|Westgate Las Vegas Superbook||ODDS||ODDS|
|Martin TRUEX JR||6/1||5/1|
|Ricky STENHOUSE JR||100/1||1000/1|
|Darrell WALLACE JR||2000/1||2000/1|
Monday, August 19, 2019
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
|Bristol always produces exciting races.|
“I remember watching when I was a kid – I wasn’t there racing, yet – watching Kurt win his first race at Bristol and then having the epic battle with Jimmy Spencer there,’’ Kyle Busch said. “That was a lot of fun to watch and see how Kurt was able to get his first win there and, of course, the years that I’ve been able to put cars in Victory Lane or wishing I could go back and get a few more of those wins that I missed out on – I’d have a heck of a lot more than just eight.’’
Kurt dominated at Bristol in his early years once winning four of five races there from 2002-04 and would win again in 2006 to give him five wins in his first 11 starts. That was Darrell Waltrip and Rusty Wallace type of stuff, but then Bristol changed the track to variable banking opening up a high groove and Kurt wouldn't win there against until this race last season.
But the changing of the track is kind of Kyle took the baton and ran with it. He won on the old layout once and then seven other wins on the new layout, including three of the last four races there, the last coming in April. His eight Bristol wins and 2,303 laps led are the most by all active drivers. He's also got nine Xfinity Series wins and five Truck Series giving him 22 total wins between the three major NASCAR series. On two instances he has swept the weekend winning races in Trucks, Xfinity and Cup.
Kyle Busch is definitely the pre-race story for Saturday's Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Raceat Bristol and his excellence has made the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook post him as the 5/2 betting favorite (Bet $100 to win $250) to win again. His four wins this season are tied for the most in the series, but that fourth win (Pocono) was a long time ago. Nine races have passed since his last win and he doesn't have a top-five in his last four starts overall. By the high standards he's set for himself, it wouldn't be too out of line to say he's slumping.
The other Cup driver with four wins on the season is Martin Truex Jr., but seven races have passed since he last won (Sonoma). He's listed at 7-to-1 odds to win, but when looking at his Bristol record with a 20th-place average finish in 27 starts you have to wonder why his odds are so low.
“If you look at the stats, Bristol hasn’t been one of our better tracks, but we’ve had so many crazy things happen over the years that cost us good finishes," Truex said. "Like last year, we were racing for the lead in the last 100 laps and get wrecked. Then in the spring this year, we made our way to the top five and were in a good spot but had a loose wheel."
He's got the Bass Pro Shops race sponsor on his hood so that's something to pump the team up, but only two top-fives there in his career blows me away, especially within the past four years when he's been an elite driver in the series. His best finish between his last four starts has been 17th.
The positive if siding with Truex this week is that his win at Richmond in April was his first short track win in his Cup career. That same race package with engines producing 750 horsepower and no aero ducts is being used this week. Three of his four wins have come when using this week's package.
The driver that has been the most consistent with this race package has Denny Hamlin with seven top-fives in eight races. None of his three wins on the season have come using this package but chances are he's going to be in the mix like he was at Bristol in the spring when he finished fifth.
“As we did in Michigan, the FedEx team did a great job adjusting from the last time we were there,' Hamlin said. "The fastest car won the race, speed-wise, but I feel like we had a great FedEx Camry and performed better than last time. We secured a top-five finish last time out at Bristol, so our team is hard at work looking at what we can improve and how we can put ourselves in the best position to win.”
The second time around on tracks has offered huge rewards for Hamlin's team the last two times with a win at Pocono and runner-up last week at Michigan. Hamlin has finished in the top-five a series-leading 12 times, including his last five starts on the schedule. His last Bristol win was in 2012.
Read More Here.....Top-5 Finish Prediction on VegasInsider.com
|Chase Elliott started from the pole at Bristol in March.|
“It has some more grip than the regular asphalt or concrete, or so it seems. I feel like the amount they’ve been putting on it at Bristol has been really nice. I guess there was a rumor going around that they weren’t going to put it down this time. I’m not sure if that’s the case or not. But, I think it would be a big mistake if they didn’t. In my opinion, the top is already the preferred lane. And I think it will continue to be the preferred lane. It was even with the grippy stuff down. So, I think it gives the bottom a little bit bigger chance for the majority of the race, at least. And then the top tends to prevail, as momentum will, I guess, over time. Yeah, I think it was good. I thought what they’ve been doing there was pretty nice.”
Elliott on his confidence going into Bristol:
“I always look forward to going to Bristol. It’s a cool place. I was able to get a pole there at the beginning of the year, which was nice. We’ve had some hit-or-miss runs there. It’s been kind of odd. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a lot of consistency. I thought we had an OK car there in the spring. We’re just trying to build on that. I always look forward to that race. It’s a really fun week and always a great event to watch, for sure, and to be a part of it is pretty cool, too.”
William Byron on the night race at Bristol:
“I try not to focus on it too much. It’s a really exciting race as a fan but as a driver it’s a stressful race. You really have to manage yourself and your car for all 500 laps. You can’t put yourself in a position to take yourself out of contention early on because it’s so hard to recover. You try to treat it like any other race but it’s a cool one to win if you can.”
Byron on PJ1 helping at Bristol compared to other tracks: “I feel like the PJ1 probably has the biggest impact at Bristol of all the races we have on the schedule in terms of the grip level of the bottom versus the top. It takes a long time for those two lanes to neutral out and equal in speed. The bottom is always faster for the initial laps, but it takes that progression for when you get about 10 laps into a run and then the top lane is the fastest way to go. It just depends on how much width they give the bottom when they treat it. If they give the bottom lane a wide width, then it tends to stay dominate longer and the progression is slower.”
Jimmie Johnson on heading into Bristol:
“My team did a great job preparing that car last week at Michigan. Even torn up we were passing cars. I got aggressive early and got into the fence – it was on me. We are focused forward and our eyes are on Bristol. (No. 48 team crew chief) Cliff (Daniels) has done a great job the past few weeks, the pit crew has been spot on and our performance at Bristol has been where it needs to be. Anything can happen at Bristol and it happens fast. The energy at this track is intense. I can’t wait.”
No. 48 team crew chief Cliff Daniels on Bristol:
"With the Bristol night race, there’s so much energy in the air. The high level of intensity at the track is so unique and so cool. What’s interesting is that if you look at the last four to five years for the 48 we’ve actually had decent success at Bristol relative to top-fives and we had that win a couple years ago. So, Jimmie (Johnson) gets around that place so well and he loves going there and loves the intensity of the racing and the action. Our team loves it. It’s a really fast-paced weekend the way practice and qualifying and race prep goes. It’s a really high-energy situation all around and I think we excel in those situations. Knowing how fired up Jimmie is right now, Bristol is going to be a blast."
Bowman on Bristol Motor Speedway:
“I think Bristol is a track where you can carry over what you learned in previous events. It is a strong racetrack for the No. 88 team. Bristol is one of those tracks where it can be a great place if you have good track position. We need a good points weekend and a good finish to get us ready for the playoffs.”
Bowman on the upcoming off-weekend:
“It is always nice to take a weekend off and regroup. This No. 88 team works hard each and every weekend and definitely deserve a weekend off with their family and friends. We regroup on these off-weeks and figure out what we need to do better or more of in the weeks ahead to get ready for the playoffs.”