Thunder Valley, The Bullring, NASCAR’s Coliseum, Like flying a Jet Fighter in a gymnasium, and on, and on. The legacy of Bristol Motor Speedway grows exponentially with each 500 laps the Sprint Cup Series takes around the high-banked, high-speed half-mile track in the mountains of East Tennessee. In fact, the city of Bristol Tennessee is actually the twin city of Bristol Virginia. The state line actually separates the two municipalities. see more
Today’s flashback is from this race, 9 years ago. Jimmie Johnson led the points heading into the season’s fifth race by 82 points over Greg Biffle and 87 points over new first-time winner Carl Edwards. Edwards broke through with his first career victories in the Nationwide, and Sprint Cup Series in the same weekend. Two weeks later, in Bristol, it was a different story. In true penthouse to outhouse fashion, Edwards had an incident in practice and had to go to a backup car, which meant starting out back. He would start in the rear of the field along with Kevin Harvick, whose team performed unapproved work after qualifying. Elliott Sadler won the pole for this event, and shared the front row with Dave Blaney. The drivers took the green flag, and after 2 very quick laps, Edwards day went from difficult to worse, as he was involved in a 5 car, chain reaction incident that saw his car bust a radiator. After that, he was just riding around, many laps down the rest of the day.
Elliott Sadler led the first 35 laps, and was a contender all day, at the track where he scored his first win in 2001. The real story of the day was Rusty Wallace, who in his final season, led the most laps with 157. But when he got shuffled out of the lead, and fell back in traffic, he was involved in a 14 car wreck on lap 333. Rusty lost a couple of laps fixing the damage, and never quite caught back up. Enter the closer. Kevin Harvick, who started at the rear of the field, took the lead on lap 434 and never relinquished it. With the win, Harvick jumped from 11th to sixth in points, 181 points behind Jimmie Johnson. Johnson, with a 6th place finish actually extended his lead to 94 over Biffle, and 156 over Tony Stewart and 157 over Edwards.
If you have the time, and want to check this one out, click here. Thank you to Youtube’s KingCuervo88 for the edit on this video.
So what is in store for us in the 2014 edition of the Food City 500? I have no earthly idea, but I am so excited to watch Bristol without the “good points day” racing. The ultimate Checkers or Wreckers display is on tap Sunday. Tune in at noon and catch all the action on KORN Country 100.3 FM, or online at www.korncountry.com.