By Jim Utter
Three things to watch
1 . Brad Keselowski has won the past two Cup races at Bristol and certainly is in good position for another this weekend.
2 . One more win and Greg Biffle could be tied for the lead when the Chase gets underway in the next few weeks. But he's never won at Bristol, Atlanta or Richmond.
3 . New Bristol? Old Bristol? Somewhere in between? What will drivers see in the race after changes made to the track since March? Most say it won't become clear until about half the race has been run with all 43 drivers on the track.
Jim Utter gives you three picks for your fantasy racing league:
Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth and Brad Keselowski.
Mears starts from the pole: Fast in practice proved a big bonus for Casey Mears on Friday.
Heavy rain washed out qualifying for Saturday night's Cup race at Bristol, and since both practice sessions were complete, the lineup was set by practice speeds from the first session, which Mears led.
Defending race winner Brad Keselowski will start second, series points leader Greg Biffle starts third, Joey Logano fourth and Aric Almirola fifth. Danica Patrick, who was slowest of 47 cars in both practice sessions, will line up 43rd.
“For our team, it's been a long couple of years. The team has really grown and we've made a lot of improvements this year. This will be a big shot in the arm, for sure,” Mears said.
“We've been able to cars and parts from Roush (Fenway Racing). We were pretty embarrassed with how we showed up here last time (in March). We unloaded way better than we did last time.”
Earnhardt not happy with Keselowski: Dale Earnhardt Jr. expressed his displeasure on Friday morning over comments Brad Keselowski made last weekend, which many in the media claimed were allegations of cheating at Hendrick Motorsports.
Keselowski never accused Hendrick of cheating but in reference to the organization's performance gains in the area of rear suspension, it was “living in the gray area.”
Earnhardt said he took “offense to the claims and accusations” made by Keselowski.
“I do know Brad pretty well. Brad is a really good guy. He has a pretty good heart. He is a really great race car driver and I wish he would concentrate on that,” Earnhardt said. “I think he likes to talk a lot, but I think his true skills shine on the race track not really behind the microphone.”
NASCAR suspends crew member: Ryan Hess, a crew member in the Nationwide Series for the No. 81 Dodge team, has been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy.
Track type: .533-mile, highly banked, concrete oval
Race distance: 500 laps or 266.5 miles
Weather: Sunny and high in the low 80s.
TV: Coverage begins at 7 p.m. on ABC. Green flag is 7:45 p.m.
Radio: Performance Racing Network