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Joe Gibbs Racing: 2014 Food City 500 weekend preview

Kyle Busch won last spring's Nationwide Series race at Bristol
Kyle Busch won last spring's Nationwide Series race at Bristol
Getty Images: Jared C. Tilton

The fourth weekend of the 2014 NASCAR season brings Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series teams to Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee for the Food City 500 weekend, Friday through Sunday, March 14th through 16th. Joe Gibbs Racing Cup Series drivers Matt Kenseth, Kyle Busch and Denny Hamlin have a combined nine wins at the 0.533-mile track, and JGR Nationwide Series driver Elliott Sadler earned one of his three career Cup wins at “Thunder Valley” as well.

Busch is among the active leaders in wins at Bristol, tied with his brother Kurt and Jeff Gordon with five wins each. The driver of the No. 18 Skittles Toyota Camry in the Cup Series is the only driver to complete the “trifecta” at Bristol, winning the Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series and Sprint Cup Series races in August 2010. He has 12 top 10 finishes in 18 starts in the Cup Series, and finished second and 11th in last year’s races. He’ll also be behind the wheel of the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry in Saturday’s Nationwide Series Drive to Stop Diabetes 300; Busch has six wins and 15 top 10 finishes in 19 starts in the series, including a sweep of last year’s events.

Kenseth, in the No. 20 Home Depot Husky Toyota on Sunday, has three wins and 18 top 10 finishes in 28 career starts at Bristol; one of those wins came last fall. On Saturday, he’ll be in the No. 20 GameStop/Titanfall Toyota in the Nationwide Series; Kenseth has three wins and 10 top 10 finishes in 17 starts, but hasn’t raced in the series at Bristol since 2009.

Hamlin, in the No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota on Sunday, has seven top 10 finishes in 16 starts at Bristol, including a win in the fall of 2012. He was also the pole sitter for the fall race in 2013.

In addition to his Cup Series win in 2001, Sadler has two Nationwide Series wins at Bristol. The driver of the No. 11 OneMain Financial Toyota finished 36th (engine) and 10th in last year’s races.

Qualifying for the Drive to Stop Diabetes 300 Presented by Lilly Diabetes Nationwide Series race takes place Saturday at 10:05 a.m. ET, followed by the green flag at 2 p.m. ET. Qualifying for the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race takes place Friday at 4:35 p.m. ET, with the race going green on Sunday at 1 p.m. ET. Keep up with the action at joegibbsracing.com.

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