Possibly the three most exciting words in NASCAR. Certainly three of the most anticipated. We recently suffered through Michigan and Pocono, now it's time to go racing, and determine who makes the Chase.
There are just three races left until the playoff Chase begins. Bristol, Atlanta, and Richmond. Three of NASCAR's legacy tracks, with each having at least fifty years of hosting Cup races. These last three races of the regular season are all night races. In fact, they are the last races of the year that will actually start in the darkness. Next weekend is the last off weekend of the year for the Sprint Cup boys.
Can't You See
Some of the worst kept secrets in NASCAR were formally announced this week. Marcos Ambrose is going to drive the RPM #9 Stanley Tolls Ford next year and beyond. Budweiser has tapped Kevin Harvick and his RCR #29 Chevy to sell their suds for the near future. Look for Mobile 1 to make the change from Penske to the #14 of Tony Stewart beginning next season.
Got That Right
NASCAR debuted next year's schedule this week. Fontana loses a race, so thousands of empty seats will only be noticed once next year instead of twice. Chicagoland gets the first Chase race. It's the week before the NFL starts, and, of course, the Cubbies will have been mathematically eliminated for months by then, so no major league competition. Bet they still won't sell out. Also, Atlanta gives one of its race dates to Kentucky.
This will be Bristol's 100th Cup race. There have been 38 different winners in those 100 races.
Kyle Busch, Brad Keselowski, and Elliott Sadler all will drive in all three major NASCAR series this weekend at Bristol.
Clint Bowyer is sponsored by Hamburger Helper, and Ryan Newman by Wix Filters, at Bristol.
The #4 Chevy of Morgan-McClure Motorsports attempts its first start of 2010 with Kevin Lepage driving. It was 20 years ago this month, here at Bristol when Ernie Irvan gave MMM their first win.