NASCAR Bristol Notebook: Kyle Busch Looking For Record Third Straight Weekend Sweep

(NASCAR Wire Service)

Reid Spencer ~ NASCAR Wire Service

Kyle Busch (Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

Kyle Busch (Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR)

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Kyle Busch likes his chances.

Last week at Texas Motor Speedway, the reigning NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion swept the XFINITY Series and Cup races — a week after winning both the Camping World Truck Series and Cup races at Martinsville Speedway.

Busch and Harry Gant are the only drivers to have swept consecutive NASCAR weekends, a feat Gant accomplished in 1991 at Richmond and Dover. No driver has ever swept three consecutive NASCAR weekends – yet.

But Busch think he has a realistic shot, even though he’ll have to win Saturday’s XFINITY Series race under a completely new Dash 4 Cash format featuring two 50-lap heat races and a 200-lap main event.

“Coming to Bristol, it’s been a really good place for me on the Truck side, the XFINITY side and on the Cup Series side,” Busch said. “But I think the XFINITY Series side – I’m not going to say it’s going to be easy as it’s going to be a little different this weekend with the heat races and things like that.

“If we can win a heat and then start up front for the feature and how the pit strategy plays out with it only being 200 laps and seeing what tire wear is all about here, I think we’ve got a really good shot there. Then of course we’ve got the 500 lapper (Food City 500 NSCS race) on Sunday (1 p.m. ET on FOX) and that’s going to be harder to figure out.”

Busch and crew chief Adam Stevens also have been preparing for Bristol, trying to eliminate the one deficiency in their performance in last August’s night race.

“We were good here last fall and led a lot of laps, we ran up front, and we weren’t very good on the long run, but Adam and I both went to work over the offseason and especially this week getting prepared for this weekend and knowing that we can come here with a better shot to win this one.

“I’d like to think that there’s a good shot to do it here, and then we’ll hopefully be talking about whether we can do it or not at Richmond. It would be a pretty good story.”


Fresh from the best finish of his fledgling NASCAR Sprint Cup Series career – a fifth-place showing at Texas last week – Chase Elliott continues his baptism by fire with his first competition in a Cup car at Bristol Motor Speedway.

That doesn’t mean, however, that Elliott has no experience at the super-fast .533-mile concrete oval. At age 17, he ran at Thunder Valley in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for the only time, winning the pole and finishing fifth.

In four NASCAR XFINITY Series races at Bristol in 2014 and 2015, Elliott posted a best finish of third and a worst of ninth. So in five NASCAR national series starts at Bristol, Elliott has never finished outside the top 10, a streak he hopes to preserve in Sunday’s Food City 500.

“I’m excited,” Elliott said on Friday morning before opening Cup practice. “What a cool place Bristol is. It’s a track I’ve always enjoyed coming to, to watch as a fan, and one that I certainly never wanted to miss watching at home. Very neat to be here and be here and be a part of the Cup Series race this weekend.

“We’ve had some good runs and some not so good runs on the XFINITY side. We ran a Truck race here and I think a Pro Cup race here. I’ve been fortunate enough to race here a handful of times over the past four or five years. Hopefully, we can take a little bit of that knowledge that we have gathered over those races and try to apply it this weekend.”

The Pro Cup race Elliott referenced was in 2010, when he was 14. He finished fifth. And in his lone NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at Bristol in 2010, he ran 10th.

The experienced gained in those seven starts should stand Elliott in good stead when he lines up with the world’s best on Sunday.


In Friday’s opening NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice at Bristol, there was no mistaking the fastest way around the .533-mile oval. Consistently, drivers ran their top speeds on the bottom of the track.

That runs contrary to the past few races at Bristol. Ever since the grinding of the top lane, the preferred line has been the outside.

Never fear, says driver Carl Edwards. The groove will move, either before or during Sunday’s Food City 500.

“I’m not exactly sure why,” Edwards said on Friday afternoon when asked why the bottom lane was best in practice. “There might be some slight differences with the Goodyear tires, but probably the best reason or most likely reason for that is that we haven’t put a lot of rubber down on the track yet, and it just seems like this place moves around a lot.

“We talked about it in practice. I don’t think that the race will be run on the bottom like that. I think it will really widen out, but I don’t know when it will happen. I don’t know if it will happen today or all the way where we might have to wait until Sunday for it.”

Leave a Reply

Copyright 2018 E-Media Sports

Website Designed by Thirty Marketing