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NASCAR - Sprint Cup - Food City 500 Preview

From The Sports Network

 
DATE: Sunday, March 18th
SITE: Bristol Motor Speedway (1960) -- Bristol, Tennessee
TRACK: 0.533-mile oval - 650 feet (Frontstretch); 650 feet (Backstretch)
CAPACITY: 160,000
ANNUAL: 52nd
TELEVISION: FOX
ANNOUNCERS: Mike Joy, Darrell Waltrip, Larry McReynolds
RADIO: Performance Racing Network (PRN)/SIRIUS NASCAR Radio
START TIME: 1 p.m. (ET)/Green Flag: 1:13 p.m. (ET)
DEFENDING CHAMPION: Kyle Busch
RUNNER-UP: Carl Edwards
POLE WINNER: Carl Edwards (Finished 2nd)
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: $5,439,768 (2011 figures)
PAYOUTS: 1st Place - $192,416; 2nd Place - $184,691; 3rd Place - $159,861
 
2011 Finish
FinishDriverStartFinishDriverStart
1Kyle Busch126Kevin Harvick15
2Carl Edwards17Kurt Busch20
3Jimmie Johnson68Greg Biffle2
4Matt Kenseth119Kasey Kahne10
5Paul Menard410Ryan Newman21
2011 Food City 500 Facts and Figures
AVERAGE SPEED: 91.941 m.p.h.
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 53 minutes, 55 seconds
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.946 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 10 for 57 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 17 among 8 drivers
POLE WINNER: Carl Edwards (128.014 m.p.h.)
Past Food City 500 Winners (Starting Position) Car -- Speed
2011 -- Kyle Busch (12th) -- Toyota -- 91.941 m.p.h.
2010 -- Jimmie Johnson (4th) Chevrolet -- 79.618 m.p.h.
2009 -- Kyle Busch (19th) -- Toyota -- 92.139 m.p.h.
2008 -- Jeff Burton (8th) -- Chevrolet -- 89.775 m.p.h.
2007 -- Kyle Busch (20th) -- Chevrolet -- 81.969 m.p.h.
2006 -- Kurt Busch (9th) -- Dodge -- 79.427 m.p.h.
2005 -- Kevin Harvick (13th) -- Chevrolet -- 77.496 m.p.h.
2004 -- Kurt Busch (13th) -- Ford -- 82.607 m.p.h.
2003 -- Kurt Busch (9th) -- Ford -- 76.185 m.p.h.
2002 -- Kurt Busch (27th) -- Ford -- 82.281 m.p.h.
2001 -- Elliott Sadler (38th) -- Ford -- 86.949 m.p.h.
2000 -- Rusty Wallace (6th) -- Ford -- 88.018 m.p.h.
1999 -- Rusty Wallace (1st) -- Ford -- 93.363 m.p.h.
1998 -- Jeff Gordon (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 82.850 m.p.h.
1997 -- Jeff Gordon (5th) -- Chevrolet -- 75.035 m.p.h.
1996 -- Jeff Gordon (8th) -- Chevrolet -- 91.308 m.p.h.
1995 -- Jeff Gordon (2nd) -- Chevrolet -- 92.011 m.p.h.
1994 -- Dale Earnhardt (24th) -- Chevrolet -- 89.674 m.p.h.
1993 -- Rusty Wallace (1st) -- Pontiac -- 84.730 m.p.h.
1992 -- Alan Kulwicki (1st) -- Ford -- 86.316 m.p.h.
1991 -- Rusty Wallace (1st) -- Pontiac -- 72.809 m.p.h.
1990 -- Davey Allison (19th) -- Ford -- 87.258 m.p.h.
1989 -- Rusty Wallace (8th) -- Pontiac -- 76.034 m.p.h.
1988 -- Bill Elliott (13th) -- Ford -- 83.115 m.p.h.
1987 -- Dale Earnhardt (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 75.621 m.p.h.
1986 -- Rusty Wallace (14th) -- Pontiac -- 89.747 m.p.h.
1985 -- Dale Earnhardt (12th) -- Chevrolet -- 81.790 m.p.h.
1984 -- Darrell Waltrip (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 93.967 m.p.h.
1983 -- Darrell Waltrip (13th) -- Chevrolet -- 93.445 m.p.h.
1982 -- Darrell Waltrip (1st) -- Buick -- 94.025 m.p.h.
1981 -- Darrell Waltrip (1st) -- Buick -- 89.530 m.p.h.
1980 -- Dale Earnhardt (4th) -- Chevrolet -- 96.977 m.p.h.
1979 -- Dale Earnhardt (9th) -- Chevrolet -- 91.033 m.p.h.
1978 -- Darrell Waltrip (7th) -- Chevrolet -- 92.401 m.p.h.
1977 -- Cale Yarborough (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 100.989 m.p.h.
1976 -- Cale Yarborough (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 87.377 m.p.h.
1975 -- Richard Petty (2nd) -- Dodge -- 97.053 m.p.h.
1974 -- Cale Yarborough (3rd) -- Chevrolet -- 64.533 m.p.h.
1973 -- Cale Yarborough (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 88.952 m.p.h.
1972 -- Bobby Allison (1st) -- Chevrolet -- 92.826 m.p.h.
1971 -- David Pearson (1st) -- Ford -- 91.704 m.p.h.
1970 -- Donnie Allison (2nd) -- Ford -- 87.543 m.p.h.
1969 -- Bobby Allison (4th) -- Dodge -- 81.455 m.p.h.
1968 -- David Pearson (2nd) -- Ford -- 77.247 m.p.h.
1967 -- David Pearson (14th) -- Dodge -- 75.930 m.p.h.
1966 -- Dick Hutcherson (6th) -- Ford -- 69.952 m.p.h.
1965 -- Junior Johnson (3rd) -- Ford -- 74.938 m.p.h.
1964 -- Fred Lorenzen (2nd) -- Ford -- 72.196 m.p.h.
1963 -- Fireball Roberts (3rd) -- Ford -- 76.910 m.p.h.
1962 -- Bobby Johns (6th) -- Pontiac -- 75.280 m.p.h.
1961 -- Jack Smith (12th) -- Pontiac -- 72.450 m.p.h.
 
NOTE: Formerly called Southeastern 500 (1961-1979), Valleydale 500
(1980-1991), Jeff Byrd 500 (2011).
 
Past Food City 500 Pole Winners (finish)
2011 -- Carl Edwards -- 6th
2010 -- Joey Logano -- 27th
2009 -- Mark Martin -- 6th
2008 -- None -- Weather
2007 -- Jeff Gordon -- 3rd
2006 -- None -- Weather
2005 -- Elliott Sadler -- 2nd
2004 -- Ryan Newman -- 7th
2003 -- Ryan Newman -- 22nd
2002 -- Jeff Gordon -- 31st
2001 -- Mark Martin -- 34th
2000 -- Steve Park -- 7th
1999 -- Rusty Wallace -- 1st
1998 -- Rusty Wallace -- 33rd
1997 -- Rusty Wallace -- 2nd
1996 -- Mark Martin -- 3rd
1995 -- Mark Martin -- 8th
1994 -- Chuck Bown -- 23rd
1993 -- Rusty Wallace -- 1st
1992 -- Alan Kulwicki --1st
1991 -- Rusty Wallace -- 1st
1990 -- Ernie Irvan -- 16th
1989 -- Mark Martin -- 6th
1988 -- Rick Wilson -- 25th
1987 -- Harry Gant -- 6th
1986 -- Geoff Bodine -- 24th
1985 -- Harry Gant -- 20th
1984 -- Ricky Rudd -- 6th
1983 -- Neil Bonnett -- 4th
1982 -- Darrell Waltrip -- 1st
1981 -- Darrell Waltrip -- 1st
1980 -- Cale Yarborough --5th
1979 -- Buddy Baker -- 25th
1978 -- Neil Bonnett -- 26th
1977 -- Cale Yarborough -- 1st
1976 -- Buddy Baker -- 21st
1975 -- Buddy Baker -- 3rd
1974 -- Donnie Allison -- 5th
1973 -- Cale Yarborough -- 1st
1972 -- Bobby Allison -- 1st
1971 -- David Pearson -- 1st
1970 -- David Pearson -- 18th
1969 -- Bobby Isaac -- 14th
1968 -- Richard Petty -- 2nd
1967 -- Darel Dieringer -- 3rd
1966 -- David Pearson -- 15th
1965 -- Marvin Panch -- 4th
1964 -- Marvin Panch -- 5th
1963 -- Fred Lorenzen -- 1st
1962 -- Fireball Roberts -- 2nd
1961 -- Bobby Johns -- 17th
Last Race Results
RACE: Kobalt Tools 400 (March 11th)
SITE: Las Vegas Motor Speedway -- Las Vegas, Nevada
MILES: 400.5
LAPS: 267
WINNER: Tony Stewart
RUNNER-UP: Jimmie Johnson
THIRD: Greg Biffle
FOURTH: Ryan Newman
FIFTH: Carl Edwards
POLE WINNER: Kasey Kahne (Finished 19th)
TIME OF RACE: 2 hours, 54 minutes, 44 seconds
AVERAGE SPEED: 137.524 m.p.h.
MARGIN OF VICTORY: 0.461 second
CAUTION FLAGS: 8 for 33 laps
LEAD CHANGES: 16 among 11 drivers
LAP LEADERS: K. Kahne - pole; D. Earnhardt Jr. 1-43; K. Harvick 44-45; G.
Biffle 46; D. Earnhardt Jr. 47-73; G. Biffle 74; D. Ragan 75; K.
Harvick 76-77; M. Kenseth 78-98; J. Johnson 99-133; T. Stewart
134-175; B. Keselowski 176; A. Allmendinger 177; J. Gordon
178-179; T. Stewart 180-230; C. Bowyer 231-233; T. Stewart
234-267.
Food City 500 Entry List
CarDriver, HometownCar/Name
1Jamie McMurray (Joplin, MO)Chevrolet/McDonald's
2Brad Keselowski (Rochester Hills, MI)Dodge/Miller Lite
5Kasey Kahne (Enumclaw, WA)Chevrolet/Farmers Insurance
7Robby Gordon (Orange, CA)Dodge/Speed Energy
9Marcos Ambrose (Launceston, Australia)Ford/Mac Tools
10David Reutimann (Zephyrhills, FL)Chevrolet/Tommy Baldwin Racing
11Denny Hamlin (Chesterfield, VA)Toyota/FedEx Ground
13Casey Mears (Bakersfield, CA)Ford/GEICO
14Tony Stewart (Columbus, IN)Chevrolet/Office Depot/Mobil 1
15Clint Bowyer (Emporia, KS)Toyota/TBA
16Greg Biffle (Vancouver, WA)Ford/811-3M
17Matt Kenseth (Cambridge, WI)Ford/Best Buy
18 *Kyle Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Toyota/Wrigley
20Joey Logano (Middletown, CT)Toyota/Home Depot
22A.J. Allmendinger (Los Gatos, CA)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/Morristown Driver's Service
27Paul Menard (Eau Claire, WI)Chevrolet/Menards/Moen
29Kevin Harvick (Bakersfield, CA)Chevrolet/Budweiser
30David Stremme (South Bend, IN)Toyota/Inception Motorsports
31Jeff Burton (South Boston, VA)Chevrolet/BB&T
32Ken Schrader (Fenton, MO)Ford/TBA
33Brendan Gaughan (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/South Point Casino
34David Ragan (Unadilla, GA)Ford/TBA
36Dave Blaney (Hartford, OH)Chevrolet/Widow
37Timmy Hill (Port Tobacco, MD)Ford/poynt.com
38David Gilliland (Riverside, CA)Ford/Taco Bell
39Ryan Newman (South Bend, IN)Chevrolet/Quicken Loans
40Tony Raines (LaPorte, IN)Toyota/LittleJoe'sAuto.com
42Juan Pablo Montoya (Bogota, Colombia)Chevrolet/Target
43Aric Almirola (Tampa, FL)Ford/Charter Communications
47Bobby Labonte (Corpus Christi, TX)Toyota/Clorox/Scott Products
48Jimmie Johnson (El Cajon, CA)Chevrolet/Lowe's/Kobalt Tools
49J.J. Yeley (Phoenix, AZ)Toyota/America Israel Racing
51Kurt Busch (Las Vegas, NV)Chevrolet/Phoenix Construction
55Brian Vickers (Thomasville, NC)Toyota/Aaron's
56Martin Truex Jr. (Mayetta, NJ)Toyota/NAPA Auto Parts
74Stacy Compton (Hurt, VA)Chevrolet/Turn One Racing
78Regan Smith (Cato, NY)Chevrolet/Furniture Row Racing
83Landon Cassill (Cedar Rapids, IA)Toyota/Burger King/Dr. Pepper
87Joe Nemechek (Lakeland, FL)Toyota/AM FM Energy Wood Pellet
88Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Kannapolis, NC)Chevrolet/Diet Mt. Dew/Nat Guard
93Travis Kvapil (Janesville, WI)Toyota/Burger King/Dr. Pepper
98Michael McDowell (Glendale, AZ)Ford/Curb Records
99Carl Edwards (Columbia, MO)Ford/Kellogg's
 
* - Defending champion
 
Leading Contenders (Finish the last nine years)
Driver200320042005200620072008200920102011
Kyle Busch------28th8thWon17thWon9thWon
Carl Edwards------26th4th12th16th15th6th2nd
Jimmie Johnson8th16th6th30th16th18th3rdWon3rd
Matt Kenseth2nd5th16th3rd11th10th33rd5th4th
Paul Menard---------------32nd25th18th5th
Kevin Harvick7th3rdWon2nd4th2nd30th11th6th
Kurt BuschWonWon35thWon29th12th11th3rd7th
Greg Biffle5th12th9th7th5th4th39th4th8th
Kasey Kahne---40th14th10th19th7th5th34th9th
Ryan Newman22nd7th30th9th39th33rd7th16th10th
Dale Earnhardt Jr16th11th4th11th7th5th14th7th11th
Jeff Gordon9th9th15th21st3rd11th4th14th14th
Marcos Ambrose------------------22nd35th15th
Martin Truex Jr---------38th37th13th26th12th17th
Brad Keselowski---------------------13th18th
Tony Stewart26th24th3rd12th35th14th17th2nd19th
Jeff Burton13th38th36th34th2ndWon8th10th20th
Jamie McMurray11th8th24th35th9th43rd37th8th21st
Joey Logano------------------38th27th23rd
Juan Pablo Montoya------------32nd15th9th26th24th
A.J. Allmendinger------------40th---16th17th31st
Denny Hamlin---------14th14th6th2nd19th33rd
Clint Bowyer---------29th8th3rd13th40th35th
 
Mover of the Week
Paul Menard - Started 26th on the grid and finished 7th
 
Sports Network Selections
Pick to Win - Kyle Busch
Darkhorse - Paul Menard
 
Last Week's Pick to Win (Kyle Busch) - Finished 23rd
Last Week's Darkhorse (Jeff Burton) - Finished 14th
 
NOTES:
What else could be left for Kyle Busch to do at Bristol Motor Speedway?

Busch has won five Sprint Cup Series races at Bristol -- three in the spring and two in the August night-time event. He also has four Nationwide and three Camping World Truck Series victories at this track.

Well, there is one thing Busch hasn't quite accomplished at Bristol...winning the Sprint Cup race at Bristol in the spring in consecutive seasons. He won the nighttime event in back-to-back seasons from 2009-10.

One year ago, Busch had to fend off Carl Edwards, the pole sitter, and Jimmie Johnson during the final 30 laps to win his fifth consecutive NASCAR national touring series race at Bristol. He led 153 laps, but a lightning fast pit stop from his No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota team with less than 100 laps to go was the key to victory.

Last year's Bristol spring race marked his 90th combined victory in Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series competition.

Repeating at Bristol Motor Speedway is certainly the norm, as seven drivers over the years have posted back-to-back titles eight times there. Busch will try to join that list on Sunday.

In 2010, Johnson started fourth on the grid to register his 50th career title. Not only did Johnson win at Bristol for the first time ever in 17 starts, but he also moved into a tie for 10th place on the all-time race winners list. Johnson, who now stands tied for 8th with 55 titles, took four new tires during the last round of pit stops, while most of the leader only took two. With just 10 laps remaining and Johnson in the sixth spot, he charged ahead to pass Tony Stewart for the lead with six laps remaining. Stewart finished second, 0.894 of a second behind.

Kyle Busch defeated Denny Hamlin by less than a second for his 14th career Sprint Cup title in 2009. Busch led 378 of the 503 laps for a 0.391 of a second victory. Starting from the 19th position, Busch gained the lead for the first time on lap 69 and dominated the race, leading on five separate occasions. Pole sitter Mark Martin placed sixth. Busch returned to BMS in the fall and also captured the Sharpie 500, the first driver to win both Bristol races in the same season since Kurt Busch in 2003.

Kurt Busch, a five-time winner at BMS, was the last driver to repeat as champion, when he won three straight from 2002-04. Other repeat winners are; Rusty Wallace, Jeff Gordon, Cale Yarborough (twice), Darrell Waltrip, Dale Earnhardt and David Pearson.

Jeff Burton crossed the finish line just 0.588 of a second ahead of Kevin Harvick and Clint Bowyer to capture his 20th career Sprint Cup title in 2008. Tony Stewart led for most of the race, leading six times for 267 laps, but faded to 14th. Jimmie Johnson started on the pole and placed 18th. Trailing Denny Hamlin with just two laps remaining, Burton took the lead when Hamlin suddenly slowed and then hung on to take the checkered flag. In his 668th and final regular season race, Dale Jarrett finished 37th.

Tony Stewart and Denny Hamlin dominated this race in 2007, but it was Kyle Busch who took the checkered flag, as he clipped Jeff Burton by less than a second for his fourth career Sprint Cup title. Stewart, who started fourth on the grid, led four times for a race-high 257 laps, but faded to 35th and Hamlin, who placed 14th, led for 177 laps. Pole sitter Jeff Gordon led the first six laps, but could do no better than third. Busch reclaimed the lead from Hamlin on lap 485 and held on for victory by 0.064 of a second.

Kurt Busch outran Kevin Harvick down the stretch to take the checkered flag in 2006, as he crossed the finish line 0.179 of a second ahead of the defending champion for his 15th career Sprint Cup title and fourth at this race. Busch reclaimed the lead on lap 496 of the 500-lap event and held on for victory. Busch led for a total of 33 laps, while Matt Kenseth, who placed third, led for 124 laps, including laps 410 through 495. Pole sitter Tony Stewart led for a race-high 245 laps, but finished 12th.

When Harvick won in 2005, he snapped the three-year win streak of Kurt Busch, as he raced to a 4.652 seconds win over Elliott Sadler. The win enabled Harvick to post a rare double in NASCAR, as he also captured the Nationwide race the previous day. Harvick started 43rd on the grid due to a faulty power steering pump and did not take the lead until lap 91 and then reclaimed the lead on lap 434 of the 500-lap race, leading a total of 109 laps, including the final 67 for his fifth Sprint Cup Series title.

When Cale Yarborough won this race in 1973, he led all 500 laps. Jeff Gordon and Darrell Waltrip have won this event four straight years. Gordon from 1995-98 and Waltrip from 1981-84. Waltrip won 12 races at Bristol, more than any other driver. Gordon has an amazing five wins and 20 top-10s at this track with an average finish of 11.6, leading 2,440 laps in 36 races. Yarborough and Mark Martin are nine-time pole winners at BMS.

There has been only one race run caution-free at Bristol, the 1971 Volunteer 500, won by Charlie Glotzbach. The late-Dale Earnhardt won this race five times. There have been 102 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Bristol since the track opened in 1961. The race has been won from the Pole on 22 occasions at Bristol, the most of any starting position. Eleven of those have come in the spring race; 11 in the fall. Fifty-two races at Bristol have been won from the first four starting positions and a whopping 81 of the 102 from the top-10. The furthest back in the field that a race winner has started was 38th by Elliott Sadler in the 2001 Food City 500.

The Sprint Cup Series returns to the West Coast for the March 25 Auto Club 400 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. Kevin Harvick is the defending race winner.

03/13 17:05:41 ET

As of March 13, 2012, at 05:06 PM ET

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