NASCAR Sprint Cup SeriesSaturday, August 24 – 7:30 p.m. ET
Irwin Tools Night Race
Bristol Motor Speedway – Bristol, TN
The NASCAR circuit moves to the World’s Fastest Half-Mile at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday night for the Irwin Tools Night Race. This concrete oval track is 0.533 miles long with four turns all between 24° and 30° of banking since its 2007 resurfacing. The two straights have inclines of 6° and 10°. The Busch brothers have dominated at this track, combining to win 10 of the past 23 races here. Both Kyle Busch and Kurt Busch have five wins apiece in this span. However, the past four Bristol winners have been Brad Keselowski (twice), Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne in the spring.
Odds to Win Race
|Dale Earnhardt Jr.||15-to-1|
|Martin Truex Jr.||20-to-1|
|Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||75-to-1|
|Ryan Truex ||300-to-1|
|FIELD (Any other driver)||50-to-1|
Drivers to WatchClint Bowyer (10/1) - Bowyer has been a short-track demon this season, winning at Martinsville and then finishing as the runner-up to Kevin Harvick at Richmond. He has enjoyed plenty of success at Bristol with finishes of 4th, 7th and 5th in his past three starts at this track, giving him top-7 showings in seven of his past dozen starts on the World's Fastest Half-Mile. With double-digit odds, Bowyer should get your largest wager on Saturday night.
Brad Keselowski (8/1) - He has the most driver points in the past four Bristol races, winning two of those and placing 3rd in March after leading for 62 laps. Keselowski still hasn't won a race this season, but has led for at least 14 laps in three of his past five starts, producing finishes of 4th, 6th and 12th in those three races. This does not include his runner-up two weeks ago at Watkins Glen, which marked his seventh top-5 finish, keeping him in contention to defend his points title. Keselowski represents the best value play of any of the drivers with single-digit odds.
Ryan Newman (30/1) - He's making some noise in the Chase for the Cup, finishing no worse than 18th in any of the past 14 races that he's actually been able to complete. Since his crash at Loudon, Newman has an average finish of 8.0, including his victory at the Brickyard. He also had a fine showing at Bristol in March, placing 7th to give him top-10's in 13-of-23 starts (57%) at this track. He's a great darkhorse candidate for Saturday and worthy of a small wager.
Jeff Gordon (15/1) - His March crash at this track notwithstanding, Gordon has usually raced near the front of the pack at Bristol during his long career, posting a hefty 16 top-5's which includes five victories. His short-track career has been remarkable as evidenced by an 11.3 average finish, 15 wins and 62 top-5's in 131 starts (47%). Gordon also knows that time is running out to get back into The Chase for the Cup, as he sits in 14th place entering the weekend with five top-3 finishes this season, but zero wins. At 15-to-1 odds, don't forget to place a one-unit wager on Gordon Saturday.
Paul Menard (75/1) - The best longshot of the weekend goes to Paul Menard, who has tallied top-10's in four of his past five Bristol starts, which includes a 9th-place showing earlier this season. He also placed 13th at the most recent short-track event at Richmond, finishing just one spot behind Jimmie Johnson. Menard is also coming off his best race of the 2013 season, coming in fourth at Michigan last week.