NASCAR & Auto Racing

NASCAR Irwin Tools Night Race preview in 3 minutes

Everything you need to know about Saturday’s race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway in three minutes:

Three things to watch

1. Joe Gibbs Racing has dominated the Cup series this summer. Matt Kenseth, Denny Hamlin and Kyle Busch are all favorites at Bristol. JGR drivers were 1-2-3 in qualifying (as they were at Michigan last weekend), with pole winner Hamlin and Busch on the front row (as they were for Friday’s Xfinity race) and Carl Edwards third.

2. Kyle Larson had the fastest car during Friday’s second Cup practice. Does he finally get his first series victory?

3. A few drivers are making milestone starts: Ryan Newman’s 500th and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. his 100th. Stenhouse’s average finish of 9.2 in Bristol’s summer race is best on the circuit. He will start eighth.


▪ No special aero packages to prepare for at Bristol. Just good, no-frills, short-track racing under the lights.

▪  NASCAR’s “silly season” is set to crank up after this week’s announcement from Michael Waltrip Racing that Clint Bowyer will be released after this season. Let the rumors and speculation about who’s going where begin.

Best bets

Three picks for your fantasy team:

Matt Kenseth: Not only is he on a roll (two wins in the past three races), but he also won Bristol’s spring race.

Joey Logano: Five top-10s in past six races, including a victory at Watkins Glen, N.Y.; will start fifth Saturday.

Denny Hamlin: Got around Bristol in a track-record 131.407 mph to win pole. Also was fast last weekend at Michigan.

He said it

“One in 43.” – A sardonic Matt Kenseth on his chances of winning Saturday (43 cars in the field).


Getting there

Race facts

Irwin Tools Night Race

Where: Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.

Track type: .533-mile high-banked oval.

Race distance: 266.5 miles, or 500 laps.

Green flag: 7:45 p.m.

Weather: High of 76, partly cloudy. 15 percent chance of rain.

TV: NBC Sports Network.

Radio: Performance Racing Network.