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NASCAR Sprint Cup Food City 500 Preview

 

Bristol Motor Speedway - image: NASCAR

Bristol Motor Speedway - image: NASCAR

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The NASCAR Sprint Cup series heads to Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee twice each year. Early in the season, it’s for this weekend’s Food City 500, while the Irwin Tools Night Race is held in late August.

Though the two races run at different times of the year, under entirely different lighting and track conditions, they have one thing in common beside the half-mile oval track: both guarantee plenty of yellow flags, meaning that staying out of trouble in Bristol may be the most difficult aspect of winning here.

Fans love the track, which can accommodate up to a staggering 165,000 spectators. Its    extremely short length means that speeds are fairly slow (the Sprint Cup qualifying record is just 128.7 mph), but also guarantees that contact is inevitable.

Kurt Busch has racked up an impressive five wins at Bristol, including four in the Food City 500. His Brother Kyle also has five wins at the track, with three in the Food City 500. Jeff Gordon also has five wins here (including four in the daytime race), but his most recent victory here dates all the way back to 2002.

Brad Keselowski won here last March, while Denny Hamlin won under the lights in August. Current Sprint Cup points leader Jimmie Johnson has won here in recent years, and there’s no denying the Hendrick Motorsports driver appears determined to add another championship to his collection in 2013.

If we were the betting type, though, we’d have to put our money down on Kyle Busch for the win on Sunday. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver has looked good all season, though luck certainly hasn’t gone his way yet. Given his proven ability to cross the finish line first at Bristol, we think he’ll make his own luck on Sunday.

Another factor for this weekend’s race is weather. As of now, there’s a 60-percent chance of rain on Sunday, with a forecasted high of 64. Should the race get bumped to Monday, there’s just a 20-percent chance of a thunderstorm with a predicted high of 63.

If you can’t make it to Bristol, Tennessee this weekend, you can catch the race live on Fox television at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.


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