NASCAR Food City 500 Preview
NASCAR races its way into “Thunder Valley” this weekend to start back-to-back short track events. Bristol Motor Speedway is the scene for NASCAR’s eighth race of the year Sunday for the Food City 500. The Bristol high-banked half-mile has had some of the biggest stars in victory lane: Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt, Richard Petty, to name a few. The Busch brothers swept Bristol last year, with Kurt being the latest winner under the lights at the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race. Kyle Busch comes into this race as the points leader and has been on a roll so far this season. Chase Elliott will be on the pole for Sunday’s race, and accompanying him on the front row is William Byron. Ryan Blaney and Erik Jones make up the second row, making up the top four starters at an average age of 22.75. It should be a fun race, Bristol never disappoints. Here are my predictions for Sunday’s race.
Kyle Busch (+260)
Kyle Busch comes into this weekend as the points leader and again, the favorite to win. He knows how to get around the half-mile and look for him to be a big contender this weekend. He is a seven-time winner and has 10 top fives and 15 top 10’s He has wrecked in three of his last eight races at Bristol, so that’s something to keep in mind. He won last year’s spring race and will be looking for his third win of the year, and to add to his resume as the winningest driver in NASCAR.
Kyle Larson (+700)
When it comes to short-track racing, Kyle Larson is always a name that comes up. Larson loves racing at Bristol, and Larson has grown up and raced on short tracks during his childhood as a sprint car driver, so he knows about “rubbing and racing” and tight-knit racing. In six races at Bristol, he has two top fives and six top 10’s and has one pole as well. Look for Larson to be a contender.
Brad Keselowski (+700)
Brad Keselowski will be another contender this weekend, and will be looking for his third win of the season. He’s a past two-time winner at Thunder Valley, and has four top fives and five top 10’s, with over 500 laps led. So far this season, he has four top fives and top 10’s.
Joey Logano (+700)
The 2018 defending champion is coming into Bristol with four top fives and five top 10’s and a win at Martinsville Speedway earlier this year. In 20 races at Bristol, he’s a two-time winner and has led over 600 laps with five top fives and nine top 10’s. He has one pole and will be starting seventh tomorrow. Look for Logano to be there at the end.
Kurt Busch (+1800)
One of my favorite dark horses in this race is Kurt Busch. Busch knows Bristol really well. He has six wins and has led over 1, 000 laps in 36 races here. He has 11 top fives and 18 top 10’s. He has three top fives in his last six races and is the defending champion of last year’s fall race. He has five top-10 finishes so far this season, so keep an eye out for him.
Jimmie Johnson (+2500)
Jimmie Johnson got his best finish of the year last week at Texas Motor Speedway with a fifth-place finish. There hasn’t been a lot of talk about Johnson this year but Johnson has three top 10’s in eight races and when it comes to Bristol, he has seven top-10 finishes in his last nine races. He’s a previous two-time winner and has led over 900 laps at the half-mile.
Clint Bowyer (+1800)
Clint Bowyer is starting to gain momentum after picking up his best finish of the year last week with a second-place finish. He has five top-10 finishes in his seven races at Bristol.
Cover the Spread Stats
- Chevrolet has only won two of the last 11 races at Bristol Motor Speedway, while Ford and Toyota split the other nine runnings, with Toyota grabbing five checkered flags and Ford four.
- The winner of this race has qualified on the pole in three of the last eight runnings.
- Chase Elliott (+1500) is a sleeper pick for this race. The Georgia native finished fourth in his first start there in 2016 and landed on the podium in the last running, including leading 112 laps
NASCAR Food City 500 Preview
My Pick: Kyle Busch (+260)
I’m going with a popular choice and picking Kyle Busch to win. He’s the man to beat and has led over 100 laps at Bristol in the past four of the seven races here. Overall he has led over 2,000 laps here. Something else impressive, he has won 25.9 percent of his 27 career starts at Bristol and has finished inside the top five in 37 percent of those races. Look for Busch to continue his dominance.