There’s a lot going on this week – Learn about the Bristol NASCAR Xfinity Series Dash 4 Cash Format and NASCAR Cup Series Tidbits
Below is a roundup of headlines heading into this weekend’s NASCAR races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
First: The most important headline heading into the weekend is track prep. Once again, Bristol Motor Speedway has run tire dragging machines and placed chemicals on the lower groove of the racetrack. But will it last longer this time?
Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series – Bristol
Busch Bros At Bristol
The Busch brothers will battle at Bristol Motor Speedway for sole possession of the active track wins lead in Sunday’s Food City 500 (2 p.m. ET on FOX). Kyle and Kurt pace active drivers with five victories each at “The Last Great Colosseum.”
Despite their successes, Kyle hasn’t won at Bristol since spring of 2011 and Kurt hasn’t visited Victory Lane there since spring of 2006. In 23 starts at the .533-mile short track, Kyle claims eight top fives, 13 top 10s and a 14.3 average finish. Kurt has nine top fives and 16 top 10s in 32 Bristol starts.
Kyle has the second-best Bristol driver rating (100.5), while Kurt’s is fifth-best (93.1).
Harvick Hopes For Second Straight Bristol Win
Last August’s Bristol winner Kevin Harvick will go for his second consecutive victory at the Tennessee track Sunday. The No. 4 Ford driver led 128 laps last summer to beat Ricky Stenhouse Jr. to the finish line by 1.933 seconds. Denny Hamlin, Austin Dillon and Chris Buescher rounded out the top five.
In 32 starts at Bristol, Harvick owns two wins, 11 top fives, 15 top 10s and a 15.4 average finish. He boasts the second-best average running position (12.2) and third-best driver rating (95.7) at the .533-mile track.
Harvick ranks first in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with 419 laps led (19.6%) this season.
He is currently 10th in the points standings (117 markers behind leader Kyle Larson) and holds three playoff points as a result of his three stage wins.
Logano Looks To Continue Bristol Success
Joey Logano will attempt to continue his recent Bristol success. He has logged four top-10 finishes, including two wins, in his last five starts at the Tennessee short track.
Although he’s done well at Bristol lately, his only career top-10 finish in the spring race there was his 10th-place showing last year.
The 26-year-old Connecticut native has quietly wheeled his No. 22 Ford to a hot start this season. He has finished sixth or better in every race except for Phoenix, where he crashed after leading 82 laps and winning the first stage.
Logano is coming off a season-best third-place showing at Texas. He sits fifth in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings – 72 points behind leader Kyle Larson.
Kenseth Can Build Momentum At Bristol
Although, Matt Kenseth has three top-10 finishes, he’s dug himself into a hole to start the season with three finishes of 36 or worse. He currently sits 22nd in the points standings, 189 markers behind first-place Kyle Larson.
Sunday’s Food City 500 could be a panacea for Kenseth. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has four wins, 13 top fives, 20 top 10s and a 14.2 average finish at Bristol.
Kenseth boasts the best average running position (11.4) and driver rating (100.9) at The Last Great Colosseum. He won the Bristol spring race in 2015.
Larson Heads To Bristol As Series Points Leader
Kyle Larson continued his breakout season at Texas with his fourth runner-up showing. The result marked his fifth top-two finish in the last six races.
Only four other drivers have logged as many top-two finishes as Larson’s five through the first seven races of a season: Kevin Harvick (6 top fives; 2015), Dale Earnhardt (5; 1987), Bobby Allison (5; 1972, 1979), Cale Yarborough (5, 1974).
The No. 42 Chevrolet driver has the top average finish (5.4) in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, but more importantly, he leads the points standings by 17 markers over second-place Chase Elliott. Martin Truex Jr. (-40) sits third, followed by Brad Keselowski (-41) and Joey Logano (-72). Ryan Blaney (-91), Kyle Busch (-104), Jamie McMurray (-106), Clint Bowyer (-111) and Kevin Harvick (-117) round out the top 10.
Larson will attempt to extend his points lead at Bristol, a track where he’s logged only two top 10s in six starts and has an average finish of 21.5.
Remember, the regular season points leader earns 15 playoff points.
Food City Celebrates 25th Year With Bristol Motor Speedway
Food City celebrates its 25th year of partnership for the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. The company claims the second longest race entitlement sponsorship in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and is Bristol Motor Speedway’s longest serving partner.
Bayne Returns To Home State
Knoxville, Tennessee native Trevor Bayne returns to his home state to race in the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. In five starts at Bristol, Bayne has an average finish of 18.8 and a high showing of fifth.
NASCAR Xfinity Series – Bristol
XFINITY Dash 4 Cash Returns With $1 Million Still On The Line
Returning this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway for its second installment of the 2017 season is the NASCAR XFINITY Series Dash 4 Cash program.
Justin Allgaier took home the first Dash 4 Cash win and the gigantic payload ($100K) earlier this season at Phoenix International Raceway. If Allgaier can win the Dash 4 Cash at the next three scheduled events (Bristol Motor Speedway, Richmond International Raceway and Dover International Speedway) he will not only bring home a total of $400,000 in winnings, but XFINITY will also tack on an additional $600,000 to bring Allgaier’s Dash 4 Cash win total to a cool million dollars.
But, before Allgaier becomes a millionaire, he will need to win the Dash 4 Cash at Bristol this weekend. The Riverton, Illinois native has made 12 starts at Bristol, posting his first career NASCAR XFINITY Series win (2010), five top fives, seven top 10s and an average finish of 12.7. In his last four starts at Bristol, he has finished in the top-10; including a runner-up finish last fall. Justin Allgaier has won the last two consecutive Dash 4 Cash events dating back to 2016 – Indianapolis last season and Phoenix a few weeks back.
The XFINITY Dash 4 Cash program began in 2009. This weekend will mark the third time Bristol Motor Speedway has hosted the XFINITY Dash 4 Cash program. Daniel Suárez won the first Dash 4 Cash check at Bristol in 2015 and Erik Jones won it in 2016.
Quick Reminder of The Dash 4 Cash Race Formats
- Coors Light Pole Qualifying will determine the starting positions for the race.
- The field will then begin the race with Stage 1, followed by Stage 2 and the Final Stage.
- Based on the participation guidelines announced last year, drivers with more than five years of full-time experience are restricted from the four races in the Dash 4 Cash program.
Dash 4 Cash Eligibility
- The top two finishing NASCAR XFINITY Series drivers who have declared for series points in each of the two stages will make up the four-driver Dash 4 Cash field for the Final Stage. Once Stage 1 is complete, the two drivers who lock into the main field won’t have their position counted against other Dash 4 Cash-eligible drivers following Stage 2 to ensure a four-driver field.
- The field will then begin the race with Stage 1, followed by Stage 2 and the Final Stage. At Bristol Motor Speedway: Stage 1 (Ends on lap 85), Stage 2 (Ends on lap 170), Final Stage (Ends on lap 300)
- The highest finisher in the final stage among the four Dash 4 Cash drivers wins the Dash 4 Cash and a $100,000 prize.
- Plus, don’t forget if a driver earns two Dash 4 Cash bonus wins over the four Dash 4 Cash races, that qualifies them for the NASCAR XFINITY Series playoffs.
Six Different Winners Through First Six XFINITY Races
For the 11th time in NASCAR XFINITY Series history (since 1982) the first six races of the season have seen six different winners. Ryan Reed (Daytona), Kyle Busch (Atlanta), Joey Logano (Las Vegas), Justin Allgaier (Phoenix), Kyle Larson (Auto Club) and Erik Jones (Texas) are this season’s six different winners.
The NASCAR XFINITY Series record for largest number of different winners in a single season is 18 – set back in 1988. Last season the NASCAR XFINITY Series had 14 different winners.
A total of 44 different drivers have won in the NASCAR XFINITY Series at Bristol, and of the six different winners that have an opportunity to become the first repeat winner of 2017, four of them have wins at Bristol. Just three are entered this weekend – Joey Logano has two BMS victories, Erik Jones and Justin Allgaier each have one.
Five Different Winners In Last Five Races At Bristol
Bristol Motor Speedway has a current streak of five different NASCAR XFINITY Series winners dating back to the fall of 2014; boding the question, will we see a sixth?
While it could happen, it may be tough. Four of the five previous winners in the current streak are entered this weekend – Austin Dillon (2016 Fall winner), Erik Jones (2016 Spring), Joey Logano (2015 Spring) and Ryan Blaney (2014 Fall). The series leader in wins at Bristol, Kyle Busch (eight wins), is the only one not entered.
Bristol has hosted six NXS first-time winners: Justin Allgaier (2010), Martin Truex Jr. (2004), Jeff Fuller (1996), Bobby Labonte (1991), Rick Wilson (1989) and Phil Parsons (1982).
Darrell Wallace Jr. Can Tie Jack Ingram’s Series Record This Weekend
Darrell Wallace Jr. and crew chief Seth Barbour are also on a hot streak, finishing sixth in the last five consecutive races. If Wallace finishes sixth next weekend at Bristol, he will tie Jack Ingram for the series record lead in consecutive single finishing positions inside the top-10. Ingram finished second a series record six times in 1983.
Ingram’s record of six consecutive second-place finishes in 1983 started on June 25, 1983 at South Boston, and carried on to Rougemont (7/2/83), Caraway (7/6/83), Rougemont (7/9/83), South Boston (7/23/83) and Hickory (7/30/83). If Wallace does match Ingram’s feat, he will have done it on six different tracks.
Wallace’s recent success has given him the third-best average finishing positon (10.5) through the first six races this season.
Wallace has made four series starts at BMS, posting an average finish of 14.0; including a seventh-place finish last fall.
“I love racing at Bristol and in Tennessee,” said Wallace. “Growing up a huge Vols fan it’s really cool to be racing in Vol Country. This place is a ton of fun to race on and hopefully we can keep our streak going and get a couple spots better than sixth with our Leidos Mustang. I’m definitely looking forward to getting there this weekend.”