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NASCAR: Who to watch in the 2014 Food City 500

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NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series visits Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee for this Sunday’s Food City 500, and the Brothers Busch know how to work this track. Both Kurt and Kyle Busch, as well as Jeff Gordon, have five Cup Series wins at the 0.533-mile track in “Thunder Valley,” but the youngest Busch can add a few more wins to that total – 10 to be exact: six in the Nationwide Series and four in the Camping World Truck Series. “Rowdy” is the only driver to complete a “trifecta” in NASCAR competition, winning races in all three series in one weekend at Bristol in August 2010.

Kyle Busch, who won the pole and finished second in last year’s first race at Bristol, has 12 top 10 finishes in 18 starts, and his average finish of 9.9 makes it one of his best tracks. He has led more laps at Bristol (1,431) in Cup Series competition than any other track on the schedule.

Kurt Busch, in his first season with Stewart-Haas Racing, as 14 top 10 finishes in 26 starts at Bristol. Last spring, he finished fourth in the Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet. The elder Busch last won at Bristol in the spring of 2006.

Gordon, who also has five poles at Bristol, has 23 top 10 finishes in 42 starts, leading 2,713 laps in the past 21 seasons. His last win at Bristol came in the fall of 2002, but he has seven top 15 finishes in the last 10 races.

Kyle Busch’s Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Matt Kenseth and Denny Hamlin have also head some luck at Bristol. Kenseth has three wins and 18 top 10 finishes in 28 career starts at Bristol; one of those wins came last fall. Hamlin 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.

Ford Fusion drivers Brad Keselowski and Carl Edwards each have two wins at Bristol. Keselowski, last weekend’s winner at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, picked up his wins in fall 2011 and spring 2012, and finished third in last year’s spring race. Edwards won races in fall of 2007 and fall of 2008, but his best finish in the last four races was an 18th-place run last spring.

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 www.nascar.com.

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