It's Bristol Baby! Can Dale Jr tie the King's record?
Qualifying is already history, and Denny Hamlin has the pole position. But once again, Dale Jr. is the driver who could go down in history. He starts 14th in the race, but it's the finish that could put him in the elite category only held by the King, Richard Petty. In all the years of NASCAR, only one driver has finished either first or second in the first four races of the season. Dale Jr. won at Daytona, finished second at Phoenix and second again at Las Vegas. Now Bristol, where Jr. has won before, in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series, is the next track on the schedule, and no one can deny a win is definitely a possibility.
Of course, there are a number of drivers who are determined to keep Jr. from Victory Lane. As mentioned above, Denny Hamlin will start on the pole, joined alongside by last week's winner, Brad Keselowski. Matt Kenseth will be in row 2 alongside Joey Logano.
Qualifying was a little different than in the past two weeks (well, and Daytona, but that's "a whole 'nother story"). NASCAR has decided that for safety reasons, they will allow a cool down unit to be installed on the cars for qualifying. It seemed to do exactly what it should and there were no incidents on track this week. Well, that is, of course, except for Danica Patrick during practice. Danica crashed about three minutes into the first practice, collecting an unfortunate Parker Kligerman in the process. I continue to agree with Richard Petty. If it weren't for the commercial aspect, and the sponsorship Danica has managed to obtain, there would be no reason, no pull, and certainly no advantage to her being in the big leagues of NASCAR. In my opinion, she is, at best, a mediocre Nationwide Series driver, and would likely have significantly more success were she to race in the Truck Series. ARCA might even be better suited to her talents.
My "sis" and a number of other friends should be in attendance this weekend, and if I'm lucky, I might have a few pictures sent my way. If that is the case, I'll be sure to post them here for you all to enjoy.
Racing in the Bull Ring gets underway on Sunday at 1:00 pm ET, but there is plenty of coverage on TV prior to the race. FOX still has the TV rights and FoxSports 1 has the pre-race coverage.
Who is your pick for the win? Can Dale Jr tie Richard Petty's record? Will Brad Keselowski win another race? Or will the Fords of Roush dominate once again on the concrete?
It's Bristol Baby!!