By Sarah Tonsmeire
Last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, it was all about the cowboy hat and guns when Jimmie Johnson held off Kevin Harvick and teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr., to take the win. Johnson secured his second win this season, fifth at Texas Motor Speedway, and further proved that he is in the hunt for another Championship this year. Although much of the race
was uneventful, the battle for second between Kevin Harvick and Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the final stretch of the race brought excitement to the table. Martin Truex Jr. posted another notable top ten finish last weekend, giving him seven consecutive top ten finishes for the season. Jimmie Johnson and Kevin Harvick are currently the two drivers with two wins this season, and Harvick sits on top of the standings. To add to the list of crazy encounters at NASCAR tracks, a rabbit managed to wander onto the track during the race, but remained unharmed.
In other NASCAR news this week, Kyle Busch addressed the media for the first time since his major injury at Daytona in February. Busch mentioned his recovery seemed to be ahead of schedule, but that doctors would not give him a timetable to return to the sport. Busch hopes to return by the July race in Daytona.
As NASCAR prepares to go short trackin’ this week, it is important to note a change to the name of the race. Now named the Food City 500 in Support of Steve Byrnes, the race will pay tribute to one of NASCAR’s own who is fighting a courageous battle each and every day. NASCAR broadcaster Steve Byrnes, has been battling with head and neck cancer. Renaming the race in support of his fight is just one display of how the NASCAR industry supports one another.
Bristol Motor Speedway nestled near the Tennessee-Virginia border, measures just over a half of a mile, with fairly high banking in the turns. Since the track was repaved, the surface provides more than one racing groove. Drivers still utilize the bump and run maneuver in order to pass at this track, but can run two-wide on this surface. There are several drivers who have proven to be successful short-track champions.
This week’s Fast Five includes those drivers. Drivers included in the Fast Five for Bristol Motor Speedway are Brad Keselowski, who is a previous winner at Bristol and is always a strong contender at this track; Joey Logano, who won the August race at Bristol last year, and should be a front runner again this weekend; Kurt Busch, who has been a strong contender since he returned a few weeks ago and is one of three drivers who holds the most wins among active drivers with five; Jeff Gordon, who has long-time been successful at Bristol and is one of the drivers who holds the most wins among active drivers; and Kevin Harvick, who is one of the most dominant drivers this season and has the most runner-up finishes at this track. In addition to the Fast Five, keep an eye on Kyle Larson as a dark horse for this race.
Be sure to tune into the race on Sunday at 1:00 on FOX.