Bristol Motor Speedway will play host to today’s Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500. It’s the eighth event of the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season.
Rain in the area could force the event to be delayed well into the night today, or possibly even to tomorrow.
Tempers are always high in the close-quarters of short track racing, and with the bottom lane as the preferred line, drivers will be fighting to stay in that groove.
In recent years, the concrete track surface has had its bottom lane treated with a traction compound called PJ1, designed to increase grip in that part of the track. Some drivers love it, others hate it, but all of them have to deal with it.
Kyle Larson is certainly one who wants the groove to expand away from the bottom lane.
I’d like to hear what the fans think of this bottom groove racing. Only thing that’s made it somewhat interesting to me is these xfinity guys crashin it up in the first half. But hey I guess that’s what some fans want.
— Kyle Larson (@KyleLarsonRacin) April 14, 2018
Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, TN
0.533 mile concrete oval
500 laps / 250 miles
Green Flag: 1:08pm EDT (moved up an hour due to threat of rain)
Stages end: lap 125, lap 250, lap 500 (finish)
Coverage: FOX, PRN, SiriusXM
Kyle and Kurt Busch locked up the front row during qualifying on Friday, however Kurt had an accident with 5 minutes left in final practice on Saturday and will surrender his No. 2 starting spot for going to a backup car.
39 cars entered for the 40-car field, so all will race today.
Kyle Busch also posted the fastest 10-lap average speed in final practice, to backup his No. 1 qualifying performance.
Front Row Racing made a splash in final practice with both of their cars finishing in the top five of practice speeds. David Ragan posted the fastest lap in final practice, while Michael McDowell had the 5th fastest time.
Last Time at Bristol
Jimmie Johnson captured the win in last spring’s race at Bristol, which was postponed to Monday due to rain. It was his second win in a row, after winning at Texas the week prior. Clint Bowyer, winner at Martinsville two weeks ago, finished second to Johnson.