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Race 5 – Food City 500 Preview

Posted by chadmusselman on March 15, 2008

Kyle Busch is leading the points chase has tore up Bristol lately. He’s averaged a 5th place finish in the last four races here. Look for that domination to continue on Sunday. Right now it looks like he could begin a streak of domination not seen since Jeff Gordon in the mid-to-late 90’s.

Qualifying position means a lot at Bristol. Since the track is only ½ mile, it’s easy for the 25th – 43rd place qualifiers to get a lap down early. Kyle Busch starts down in 22nd since qualifying was rained out, so he’ll have to get on the move fairly quick if he doesn’t want to fall a lap down early. With his aggressive driving style, he should be able to move people out of the way and get to the top.

Greg Biffle is kind of a surprise at second place in the standings. He’s had solid runs with two top 5’s, one top 10, and a 15th being his worst finish, in California. He’s done well at Bristol over the past two seasons, so there’s no reason to believe Sunday would be any different. Biffle should be a solid pick to finish in the top 10, and his 14th place starting spot should help him stay up with the leaders.

Right now Denny Hamlin is the lowest ranked driver that made the chase last year, in 19th place. He’s only had one top 10 finish this year which was a 9th in Las Vegas. A 12th place starting spot isn’t too bad, but Hamlin hasn’t done particularly well in Bristol, so don’t look for him to make much noise.

Normally a driver that would be an easy pick to win is Jeff Gordon. But his last win here was in 2002. He also does not have two consecutive top 10 finishes at Bristol since fall of ’01 and spring of ’02 (4th place & a win). In his last race at Bristol Jeff finished 3rd, so if history is any indicator, he’ll probably finish outside of the top 10 this week. He’s starting 2nd, so if there’s ever a chance for him to get back-to-back top 10s this is it, but I’ll go with history on this one and say he finishes just outside the top 10.

Four drivers with a real shot to win
· Kyle Busch – 2nd, 8th, 9th, 1st in last 4 – starting 22nd this weekend
· Dale Earnhardt Jr. – 3rd, 5th, 7th in 3 of last 4 – starting 15th this weekend
· Carl Edwards – 7th, 4th, 1st in 3 of last 4 – starting 9th this weekend
· Greg Biffle – 7th, 10th, 5th in 3 of last 4 – starting 14th this weekend

Two others that should do well:
o Matt Kenseth – 1st & 3rd in 2 of last 4 – starting 4th this weekend
o Ryan Newman – 8th, 9th, 7th in 3 of last 4 – starting 13th this weekend


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