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Raceday Rundown – Bristol Edition

Written by Dave on . Posted in Featured, Nascar Sprint Cup Series

Phone Credit: Rusty Jarrett/HHP

Phone Credit: Rusty Jarrett/HHP

Posted By: Dave Thompson – follow at @phillyfan17

April 19, 2015

What: Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes and Stand Up 2 Cancer

Where: Bristol Motor Speedway

TV/Radio: Fox 1:00 p.m. ET / PRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Channel 90

Race Length: 500 laps, 266.5 miles

Track Length: 0.533 miles

Pit Road Speed: 30 mph

Pace Car Speed: 35 mph

Fuel Window: 130-135 laps (estimated)

March 2014 Race Winner: Carl Edwards (started 12th)

Top-Five Driver Ratings at Texas:

Matt Kenseth – 103.4 (3 wins)

Kyle Busch – 100.0 (5 wins)

Jeff Gordon – 99.9 (5 wins)

Brad Keselowski – 98.6 (2 wins)

Greg Biffle – 93.5 (no wins)

Leading the field to the green flag:

Polesitter:  Matt Kenseth (128.632 mph – second pole of the season)

Starts 2nd: Brad Keselowski (128.442 mph)

First practice session leader: Kasey Kahne. – No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet (128.168 mph)

Second practice session leader: Kasey Kahne. – No. 5 Great Clips Chevrolet (126.829 mph)

Happy Hour session leader: Kurt Busch – No. 41 Haas Automation Chevrolet (127.554 mph)

PRE-RACE QUOTES:

AJ Allmendinger: “You have to get into a rhythm during the race,” Allmendinger said. “The track itself is a rhythm track like Martinsville Speedway. Running up top against the fence makes it more difficult. You have to run the top because the bottom is not as good anymore. When you get into a rhythm, it is fun. When you’re not, you can’t hide.”

Tony Stewart: “It’s a track where we’ve struggled. We’ve led a lot of laps there but we just don’t have the wins to show for it. It’s a track I definitely like. Everybody goes, ‘How can you like it when you’ve not had any success there for a while?’ To me, that’s just motivation. It gives us the ambition to be successful.”

Danica Patrick: “I do. I like Bristol. Obviously, it can be a little bit – the cars definitely got in a train last time we were here. It was tough. It was a little bit hard to pass. But like I said, that is why the bottom becomes important because, if you get stuck or even if you start on the bottom on a restart, if your car is turning, you can make that work, I think, for a little while. I think qualifying is going to be really important, so I’m definitely going to find myself doing a lot more qualifying runs – as many as possible before qualifying in the afternoon. But, I’ve liked Bristol since the first time I came here.”

Carl Edwards: “We’ve had a lot of success at Bristol. I’m excited to go back.  We’re driving the Comcast Business Camry. Last year we got our first win of the year at Bristol, so that would be nice to repeat. It’s a fun race. It’s a tough racetrack. I think I can speak for all the drivers that we appreciate Bruton Smith and the guys updating the track with more safer barriers.  We came off of a top-10 finish last week which was hard fought and we’re proud of it.  At this point in the season, we need to get the best finishes we can. Bristol’s a tough place to do that, but I feel real confident there. The JGR cars have run really well there in the past, and like I said it’s one of my favorite tracks, so it’s going to be a good time.”