Update 7:40 EST: Track drying continues at Bristol. Estimated green flag has been pushed back to 8:15 p.m. EST
The chase for the championship is on in the Nationwide Series, starting tonight in the Food City 250 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
While not a true playoff format, the top-four contenders are separated by just 35 points, with each of them capable of winning on any given week. With 12 races remaining, the title hunt is wide-open with four of the most diverse and likable drivers in Nationwide Series history gunning for the championship.
Both Sam Hornish Jr. and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. trail Elliott Sadler by 22 points entering this weekend's race. Austin Dillon is fourth, 35 markers back.
After two sub-par road course results, Stenhouse and Dillon have the most to prove at the more traditional oval facilities, and could easily exit with momentum and a stone's throw of the championship.
I'm curious to see how Hornish fares in tonight's race. He's coming off back-to-back runner-up finishes at Watkins Glen and Montreal but Bristol will be a brand new test for Hornish's championship ambitions.
Despite three years of Sprint Cup Series experience, Bristol is still a bit of a culture shock for those with an open-wheel background. For comparison's sake, Danica Patrick has struggled all weekend in both her Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series cars. Bristol is unlike anything the IndyCar Series competes on and very few drivers quickly adjust.
Trevor Bayne, who hails from nearby Knoxville, Tenn., is on the pole for tonight's race with Joey Logano, Brian Scott, Austin Dillon and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. completing the top-five in qualifying.
Patrick will start 34th.
The complete starting lineup and a discussion thread can be found after the jump. Tonight's race will be televised by ESPN and will start at 7:30 p.m. EST. An instant reactions recap will be posted shortly after the end of the race.
|1||1||60||Trevor Bayne||Yourracecar.com Ford||15.833||121.190|
|2||18||Joey Logano(i)||Dollar General Toyota||15.846||121.090|
|2||3||11||Brian Scott||Dollar General Toyota||15.848||121.075|
|4||3||Austin Dillon #||American Ethanol Chevrolet||15.854||121.029|
|3||5||6||Ricky Stenhouse Jr.||NOS Ford||15.874||120.877|
|6||31||Justin Allgaier||Brandt Chevrolet||15.877||120.854|
|4||7||2||Elliott Sadler||OneMain Financial Chevrolet||15.903||120.656|
|8||22||Brad Keselowski(i)||Discount Tire Dodge||15.903||120.656|
|5||9||12||Sam Hornish Jr.||Detroit Genuine Parts Dodge||15.915||120.566|
|10||54||Kyle Busch(i)||Monster Energy Toyota||15.923||120.505|
|6||11||30||Nelson Piquet Jr(i)||Autotrac/Qualcomm Chevrolet||15.973||120.128|
|12||36||Ryan Blaney||Seal Wrap Chevrolet||16.022||119.760|
|7||13||33||Kevin Harvick(i)||Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet||16.061||119.470|
|14||44||Mike Bliss||Bandit Chippers Toyota||16.083||119.306|
|8||15||38||Kasey Kahne(i)||Great Clips Chevrolet||16.094||119.225|
|16||87||Joe Nemechek||AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet/AC GenToyota||16.107||119.128|
|9||17||10||Jeff Green||TriStar Motorsport Toyota||16.122||119.017|
|18||43||Michael Annett||Pilot/Flying J Ford||16.124||119.003|
|10||19||88||Cole Whitt #||SPY Optic Chevrolet||16.170||118.664|
|20||99||John Wes Townley(i)||Zaxby's Toyota||16.172||118.650|
|11||21||51||Jeremy Clements||stjude.org Chevrolet||16.177||118.613|
|22||40||Erik Darnell||The Motorsports Group Chevrolet||16.184||118.562|
|12||23||19||Tayler Malsam||G-Oil/Noah's Light Foundation Toyota||16.190||118.518|
|24||42||Josh Wise(i)||Curtis Key Plumbing Chevrolet||16.209||118.379|
|13||25||75||Scott Riggs(i)||Lilly Trucking Chevrolet||16.220||118.298|
|26||81||Jason Bowles #||American Majority Dodge||16.230||118.226|
|14||27||39||Josh Richards||Joy Global Ford||16.259||118.015|
|28||15||Timmy Hill||Lilly Trucking Chevrolet||16.302||117.703|
|15||29||70||Johanna Long #||Foretravel Chevrolet||16.311||117.638|
|30||86||Kevin Lepage||Qello Ford||16.315||117.610|
|16||31||46||Chase Miller||The Motorsports Group Chevrolet||16.318||117.588|
|32||52||Joey Gase #||Jimco Windows Chevrolet||16.327||117.523|
|17||33||01||Mike Wallace||Tradebank Chevrolet||16.380||117.143|
|34||7||Danica Patrick||GoDaddy.com Chevrolet||16.431||116.779|
|18||35||08||Tim Andrews||Randy Hill Racing Ford||16.440||116.715|
|36||41||Fain Skinner||Carport Empire Ford||16.467||116.524|
|19||37||50||David Starr(i)||Make Motorsports Chevrolet||16.472||116.489|
|38||24||Benny Gordon||Big Timber/Horizon Entertainment Toyota||16.476||116.460|
|20||39||14||Eric McClure||Hefty/Reynolds Wrap Toyota||16.496||116.319|
|40||74||Rick Crawford(i)||Koma Unwind Chevrolet||16.505||116.256|
|21||41||4||Brad Teague||SCAG Commercial Mowers Chevrolet||Owner Points|
|42||23||Robert Richardson Jr.||North Texas Pipe Chevrolet||Owner Points|
|22||43||71||Carl Long||Lilly Trucking Chevrolet||16.548||115.954|
Did Not Qualify: # 89 Morgan Shepherd; # 47 Stephen Leicht(i); # 00 Blake Koch.
Manufacturer Starting Lineup DNQs Manufacturer Starting Lineup DNQs
Chevrolet 23 3 Ford 7 0