Welcome to Bristol folks! This is definitely one of the more exciting tracks on the circuit. Bristol is the type of track you want to take casual fans to or people who have never been to a race. Full of excitement from start to finish. Green Flag should be around 1:13 PM Sunday on FOX. Try to squeeze some racing in between all of that college basketball this weekend! Let’s look at what the top stories of the week are and look ahead to Sunday’s race…
Appeal Denied:Well the boys on the 48 team didn’t get the result they expected on Tuesday as their penalties were upheld by the NASCAR appeal board unanimously. Team owner Rick Hendrick was obviously displeased and they will take it to the next level for a final decision. What this means is, at least for another week, Knaus and Malec will be on the pit box for Jimmie Johnson and Co. As for their chances in the race this weekend, it should be good. Jimmie has been running well after Daytona and finished 3rd in this race last season. He has also finished in the top 5 in 4 out of the last 5 Bristol races.
Biffle: Will Greg Biffle keep his 3rd place finish streak going? 3 Roush cars finished in the top 8 last spring including Biffle in 8th. I say. why not? The team has the momentum right now and this is their chance to show they are a real player in the Championship hunt this season. We’ll see how he comes out of the battle on Sunday.
Dale Jr.: I really, really want to pick Jr. to win this weekend. I do think he will have a good run but I think it will be of the kind of day where he won’t compete for a victory but will end up with a hard fought top 10. Bristol hasn’t been bad or good for Jr. lately. Just 1 top 10 in the last 5. However, he also hasn’t finished worse than 16th in the last 5.
EFI: Brad Keselowski and his Penske teammate, A.J. Allmendinger have both had EFI issues this season. Brad K hasn’t been a fan of EFI and publicly spoke against it in the fall of 2011. You have to wonder if these guys will have issues on this high-banked short track with the fuel pickup. This could be a big story next week. There are also concerns about the beating the cars will take at a short track and how that could affect the new technology.
Blue Deuce: Speaking of Keselowski, he won here last summer. He’ll be looking to start a streak at this track. NASCAR announced they are putting more speed sensors on pit road for this race. Apparently, Brad K was able to take advantage of the placement last year en route to his victory.
Brian Vickers: Everyone welcome back Brian Vickers! He will be racing in the #55 Toyota for Michael Waltrip Racing. Mark Martin has been driving this car so far this year and has done a good job in it. There won’t be many excuses made for Vickers if he can’t produce some results in the six races he is in this ride this season.
Shrub: Kyle Busch is the dominant guy here. 4 wins in the last 6 races and he certainly the favorite here this weekend. Despite it being early in the season, the M&M’s Toyota team need something to feel good about. They haven’t ran great since the Bud Shootout and this should be the place to remedy their woes. Look for Kyle Busch to take it this weekend.
Thanks for reading! I’ll be back on Monday for a recap of what is sure to be a great race. Leave your pick for winner in the race comments below.