With one of the few off-weekends behind us, the Cup and Nationwide series both pull into Bristol for the Spring event. For some reason, I am not really a fan of Bristol, although I feel the racing here has much improved since the repaving where cars can actually pass one another without the use of the bumper. I do still enjoy Richmond more than Bristol but Bristol has moved past Martinsville on my list of short-track events. The forecast looks good for Saturday and only a chance of showers for Sunday which could be much worse this time of year.
During the off-week NASCAR tested the new spoiler to replace the wing at Dega and plans to implement it come Martinsville, even though the real test on the wing won?t be felt until the cars hit 200 at Texas in a few weeks. This race also marks the last race where the lineup uses the 2009 standings so hopefully next week qualifying will be a little less predictable and some of the pressure will finally be off Scott Speed. One last note before I go into drivers to watch, if I was Brad I would give Carl a couple shots this week. I am not saying spin him out but just let him know you are there. Brad is not on probation and we all know that Carl is quick-tempered so who knows what could happen. I am just saying.
Drivers to watch:
Kyle Busch: In the 6 COT races at the track, he has won 3 of them and finished in the Top 10 in 5 of the races averaging a 5th place finish.
Carl Edwards: Like Kyle, Carl in the other multi-race winner at Bristol in the COT car. Carl is very hit or miss though. His two wins are his only 2 Top 10?s in those 6 races.
Jimmie Johnson: Of course I am going to say his name. He finished Top 10 in both races here last year and led both events.
Greg Biffle: In his 6 races at Thunder Valley Greg has 5 Top 11?s and one engine failure. Three of those finishes in the Top 5 including a 4th last fall in an event he led.
Dark Horse of the Race- Marcos Ambrose: In his two starts at the track, Marcos has finished 10th and 3rd.
Kevin Harvick: In the past 10 events at the track, Harvick is the only driver to win more than once. In 9 events Harvick has 2 wins, 6 Top 5?s, and 8 Top 10?s.
Carl Edwards: In both races last year Carl started and finished in second place as well as led some laps. He is also a past winner here when he won this event in 2007.
Kyle Busch: Since 2005 Kyle has run 9 races where he has 1 win, 3 Top 5?s and 6 Top 10?s. Last Spring Kyle led more than half the event before finishing in 6th.
Brad Keselowski: Last year he finished both races in the Top 12 including a finish of 3rd in the Fall event.
Nationwide regular of the race- Steven Wallace: Has run here 7 times. In the first 3 races he qualified in the Top 5 but couldn?t finish above 31st. In the four races since he has 2 Top 10?s and 4 Top 17?s. Add in the fact of his father?s history at the track, I want to consider Wallace a contender on Saturday.
Note: Both Kenseth and Bowyer have astounding records at the track in this series but neither have entered the event.
Victory lane: I would say Edwards on Sunday and Harvick on Saturday.
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