NASCAR Sprint Cup Series
NASCAR - Sprint Cup - IRWIN Tools Night Race Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Saturday, August 25th
SITE: Bristol Motor Speedway (1960) -- Bristol, Tennessee
TRACK: 0.533-mile - 650 feet (Frontstretch); 650 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 160,000
ANNUAL: 52nd
TELEVISION: ABC
ANNOUNCERS: Allen Bestwick, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree
RADIO: Performance Racing Network (PRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 7:30 p.m. (ET)/Green Flag: 7:43 p.m. (ET)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Brad Keselowski
RUNNER-UP: Martin Truex Jr
POLE WINNER: Ryan Newman (Finished 8th)
LAPS: 500
MILES: 266.5
QUALIFYING RECORD: Ryan Newman, 2003 (128.709 m.p.h.)
RACE RECORD: Charlie Glotzbach, 1971 (101.074 m.p.h.)
TOTAL PURSE: $6,123,745 (2011 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $291,883; 2nd Place - $223,550; 3rd Place - $202,986
 
2011 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Brad Keselowski86Matt Kenseth3
2Martin Truex Jr277Denny Hamlin20
3Jeff Gordon48Ryan Newman1
4Jimmie Johnson139Carl Edwards2
5Jamie McMurray610Marcos Ambrose11
2011 IRWIN Tools Night Race Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 96.753 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 45 minutes, 16 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.951 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 6 for 42 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 22 among 10 drivers
POLE WINNER: Ryan Newman (122.811 m.p.h.)
Past IRWIN Tools Night Race Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Brad Keselowski (8th) -- Dodge -- 96.753 m.p.h.
2010 -- Kyle Busch (19th) -- Toyota -- 99.071 m.p.h.
2009 -- Kyle Busch (15th) -- Toyota -- 84.820 m.p.h.
2008 -- Carl Edwards (1st) -- Ford -- 91.581 m.p.h.
2007 -- Carl Edwards (6th) -- Ford -- 89.006 m.p.h.
2006 -- Matt Kenseth (4th) -- Ford -- 90.025 m.p.h.
2005 -- Matt Kenseth (1st) -- Ford -- 84.678 m.p.h.
2004 -- Dale Earnhardt Jr (30th) -- Chevrolet -- 88.538 m.p.h.
2003 -- Kurt Busch (5th) -- Ford -- 77.421 m.p.h.
2002 -- Jeff Gordon (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 77.097 m.p.h.
2001 -- Tony Stewart (18th) -- Pontiac -- 85.106 m.p.h.
2000 -- Rusty Wallace (1st) -- Ford -- 85.394 m.p.h.
1999 -- Dale Earnhardt (26th) -- Chevrolet -- 91.276 m.p.h.
1998 -- Mark Martin (4th) -- Ford -- 86.949 m.p.h.
1997 -- Dale Jarrett (3rd) -- Ford -- 80.013 m.p.h.
1996 -- Rusty Wallace (5th) -- Ford -- 91.267 m.p.h.
1995 -- Terry Labonte (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 81.979 m.p.h.
1994 -- Rusty Wallace (4th) -- Ford -- 91.363 m.p.h.
1993 -- Mark Martin (1st) -- Ford -- 88.172 m.p.h.
1992 -- Darrell Waltrip (9th) -- Chevrolet -- 91.198 m.p.h.
1991 -- Alan Kulwicki (5th) -- Ford -- 82.028 m.p.h.
1990 -- Ernie Irvan (6th) -- Chevrolet -- 91.782 m.p.h.
1989 -- Darrell Waltrip (9th) -- Chevrolet -- 85.554 m.p.h.
1988 -- Dale Earnhardt (5th) -- Chevrolet -- 78.775 m.p.h.
1987 -- Dale Earnhardt (9th) -- Chevrolet -- 90.373 m.p.h.
1986 -- Darrell Waltrip (10th) -- Chevrolet -- 86.934 m.p.h.
1985 -- Dale Earnhardt (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 81.388 m.p.h.
1984 -- Terry Labonte (6th) -- Chevrolet -- 85.365 m.p.h.
1983 -- Darrell Waltrip (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 89.430 m.p.h.
1982 -- Darrell Waltrip (1st) -- Buick -- 94.318 m.p.h.
1981 -- Darrell Waltrip (1st) -- Buick -- 84.723 m.p.h.
1980 -- Cale Yarborough (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 86.973 m.p.h.
1979 -- Darrell Waltrip (5th) -- Chevrolet -- 91.493 m.p.h.
1978 -- Cale Yarborough (4th) -- Oldsmobile -- 88.628 m.p.h.
1977 -- Cale Yarborough (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 79.726 m.p.h.
1976 -- Cale Yarborough (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 99.175 m.p.h.
1975 -- Richard Petty (4th) -- Dodge -- 97.016 m.p.h.
1974 -- Cale Yarborough (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 75.430 m.p.h.
1973 -- Benny Parsons (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 91.342 m.p.h.
1972 -- Bobby Allison (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 92.735 m.p.h.
1971 -- Charlie Glotzbach (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 101.074 m.p.h. (race record)
1970 -- Bobby Allison (10th) -- Dodge -- 84.880 m.p.h.
1969 -- David Pearson (3rd) -- Ford -- 79.747 m.p.h.
1968 -- David Pearson (6th) -- Ford -- 76.310 m.p.h.
1967 -- Richard Petty (1st) -- Plymouth -- 78.705 m.p.h.
1966 -- Paul Goldsmith (4th) -- Plymouth -- 77.963 m.p.h.
1965 -- Ned Jarrett (6th) -- Ford -- 61.626 m.p.h.
1964 -- Fred Lorenzen (8th) -- Ford -- 78.044 m.p.h.
1963 -- Fred Lorenzen (1st) -- Ford -- 74.844 m.p.h.
1962 -- Jim Paschal (12th) -- Plymouth -- 75.280 m.p.h.
1961 -- Joe Weatherly (2nd) -- Pontiac -- 72.450 m.p.h.
 
NOTE: Formerly called Southeastern 500 (1961-62), Volunteer 500 (1963-1979),
Busch Volunteer 500 (1980), Busch 500 (1981-1990), Bud 500 (1991-93),
Goody's 500 (1994-99), GoRacing.com 500 (2000), Sharpie 500 (2001-09).
 
Past IRWIN Tools Night Race Pole Winners (Finish)
2011 -- Ryan Newman -- 8th
2010 -- Jimmie Johnson -- 35th
2009 -- Mark Martin -- 2nd
2008 -- Carl Edwards -- 1st
2007 -- Kasey Kahne -- 2nd
2006 -- Kurt Busch -- 37th
2005 -- Matt Kenseth -- 1st
2004 -- Jeff Gordon -- 14th
2003 -- Jeff Gordon -- 28th
2002 -- Jeff Gordon -- 1st
2001 -- Jeff Green -- 42nd
2000 -- Rusty Wallace -- 1st
1999 -- Tony Stewart -- 5th
1998 -- Rusty Wallace -- 3rd
1997 -- Kenny Wallace -- 39th
1996 -- Mark Martin -- 3rd
1995 -- Mark Martin -- 5th
1994 -- Harry Gant -- 9th
1993 -- Mark Martin -- 1st
1992 -- Ernie Irvan -- 28th
1991 -- Bill Elliott -- 21st
1990 -- Dale Earnhardt -- 8th
1989 -- Alan Kulwicki -- 2nd
1988 -- Alan Kulwicki -- 5th
1987 -- Terry Labonte -- 4th
1986 -- Geoffrey Bodine -- 3rd
1985 -- Dale Earnhardt -- 1st
1984 -- Geoffrey Bodine -- 22nd
1983 -- Joe Ruttman -- 18th
1982 -- Tim Richmond -- 25th
1981 -- Darrell Waltrip -- 1st
1980 -- Cale Yarborough -- 1st
1979 -- Richard Petty -- 2nd
1978 -- Lennie Pond -- 26th
1977 -- Cale Yarborough -- 1st
1976 -- Darrell Waltrip -- 3rd
1975 -- Cale Yarborough -- 20th
1974 -- Richard Petty -- 3rd
1973 -- Cale Yarborough -- 19th
1972 -- Bobby Allison -- 1st
1971 -- Richard Petty -- 3rd
1970 -- Cale Yarborough -- 17th
1969 -- Cale Yarborough -- 24th
1968 -- LeeRoy Yarbrough -- 32nd
1967 -- Richard Petty -- 1st
1966 -- Curtis Turner -- 30th
1965 -- Fred Lorenzen -- 20th
1964 -- Richard Petty -- 2nd
1963 -- Fred Lorenzen -- 1st
1962 -- Fireball Roberts -- 36th
1961 -- Bobby Johns -- 17th
Last Race Results
RACE: Pure Michigan 400 (August 19th)
SITE: Michigan International Speedway -- Brooklyn, Michigan
MILES: 402
LAPS: 201
WINNER: Greg Biffle
RUNNER-UP: Brad Keselowski
THIRD: Kasey Kahne
FOURTH: Dale Earnhardt Jr.
FIFTH: Marcos Ambrose
POLE WINNER: Mark Martin (Finished 35th)
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 46 minutes, 44 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 144.662 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.416 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 8 for 35 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 26 among 13 drivers
LAP LEADERS: M. Martin 1-35; B. Keselowski 36-38; J. Johnson 39-42; S. Hornish
Jr. 43-45; M. Martin 46-64; M. Kenseth 65-69; M. Truex Jr. 70; C.
Bowyer 71-89; M. Truex Jr. 90-100; G. Biffle 101-110; S. Hornish
Jr. 111-112; P. Menard 113; D. Earnhardt Jr. 114-123; J. Johnson
124-125; B. Keselowski 126-128; G. Biffle 129-137; D. Earnhardt
Jr. 138-152; J. Johnson 153-165; B. Keselowski 166-168; C.
Edwards 169; S. Hornish Jr. 170-173; D. Hamlin 174; P. Menard
175-181; L. Cassill 182; B. Keselowski 183-190; J. Johnson
191-194; G. Biffle 195-201.
IRWIN Tools Night Race Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
1Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/Bass Pro Shops
2 *Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI)Dodge/Miller Lite
5Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Chevrolet/hendrickcars.com
9Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia)Ford/DeWalt
10Danica Patrick (Roscoe, IL)Chevrolet/GoDaddy.com
11Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Ground
13Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Ford/Geico
14Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Mobil 1/Office Depot
15Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Toyota/5-Hour Energy
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/3M/Bondo
17Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Ford/Valvoline NextGen
18Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/M&M's
19Mike Bliss (Milwaukie, OR)Toyota/Plinker Tactical
20Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/Dollar General
22Sam Hornish Jr. (Defiance, OH)Dodge/Shell/Pennzoil
23Scott Riggs (Bahama, NC)Chevrolet/North Texas Pipe
24Jeff Gordon (Vallejo, CA)Chevrolet/Drive to End Hunger
26Josh Wise (Riverside, CA)Ford/MDS Transport
27Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Schrock
29Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Rheem
30David Stremme (South Bend, IN)Toyota/Inception Motorsports
31Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA)Chevrolet/Caterpillar
32Ken Schrader (Fenton, MO)Ford/Federated Auto Parts
33Stephen Leicht (Asheville, NC)Chevrolet/littlejoesautos.com
34David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Ford/Glory Foods
36Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Chevrolet/Seal Wrap
37J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Chevrolet/TBA
38David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/Taco Bell
39Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/Outback Steakhouse
42Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia)Chevrolet/Target
43Aric Almirola (Tampa, FL)Ford/Goody's
47Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Toyota/Bush's Baked Beans
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's Dover White
49Jason Leffler (Long Beach, CA)Toyota/America Israel Racing
51Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/hendrickcars.com
55Brian Vickers (Thomasville, NC)Toyota/My Classic Garage
56Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts
78Regan Smith (Cato, NY)Chevrolet/Furniture Row
79Kelly Bires (Mauston, WI)Ford/Team Kyle
83Landon Cassill (Cedar Rapids, IA)Toyota/Burger King
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/AM FM Energy Wood&Pellet
88Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Diet Mt. Dew/Nat Guard
91Reed Sorenson (Peachtree City, GA)Toyota/Humphrey Smith Racing
93Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI)Toyota/Burger King
95Scott Speed (Manteca, CA)Ford/Leavine Family Racing
98Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Ford/K-Love/Curb Records
99Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/Fastenal
 
* - Defending champion
 
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Driver200320042005200620072008200920102011
Brad Keselowski---------------------19thWon
Martin Truex Jr---------18th11th35th22nd17th2nd
Jeff Gordon28th14th6th5th19th5th23rd11th3rd
Jimmie Johnson5th3rd36th10th21st33rd8th35th4th
Jamie McMurray3rd7th26th29th26th12th11th3rd5th
Matt Kenseth4th9thWonWon39th9th10th10th6th
Denny Hamlin---------6th43rd3rd5th34th7th
Ryan Newman6th2nd39th8th7th6th6th6th8th
Carl Edwards---33rd24th7thWonWon16th12th9th
Marcos Ambrose------------------3rd20th10th
Kasey Kahne---21st42nd12th2nd40th28th5th11th
Joey Logano------------------34th18th13th
Kyle Busch------33rd2nd9th2ndWonWon14th
Jeff Burton32nd4th2nd9th12th42nd18th16th15th
Dale Earnhardt Jr9thWon9th3rd5th18th9th13th16th
Kurt BuschWon8th10th37th6th15th7th9th17th
Brian Vickers---20th20th33rd---20th12th---21st
Kevin Harvick2nd24th37th11th16th4th38th14th22nd
Clint Bowyer---------38th3rd7th21st4th26th
Tony Stewart23rd19th8th22nd4th8th33rd27th28th
Paul Menard------------24th16th24th21st30th
Greg Biffle22nd11th3rd19th10th11th4th8th31st
 
Mover of the Week
Aric Almirola - Started in the 41st position and finished 20th
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Dale Earnhardt Jr
Darkhorse - Paul Menard
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Brad Keselowski) - Finished 2nd
Last Week's Darkhorse (Jamie McMurray) - Finished 14th
 
NOTES:
Although Kyle Busch or Kevin Harvick might be the men to beat this week with their outstanding records at Bristol Motor Speedway, defending champion Brad Keselowski will certainly have plenty to say when all is said and done.

Keselowski, who has climbed to fifth on the points list, has been on a tear of late, posting seven straight top-10 finishes, including a win in Kentucky. In addition, Keselowski won earlier this season at BMS.

Last season, Keselowski took the lead from Martin Truex Jr. just after a restart with 80 laps remaining. He then held off Truex at the finish by 0.95 seconds for his third win of that season and the fourth of his Sprint Cup career. With three victories in 2012, his win total has reached seven. It was the first time since 1975 that a Dodge captured this race.

The last seven Bristol races have had a margin of victory under one second.

With the seedings for the Chase nearing, as many as seven drivers can lock themselves into a Chase berth. Several drivers are on the outside looking in, as Kasey Kahne, Carl Edwards, Ryan Newman, Kyle Busch and Paul Menard rank 11 through 15.

Danica Patrick will make her Sprint Cup debut at BMS this week and her fourth start on the 2012 calendar. Earlier this year, Patrick placed 19th on the Nationwide Series at Bristol.

Kyle Busch hit the trifecta in 2010 at Bristol Motor Speedway and once again made history in NASCAR. Busch became the first driver in NASCAR to win all three of its national touring series races in the same week.

After winning the Camping World Truck race earlier in the week and the Nationwide event two days later, Busch put on a dominating performance in the IRWIN Tools Night Race by leading 282 of 500 laps and holding off David Reutimann at the finish by 0.68 seconds to sweep the week at the 0.533-mile, high-banked Tennessee track.

Busch had attempted a three-race sweep in NASCAR on the same week four times before. His victory was the third of the season and the 19th of his Sprint Cup career. He also won a Cup race at Bristol for the fourth time.

Kyle Busch ended Carl Edwards' two-year reign at Bristol Motor Speedway, as he raced to victory in 2009. Busch, who started 15th on the grid, led the final 68 laps for his 16th career Sprint Cup title. Pole sitter Mark Martin, who led for a whopping 240 laps, finished 0.098 of a second behind. Busch's victory total now stands at 24.

In 2008, Edwards repeated as champion, as he defeated Kyle Busch by just under two seconds for his 13th career Sprint Cup title. Edwards started on the pole and led three times for 84 laps, including the final 31. Busch dominated the race leading for 415 consecutive laps, but Edwards nudged him from behind. Busch got loose, allowing Edwards to move underneath him for the lead. At the conclusion of the race, a frustrated Busch retaliated by intentionally bumping Edwards on the cool-down lap. Edwards, however, got the best of the post-race ruckus when he spun Busch around.

Darrell Waltrip has the most victories at Bristol with 12. Waltrip won seven- straight there from August 1981 to April 1984. Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch lead all active drivers with five victories each at Bristol.

Cale Yarborough started on the pole and led all 500 laps to win the Southeastern 500 at Bristol on March 25th, 1973. Yarborough was a five-time winner of this race.

Back-to-back wins at this race are the norm in recent years, as Matt Kenseth doubled in 2005-06, Edwards in 2007-08 and Busch in 2009-10. Other drivers to have doubled at Bristol are Dale Earnhardt (1987-88), Darrell Waltrip (1981-83), Cale Yarborough (1976-78), David Pearson (1968-69) and Fred Lorenzen (1963-64). It should be noted that Waltrip and Yarborough accomplished the three-peat when they won their races.

Groundbreaking for Bristol International Speedway, as Bristol Motor Speedway was originally known, took place in 1960. The track was exactly a half-mile in length. Bristol held its first NASCAR Sprint Cup race on July 30, 1961. In the fall of 1969, the track was reshaped and re-measured to .533 miles with the turns banked at 36 degrees. The first night race there was held in the fall of 1978. The first Sprint Cup race was won by Jack Smith (with relief from Johnny Allen). The deepest in the field that a Bristol race winner has started was 38th, by Elliott Sadler in 2001. Of the 103 races at BMS, 22 have been won from the pole and 52 from the top four positions on the grid. 82 of 103 races have been won from a top-10 starting position.

The next Sprint Cup Series race is the September 2nd running of the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, as Jeff Gordon defends his title from a year ago.

08/21 15:06:55 ET

As of August 21, 2012, at 03:07 PM ET