How can you find tonight's NASCAR Bristol race on TV? For most of the country, it's on ABC – but due to preseason football and hurricane coverage, it won't be that way for everyone.
Check and see if you're in one of these affected markets:
BUFFALO, N.Y. – The race will air on ESPN instead of ABC.
DETROIT – The race will air on WXYZ-TV's digital tier 2 channel (the "Live Well Detroit" channel), and WXYZ will join the race in progress once the Detroit Lions game ends.
MIAMI – The race will air on ESPN instead of ABC due to hurricane coverage.
QUINCY, ILL. – The race will air on ESPN instead of ABC.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. – The race will air on WHAM-TV's digital tier 2 channel.
TULSA, OKLA. – The race will air on ESPN instead of ABC.
WESLACO, TEXAS – The race will air on ESPN instead of ABC.
OTHER: If you're in Little Rock, Ark., Corpus Christi, Texas or Omaha, Neb., your local ABC affiliate will pre-empt the NASCAR Countdown pre-race show at 7 p.m. for local news – but it will join the ABC race telecast at 7:30 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 7:48 p.m.
Here are some storylines, notes and drivers to watch for in tonight's NASCAR race at Bristol Motor Speedway:
Is The New Bristol A Return To The Old Bristol?
In the spring there was plenty of racing but little of the wrecking which had become synonymous with Bristol. The outcry was enough that track owner Bruton Smith decided to call in the bulldozers and narrow the upper groove. This was done in an effort to restore the high-banked oval to the days when drivers often had to resort to using their bumpers to complete a pass. And based off yesterday's Nationwide race fans may have gotten what they asked for, as there was plenty of beating and banging, bent sheet-metal and angry drivers post race.
We'll see if the above carries over from last night to tonight, but what we do know is that a giant curveball has been thrown at the garage in the form of rain. With qualifying having been wiped-out, the starting lineup for tonight has been set by practice speeds. That means the unlikely pole-sitter is Casey Mears with some faster drivers - including Jimmie Johnson - rolling off the grid towards the rear.
Danica Is Back (And Starting In The Back)
For the fourth time this season Danica Patrick will run a Sprint Cup Series race. Her goal, like it was each time before, is to avoid trouble and log as many laps as possible. That however, is much easier said than done at Bristol. This is going to be especially though considering how off the pace Patrick was in practice, as she was the slowest car in both rounds of practice - over 5 mph behind the leaders. Also not helping matters is that as a result of her slowness in practice, Patrick will be starting shotgun on the field.
Kyle/Jeff/Carl All Need A Win ... Badly
Between the three of them, Jeff Gordon, Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards have combined won 12 races at Bristol. But with each of them on the wrong side of the Chase cutoff, the trio enters tonight's event in desperate need of a win. And with all three having said they're driving each lap as hard as possible along with being willing to take whatever chances needed, this has all the elements for some entertaining moments tonight. However, this strategy could easily backfire, as being too aggressive on a bullring like Bristol can have severe consequences.
- Last week in Michigan was the 18th time Greg Biffle had won a Sprint Cup race. Yet, the series points leader is still looking for his first victory on a track shorter than a mile.
- Janet Guthrie holds the record for the highest finish by a woman at Bristol, as she finished sixth in the 1977 edition of this race.
- When Casey Mears leads the field to the green flag tonight, it will be the first time since 2007 that he has done so.
1. Brad Keselowski
With Brad Keselowski having won the last two Bristol races along with being fast in practice, this is a fairly easy pick for the top spot.
2. Kyle Busch
If Brad Keselowski is 1A, then Kyle Busch should be 1B, as he is the winner of four of the last seven races on the half-mile oval. Although he wasn't particularly pleased with his Toyota in practice, the No. 18 car was still plenty fast - which could be bad news for the competition.
3. Greg Biffle
No, Greg Biffle has never won on a short track, but don't think he isn't formidable at Bristol, as it often goes unnoticed that he has 11 top 10s in 16 starts. And he did show some speed in both practices having the posted the third-fastest time in Friday's first session.