UPDATE: ALL SEVEN DODGES QUALIFY
Food City 500
Bristol Motor Speedway
1. Mark Martin
2. Ryan Newman
3. Jimmie Johnson
4. Greg Biffle
5. Kasey Kahne – Dodge
6. David Reutimann
7. Reed Sorenson - Dodge
8. Dave Blaney
9. Jamie McMurray
10. Jeff Gordon
(Other Dodge Teams)
22. Elliott Sadler
25. Sam Hornish Jr.
26. AJ Allmendinger
29. David Stremme
32. Kurt Busch
As far as the strategy behind my success, I learned from the very first race that you have to be around at the finish to do well at Bristol. It really is a situation of surviving the first 400 laps keeping the fenders on the thing and staying out of the wall. Then, if youre in good shape after four-fifths of the race, its time to really get down to business during the final 100 laps. –Kurt Busch
BRISTOL, Tenn., (March 19, 2009) NASCAR readies for its own version of March Madness as the Sprint Cup Series goes short-track racing on the .533-mile high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway for this weekends Food City 500.
The fifth of 36 points races on the NASCAR Sprint Series schedule, BMS is the last race that Cup teams in the top 35 in the 2008 car owner point standings are guaranteed a starting spot for Sunday racing. After this weeks race, the top 35 will be based on 2009 owner points.
All seven Dodge teams running the full 36-race Sprint Cup schedule currently sit inside the top-35 in 2009 owner points: Kurt Busch (third), Kasey Kahne (ninth), Elliott Sadler (17th), AJ Allmendinger (20th), David Stremme (26th), Reed Sorenson (27th) and Sam Hornish Jr. (31st).
Kurt Busch (No. 2 Miller Lite Dodge Charger) remains the hottest Dodge driver through the first four races of the season. Currently third in NSCS driver point standings, Buschs has already amassed one win, two top-fives and three top 10s. With five career wins at Bristol, some have declared BMS the house that Kurt built as he leads all active drivers with the most wins at Bristol and understands how to achieve success on the treacherous high-banks of BMS.
As far as the strategy behind my success, I learned from the very first race that you have to be around at the finish to do well at Bristol, said Busch. It really is a situation of surviving the first 400 laps keeping the fenders on the thing and staying out of the wall. Then, if youre in good shape after four-fifths of the race, its time to really get down to business during the final 100 laps.
Driving ability aside, Busch is also quick to point out that to be successful on the 26-30 degrees of banking in the turns at Bristol is just as much about horsepower as attrition.
Out Miller Lite Dodge has really been strong this year, especially on restarts, Busch said. I think that’s what the new R6 engine from Dodge has provided for us lots of torque down low. The biggest thing has been durability that we focused on; also to gain more power low end and top end. You can definitely
see the low-end torque on restarts. When you go to do the restarts through the gears, tracks where you’re full throttle, not flipping the tires, you really get to put your power down.
Kasey Kahne (No. 9 Budweiser Dodge Charger) has quietly raced himself inside the driver standing top 10 with solid performances at Las Vegas and Atlanta. Kahne jumped four spots in the Sprint Cup standings after a seventh-place finish in Atlanta two weeks ago. He has three consecutive finishes of 12th or better.
* AJ Allmendinger (No. 44 Charter Dodge Charger) is the only Dodge that must qualify on speed during Fridays session.
· Elliott Sadler (No. 19 Best Buy Dodge Charger) recorded his first Cup series win at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2001.
* David Stremme (No. 12 Penske Racing Dodge Charger) is one of four Dodge entries who have led a lap in four Cup races this season.
· Sam Hornish Jr. (No. 77 Mobil 1 Dodge Charger) currently sits 31st in owner points 42 points ahead of the 35th place Mark Martin.
· Reed Sorenson (No. 43 PVA.org Dodge Charger) is making his sixth start at Bristol. His best finish of 15th came in the 2007 fall event.
NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES POINT STANDINGS (Top 12 after 4 of 36 races)
1. Jeff Gordon 634 points
2. Clint Bowyer -43
3. Kurt Busch -46
4. Carl Edwards -87
5. Matt Kenseth -88
6. Tony Stewart -113
7. Kyle Busch -120
8. Kevin Harvick -123
9. Kasey Kahne -150
10. Greg Biffle -154
11. Brian Vickers -157
12. David Reutimann -150
What You Need To Know
The Race: Food City 500
The Date: Sunday, March 22
The Place: Bristol Motor Speedway; .533-mile oval
The Time: 2 p.m. ET
The Distance: 500 laps/266.5 miles
TV: Fox, 1:30 p.m. ET
Dodge Weekend Motorsports on TV
(All Times Eastern)
Friday, March 20
12:00 p.m. Sprint Cup Practice (SPEED)
1:30 p.m. Nationwide Series Practice (SPEED)
3:00 p.m. NASCAR Live (SPEED)
3:30 p.m. Sprint Cup Qualifying (SPEED)
4:30 p.m. Nationwide Final Practice (SPEED)
6:00 p.m. NASCAR Now (ESPN2)
7:00 p.m. Trackside at Bristol (SPEED)
7:30 p.m. NASCAR Now (ESPN)
8:00 p.m. Sprint Cup Practice (SPEED)
11:00 p.m. Trackside at Bristol (SPEED)
Saturday, March 21
12:00 a.m. NASCAR Now (ESPN2)
12:00 a.m. Bristol Sprint Cup Qualifying (re-air) (SPEED)
1:00 a.m. Nationwide Series Final Practice (SPEED)
12:00 p.m. Nationwide Pole Qualifying (SPEED)
1:00 p.m. Sprint Cup Final Practice (SPEED)
2:00 p.m. Nationwide Series Countdown (ABC)
2:30 p.m. Nationwide Series Race Bristol (SPEED) (Green Flag 2:43 p.m.) (ABC)
6:00 p.m. Saturday Night Special from Bristol (ESPN2)
Sunday, March 22
10:00 a.m. NASCAR Now (ESPN2)
10:00 a.m. NASCAR Performance (SPEED)
10:30 a.m. NASCAR Smarts (SPEED)
11:00 a.m. NASCAR in a Hurry (SPEED)
11:30 a.m. NASCAR RaceDay (SPEED)
1:30 p.m. Bristol Pre-Race Show (Fox)
2:00 p.m. Sprint Cup Race Food City 500 (Green Flag 2:13 p.m.) Fox
7:00 p.m. SPEED Report (SPEED)
8:00 p.m. NASCAR Victory Lane (SPEED)
9:00 p.m. Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain (SPEED)
Source: Chrysler Media Services Release, Motorsports