It’s been an exciting week of announcements for Joe Gibbs Racing, but now it’s time to get down to business – it’s Bristol, baby! The Nationwide Series race Friday night at Bristol Motor Speedway in the Food City 300 while the Sprint Cup Series takes the track Saturday night in the IRWIN Tools Night Race.
All three of Joe Gibbs Racing’s Cup Series drivers have wins at the 0.533-mile oval in Tennessee, led by Kyle Busch with five. Busch, in the No. 18 Doublemint Toyota Camry on Saturday night, has 12 top 10 finishes in 19 starts at “Thunder Valley,” and is the only driver to complete the “trifecta” in NASCAR by winning the Truck Series, Nationwide Series and Cup Series races in one race weekend. Busch will also be in the No. 54 Monster Energy Toyota Camry Friday night in the Nationwide Series race, at a track where he has seventh wins, including the last three and six of the last eight. In 20 starts, Busch has 16 top 10 finishes at Bristol.
Matt Kenseth, in the No. 20 Dollar General Toyota on Saturday night, has three win at Bristol, including last season’s IRWIN Tools Night Race. In 29 Cup Series starts Kenseth has 18 top 10 finishes.
Denny Hamlin, in the No. 11 FedEx Ground Toyota, won the fall race in 2012, and has sat on the pole for the last two races at Bristol. Hamlin finished sixth in the spring race, and has eight top 10 finishes in 17 starts.
Elliott Sadler will pilot the No. 11 SportClips Toyota in Friday night’s Nationwide Series race at Bristol – a track that has provided him with not only two Nationwide Series win, but also one of his three Cup Series wins, back in the spring of 2001 while driving for the Wood Brothers. Sadler has seven top 10 finishes in 15 starts in the Nationwide Series and finished 17th in the spring race.
Erik Jones will be behind the wheel of the No. 20 Reser Main Street Bistro Toyota, making the second Nationwide Series start of not only the season, but his career. It will also be Jones’ first visit to “Thunder Valley.”
Qualifying for the Nationwide Series Food City 300 takes place Friday at 3:40 p.m. ET, followed by the green flag at 7:30 p.m. ET. The Cup Series qualifies for the IRWIN Tools Night Race Friday at 5:40 p.m. ET, with the green flag flying Saturday night at 7:30 p.m. ET. Keep up with the aciton at joegibbsracing.com.
Check out Paula’s Examiner columns on motorsports:
Follow Paula on:
· Twitter - @paulat14
· Website – paulathompsonfreelance.com
· Flickr – Paula Thompson Freelance
Contact Paula at email@example.com