and some of the best racing of the year will be on display this weekend at Bristol. Get ready for a great show this weekend at Bristol because, it’s Bristol Baby!
12:00-1:30 PM EST (Friday) Sprint Cup Series Practice, televised on SPEED
3:40 PM EST (Friday) Sprint Cup Series Qualifying, televised on SPEED
9:00-10:00 AM EST (Saturday) Sprint Cup Series Practice, televised on SPEED
12:00-1:00 PM EST (Saturday) Sprint Cup Series Final Practice, televised on SPEED
1:00 PM EST (Sunday) Sprint Cup Series Race, the Food City 500, televised on FOX
Next Race- Auto Club 400 at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California