By admin | August 27, 2011
By Richard Allen
Typically when asked who will win a Sprint Cup race at the Bristol Motor Speedway my reaction is almost an automatic response. The name Kyle Busch just pops out. After all, the younger of the Busch brothers has scored five victories on the high banked half-mile track, including four of the last five events.
However, this Saturday night the controversial driver’s run will be ended by the driver who shoved him out of the way and went on to win this race back in 2008. Carl Edwards has amassed two victories at BMS in the Sprint Cup Series and one win in each the Nationwide and Camping World Truck Series. All of those wins combined with checkered flags at the Nashville SuperSpeedway and the Dover International Speedway earned the back flipping driver the nickname ‘Concrete Carl’.
Edwards was fastest in the first Sprint Cup practice session on Friday which showed his team unloaded a car capable of winning without many adjustments having to be made. Chasing a car’s setup is difficult to do at this track where laps go by quickly and track position is so important.
But more importantly, Edwards’ real advantage over Busch and everyone else will be in the fact that he qualified on the outside of the front row. Along with providing immediately beneficially track position, his qualifying effort will, in turn, allow the #99 team to select a pit stall to provide all important advantages getting onto and off of pit road.
Busch will start from the 23rd position which will mire him in the middle of pit road and may well hamper his efforts to get to and hold a spot at the front of the field.
There are plenty of drivers who could win tonight in Bristol but history says that Kyle Busch and Carl Edwards have to be counted as the biggest favorites.
Certainly pole sitter Ryan Newman and multiple time Bristol winners Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon will be among those who have something to say about who will go to victory lane. But in the end, Edwards’ winning experience, his excellent starting spot and his favorable pit stall will provide him with a path to that racing version of hallowed ground.
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