2009 NASCAR Fantasy Preview: Bristol I

NASCAR is taking a week off in the Cup series and then will head to Bristol Motor Speedway for the first time this season. This will be the final race before the teams switch to this years points for the top 35 in owner points to make the race.

Ryan Newman is one of the big names on the bubble along with Mark Martin and Joey Logano . These 3 drivers are currently in the top 35 but could drop out after Bristol if they don’t have a good finish. Aric Almirola, Paul Menard, Travis Kvapil and Scott Speed are currently on the outside of the top 35 and will be doing their best to displace someone who is guaranteed a spot in the starting field when the series heads to Martinsville in 2 weeks.

  • Jeff Gordon is my pick to go to victory lane and end his winless streak at Bristol. Jeff has been strong all year and has always done well on the short tracks. I actually think that Jeff will go back to back at Bristol and Martinsville and increase his lead in the point standings.
  • Carl Edwards has won the last 2 fall races in Bristol and has been running well so far this season. He will need to qualify a little better so that he can pick a better pit stall here. A pit stall on the front stretch and starting towards the front of the field are huge advantages at Bristol.
  • Kurt Busch got his first win of the season and has looked very strong every week so far. Kurt used to be the driver to beat at Bristol when he won 4 out of 5 races between 2002 and 2004. Kurt could return to that status as this team has the momentum and confidence right now.
  • Kyle Busch has a win and 2 second place finishes at Bristol during his short career. This is the type of track that kyle loves. He can do a lot of bumping and banging here and nobody will say much about it. He will be able to take all the chances that he wants bobbing and weaving in and out of traffic to get to the front or lap as many cars as he can.
  • Matt Kenseth has 2 wins under his belt this year and drives very well at Bristol. Matt used to finish in the top 5 almost every race at Bristol. The last 2 years he has been a top 10 finisher or just outside the top 10 so you know he can still get it done.
  • Kevin Harvick has once again been quietly putting together another Chase contending year. Kevin has one of the best average finishes all-time for Cup drivers at Bristol. He has 1 win and 4 runner-up finishes to his credit here. Look for him to have a shot once again this spring to visit victory lane.
  • Greg Biffle has never won at Bristol but then again he has never finished worse than 22nd there either. Greg has started out very well this season as opposed to the past few years when he struggled until the last 10 races of the year. This team will get a win very soon.
  • Clint Bowyer currently sits 2nd in the point standings and has finished in the top 10 in his last 4 Bristol starts. Not many people consider Clint a contender to win the championship at this stage of his career but, he is getting very close to that status.
  • Denny Hamlin always has a great car at Bristol but it always seems like something bad happens to him before the end of the race. A bad pit stop, mechanical problems or a bad decision on the track by someone else seems to take him out of contention. Don’t be surprised if everything lines up for him this time.

Yahoo Picks for Bristol

Group A

  • Jeff Gordon
  • Carl Edwards

Group B

  • Kurt Busch
  • Denny Hamlin
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  • Jamie McMurray

Group C

  • Aric Almirola
  • Bobby Labonte

Top 5 Overall at Bristol

  1. Jeff Gordon
  2. Carl Edwards
  3. Kyle Busch
  4. Greg Biffle
  5. Kurt Busch

Dark Horse: Clint Bowyer, Jamie McMurrayStay Away From: Brian Vickers

Please feel free to post any question, comments or suggestions for me. I try to answer as many as I can. Good luck once again this week!