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Driver Recommendations for the 2009 Sharpie 500 at Bristol

Posted by chadmusselman on August 17, 2009

Eleven of the twelve drivers that made the chase last year finished in the top ten at least twice in the last four races at Bristol. Picking a winner for the Sharpie 500 won’t be easy. The half-mile Bristol Motor Speedway keeps the cars bunched up and usually bumping and banging their way around the track. The car that gets dinged up the least will probably be the one going into victory lane.

Chaser: Jeff Gordon
Jeff is Mr. Bristol. He has 5 wins, 14 top fives, and 20 top tens in 33 career races. His average finish of 11.3 is close to the top among active drivers. He has 4 top five finishes in the last 6 races here. Jeff is awesome here, and if he doesn’t get caught up in someone else’s mess, he should be in the top 5, and probably fighting for the win at the end of the race.

Alternate Chaser: Clint Bowyer
Clint is 14th in points and needs a good run to get into position to make the chase. Bristol is a track that he does well at, and could get a top 5 or top 10 run. He’s finished in the top ten in 4 of the last 5 here. He’s also been one of the hottest drivers lately averaging a 9.4 place finish in the last 5 races this season.

Kasey Kahne
Kasey is another driver that’s been on a roll lately, averaging a 8.6 place finish over the past 5 races. He’s also had some success at Bristol lately, finishing in the top ten in 4 of the last 4 races. He doesn’t have any wins here, but if he avoids accidents he usually finishes around the top 10.

Ryan Newman
Ryan has been cooling off lately and hasn’t had a top ten finish since the July 11th race in Chicago, so he’s due. This weekend could be different, as he’s had some success at Bristol lately, finishing in the top ten in 3 of the last 4 races. Ryan is 9th in points and should make the chase fairly easily, but look for him to try to get a couple more top tens to get momentum going into the chase.

Darkhorse: Marcos Ambrose
Marcos sits 17th in points, but has had some good runs this season. He does have 3 top fives and 6 top ten finishes this season, so he’s no slouch. At the spring Bristol race (his first at Bristol) he finished 10th. He does well at road courses, and Bristol is a track that the driver needs to brake and accelerate like a road course, so he should do well again this weekend.


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