Bristol Motor Speedway appears to be the perfect venue for the Busch brothers to advance in the NASCAR Cup Series playoffs.
Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Toyota, leads all active drivers with eight wins at the “World’s Fastest Half-Mile.” Older brother Kurt, driver of the No. 1 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, ranks second among active drivers with six Bristol wins.
As the playoff field shrinks from 16 to 12 drivers at the end of Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race, there promises to be plenty of hard racing for the final spots.
The points are tight around the cutoff spot. It ranges from defending NASCAR champion Chase Elliott in seventh position with 2,070 points to William Byron in 15th with 2,035 points. Kyle Busch ranks 10th with 2,061 points. That’s eight ahead of Kurt, who is tied with Alex Bowman for 12th — the cutoff position in the standings.
Kyle Busch was in good shape starting the playoffs, but a crash and 35th-place finish at Darlington put him in a more precarious position. However, his recent history on the Bristol concrete is stellar: a win, a second and two fourth-place finishes.
Kurt Busch finished 15th in last year’s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race. Prior to that, he had four top-10 finishes at Bristol, including a win in 2018. It’s important for him to stay ahead of Bowman with the first tiebreaker based on the best finish in the first round of the playoffs.
With stage points and other factors, nothing is guaranteed, but Bristol appears to be the best track for the Busch brothers to move ahead in the NASCAR playoffs.
FORD’S BIG WEEK
Northeast Tennessee was well represented at the famed “World 100” last week at Eldora (Ohio) Speedway.
In arguably the most prestigious dirt late model race of the year, Johnson City driver Jensen Ford won his heat race and finished seventh in Friday’s A-Main. He beat eventual race winner Brandon Overton in the heat race.
Newport driver Jimmy Owens, a four-time Lucas Oil Series national champion, finished second in the feature race. Scott Bloomquist, the legendary Hawkins County driver with more than 600 wins, inished fourth in the heat race won by Ford and 13th in the feature.
Ford didn’t advance in Saturday’s A-Main but still had a strong showing: fifth in his heat race and fifth in the Last Chance Showdown, one spot behind Devin Moran, who won the Sunday World of Outlaws feature at Bristol.
Bloomquist won his heat and Owens was fourth. Jonathan Davenport, the big winner at the Bristol Dirt Nationals, won Saturday’s A-Main. Bloomquist, a four-time World 100 winner, finished 16th.
MUDDY CREEK RACEWAY
Johnson City rider Adam Britt won the 250 All-Star race at Sunday’s Mega Series event at Muddy Creek Raceway. In a battle of Yamaha riders, Britt finished second to Matthew Burkeen of Cary, North Carolina, in the first moto. The results flipped in the second moto with Britt first to take the overall title.
Kingsport’s Logan McConnell took the 450 All-Star win, finishing second in each moto. Britt won the first moto and was fifth in the second to finish as the runner-up. Burkeen won the second moto but was out of the running for the overall win after troubles landed him 13th in the first moto. Burkeen won the 20+ race with McConnell second.
Veteran rider Kevin Walker of Kingsport scored three class wins and a runner-up on his Suzuki. Norton’s Alex Colley rode his KTM to three wins and Yamaha rider Carson Eads of Kingsport was victorious in two classes. Allen Mullins of Pound rode his Suzuki to the 25+ Vet Amateur victory and Logan Boomershine of Piney Flats took the ATV Amateur win.
Lindsay Britt added to the family’s big day with a second-place ride on her Honda in the Women’s race. Other runner-up finishes included: Kawasaki rider Brandon Gilliam of Kingsport (Unlimited C/D) and Honda rider Canaan Spears of Wise (85cc D).
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