A little bit of background for tonight's race.
I moonlight as the press release coordinator for Mobile International Speedway, A Rick Crawford Performance Track. Before the season began, we released a tentative calendar that had races scheduled for tonight, Aug. 25, that fans passionately shot down.
"We want to stay home and watch Bristol," they told us. So, we revamped the schedule and provided an off-weekend for local racing so fans could watch tonight's IRWIN Tools Night Race.
It's traditionally one of the most exciting races of the Sprint Cup season. Toss in the race to the Chase and the new track surface, and there's a lot of mystery surrounding tonight's race. That's the most appealing variable to NASCAR racing and fans will turn out in droves in anticipation.
If you're looking to pick a winner, start with the name ‘Busch' and look at the cars they've driven to victory lane over the years.
Kurt Busch was the standard bearer for success, winning five times from 2000-to-2006. He hasn't won here since the sprint of 2006 - 11 races ago, passing his success down to little brother Kyle who has also won five times since 2006. But recently, it's Kurt Busch's old Penske Duece that's had all the success, with driver Brad Keselowski.
Keselowski has won the last two Sprint Cup Series races at Bristol and has looked especially fast all weekend long. Victories at the Speedway tend to run in bunches with Keselowski appearing set to start a new trend at the Bristol Motor Speedway.
And then there's the wild card battle. Kyle Busch, Jeff Gordon and Carl Edwards are all in need of a victory. With a track made famous by the bump and run, how aggressive are these drivers willing to get in order to stake a claim on the Chase for the Championship?
Due to qualifying getting rained out, the starting lineup was set by the rulebook, placing Casey Mears on the point for the start of tonight's race. Brad Keselowski, Greg Biffle, Joey Logano and Aric Almirola round-out the complete starting top-five.
The green flag is set to drop at approximately 7:30 EST. The race will be televised by ABC. A complete starting lineup can be found after the jump.
|1||1||13||Casey Mears||GEICO Ford||2012 Owner Points 28th|
|2||2||Brad Keselowski||Miller Lite Dodge||2012 Owner Points 5th|
|2||3||16||Greg Biffle||3M/Bondo Ford||2012 Owner Points 1st|
|4||20||Joey Logano||Dollar General Toyota||2012 Owner Points 19th|
|3||5||43||Aric Almirola||Goody's Ford||2012 Owner Points 23rd|
|6||31||Jeff Burton||Caterpillar Chevrolet||2012 Owner Points 21st|
|4||7||27||Paul Menard||Menards/Schrock Chevrolet||2012 Owner Points 16th|
|8||11||Denny Hamlin||FedEx Ground Toyota||2012 Owner Points 10th|
|5||9||9||Marcos Ambrose||DeWalt Ford||2012 Owner Points 17th|
|10||18||Kyle Busch||M&M's Toyota||2012 Owner Points 14th|
|6||11||24||Jeff Gordon||Farm Ville/Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet||2012 Owner Points 15th|
|12||5||Kasey Kahne||Hendrickcars.com Chevrolet||2012 Owner Points 11th|
|7||13||29||Kevin Harvick||Rheem Chevrolet||2012 Owner Points 8th|
|14||78||Regan Smith||Furniture Row/Farm American Chevrolet||2012 Owner Points 25th|
|8||15||56||Martin Truex Jr.||NAPA Auto Parts Toyota||2012 Owner Points 6th|
|16||88||Dale Earnhardt Jr.||Diet Mountain Dew/National Guard Chevrolet||2012 Owner Points 3rd|
|9||17||17||Matt Kenseth||Valvoline NextGen Ford||2012 Owner Points 2nd|
|18||38||David Gilliland||Taco Bell Ford||2012 Owner Points 29th|
|10||19||39||Ryan Newman||Outback Steakhouse Chevrolet||2012 Owner Points 13th|
|20||51||Kurt Busch||Phoenix Construction Chevrolet||2012 Owner Points 27th|
|11||21||14||Tony Stewart||Mobil 1/Office Depot Chevrolet||2012 Owner Points 9th|
|22||55||Brian Vickers||MyClassicGarage.com Toyota||2012 Owner Points 18th|
|12||23||15||Clint Bowyer||5-hour Energy Toyota||2012 Owner Points 7th|
|24||34||David Ragan||Glory Foods Ford||2012 Owner Points 31st|
|13||25||36||Dave Blaney||Seal Wrap Chevrolet||2012 Owner Points 35th|
|26||1||Jamie McMurray||Bass Pro Shops/Allstate Chevrolet||2012 Owner Points 20th|
|14||27||99||Carl Edwards||Fastenal Ford||2012 Owner Points 12th|
|28||42||Juan Pablo Montoya||Target Chevrolet||2012 Owner Points 24th|
|15||29||22||Sam Hornish Jr.(i)||Shell Pennzoil Dodge||2012 Owner Points 22nd|
|30||98||* Michael McDowell||K-Love/Curb Records Ford||2012 Owner Attempts|
|16||31||30||* David Stremme||Inception Motorsports Toyota||2012 Owner Attempts|
|32||26||* Josh Wise #||MDS Transport Ford||2012 Owner Attempts|
|17||33||83||Landon Cassill||Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota||2012 Owner Points 32nd|
|34||19||* Mike Bliss(i)||Plinker Tactical Toyota||2012 Owner Attempts 17|
|18||35||23||* Scott Riggs||North Texas Pipe Chevrolet||2012 Owner Attempts 21|
|36||47||Bobby Labonte||Bush's Beans Toyota||2012 Owner Points 26th|
|19||37||48||Jimmie Johnson||Lowe's Dover White Chevrolet||2012 Owner Points 4th|
|38||33||* Stephen Leicht #||LittleJoesAuto.com Chevrolet||2012 Owner Attempts|
|20||39||49||* Jason Leffler(i)||America Isarael Racing Toyota||2012 Owner Attempts 20|
|40||87||* Joe Nemechek(i)||AM/FM Energy Wood & Pellet Stoves Toyota||2012 Owner Attempts|
|21||41||93||Travis Kvapil||Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota||2012 Owner Points 30th|
|42||32||Ken Schrader||Federated Auto Parts Ford||2012 Owner Points 34th|
|22||43||10||Danica Patrick(i)||Go Daddy Racing Chevrolet||2012 Owner Points 33rd|
Did Not Qualify: #95 Scott Speed; #79 Kelly Bires; #91 Reed Sorenson(i); #37 JJ Yeley.
Manufacturer Starting Lineup DNQs Manufacturer Starting Lineup DNQs
Chevrolet 10 2 Ford 7 2