Food City 500: Green-White-Checkers
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series makes its first short track stop of 2013 this Sunday at Bristol Motor Speedway. It will be everyone’s first look at how the new Gen6 model will perform on a smaller track. With three different winners in three races, this weekend should shake up to be a thriller in Cup Series racing!
Green Flag: Many talented drivers find themselves behind the field
If the regular season were to end today, Aric Almirola, Ricky Stenhouse Jr, and Paul Menard would be in the Chase for the Sprint Cup. With the clear understanding that there’s a lot of racing to go, this probably won’t be the case come September. However, it does illustrate the point that some of the regular “chase” drivers have been struggling out of the gate. Jeff Gordon, Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, and Ryan Newman all find themselves deeper in the points and needing a win. Most of these drivers have good resumes at Bristol which could help kick start their seasons.
White Flag: Bristol is where raw, aggressive driving talent shines
If you have ever been looking for a track that illustrates raw talent in a driver, look to both Martinsville and Bristol for your information. Short-track racing seems to be able to identify the most talented of drivers based on the difficulty of racing in a small space. In the last ten races, Kyle Busch owns four of the victories. Busch arguably has the most raw talent of any driver in the Sprint Cup circuit, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re the best driver. It takes a lot more than raw driving talent to be a successful Sprint Cup driver. With all of that being said, aggressive drivers with a high degree of driving talent tend to do very well on the small tracks.
Checkered Flag: Defending Sprint Cup Champion is also defending Bristol Champion
We’re right back to where it all started for Brad Keselowski last season. Bristol was the site of Brad’s first win of his championship year. He currently sits second in the points through three races right behind Mr. Five-Time (Jimmie Johnson), which was the same scenario right before the last race of 2012. This race sets up very nicely for the defending champ with an aggressive style course and unpredictable car. I don’t like to pick repeat winners of a race, but in this case I’ll make the exception. Brad’s team has look solid since the start of the season and I think they’ll break through for their first win of the season (again) at Bristol this weekend.
Winner: Brad Keselowski
Driver to Watch: Tony Stewart
Dark Horse: Kurt Busch
Catch weekly previews of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series every Friday with “Green-White-Checkers”! Alex Brewer will give you the top three things to keep in mind heading into the upcoming race.