All the Information You Need for This Weekend’s Race in Bristol

For the eighth time of the 2017 season, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series drivers will take to the track. This weekend, it’s a return to the short tracks with Sunday’s Food City 500 (2 p.m. ET/FOX/PRN) at the Bristol Motor Speedway. Racing at Bristol typically is edge of your seat good, but with the return of the bottom groove, it should make this weekend’s race even more interesting. 

Food City 500 Entry-List:

1 Jamie McMurray Chip Ganassi Racing Matt McCall 17 Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops National Wild Turkey Federation

2 Brad Keselowski Team Penske TBA 17 Ford Miller Lite

3 Austin Dillon Richard Childress Racing Slugger Labbe 17 Chevrolet New Era Cap

4 Kevin Harvick Stewart-Haas Racing Rodney Childers 17 Ford Jimmy John’s

5 Kasey Kahne Hendrick Motorsports Keith Rodden 17 Chevrolet Great Clips

6 Trevor Bayne Roush Fenway Racing Matt Puccia 17 Ford AdvoCare

10 Danica Patrick Stewart-Haas Racing Billy Scott 17 Ford Mobil 1 Annual Protection

11 Denny Hamlin Joe Gibbs Racing Michael Wheeler 18 Toyota FedEx Freight

13 Ty Dillon Germain Racing Bootie Barker III 17 Chevrolet GEICO

14 Clint Bowyer Stewart-Haas Racing Mike Bugarewicz 17 Ford Haas Automation Demo Days

15 Reed Sorenson Premium Motorsports Mark Hillman 17 Chevrolet LowT Center

17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr Roush Fenway Racing Brian Pattie 17 Ford SunnyD

18 Kyle Busch Joe Gibbs Racing Adam Stevens 18 Toyota M&M’s

19 Daniel Suarez Joe Gibbs Racing Scott Graves 18 Toyota ARRIS

20 Matt Kenseth Joe Gibbs Racing Jason Ratcliff 18 Toyota TBD

21 Ryan Blaney Wood Brothers Racing Jeremy Bullins 17 Ford Motorcraft/Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center

22 Joey Logano Team Penske Todd Gordon 17 Ford Autotrader

23 Gray Gaulding BK Racing Patrick Donahue 18 Toyota

24 Chase Elliott Hendrick Motorsports Alan Gustafson 17 Chevrolet Mountain Dew/Little Caesars

27 Paul Menard Richard Childress Racing Matt Borland 17 Chevrolet Libman/Menards

31 Ryan Newman Richard Childress Racing Luke Lambert 17 Chevrolet Grainger

32 Matt DiBenedetto GO FAS Racing Gene Nead 17 Ford Cosmo Motors

33 Jeffrey Earnhardt Circle Sport / TMG Patrick Tryson 17 Chevrolet Little Joe’s Autos/Curtis Key Plumbing

34 Landon Cassill Front Row Motorsports Donnie Wingo 17 Ford CSX Play It Safe

37 Chris Buescher JTG Daugherty Racing Trent Owens 17 Chevrolet Bush’s Beans

38 David Ragan Front Row Motorsports Derrick Finley 17 Ford Jacob Companies

41 Kurt Busch Stewart-Haas Racing Tony Gibson 17 Ford Haas Automation/Monster Energy

42 Kyle Larson Chip Ganassi Racing Chad Johnston 17 Chevrolet Credit One Bank

43 Aric Almirola Richard Petty Motorsports Drew Blickensderfer 17 Ford Smithfield

47 AJ Allmendinger JTG Daugherty Racing Randall Burnett 17 Chevrolet Kroger ClickList

48 Jimmie Johnson Hendrick Motorsports Chad Knaus 17 Chevrolet Lowe’s

51 Timmy Hill(i) Rick Ware Racing Joe Lax 17 Chevrolet TBD

55 Derrike Cope Premium Motorsports Wayne Carroll 17 Chevrolet TBD

72 Cole Whitt TriStar Motorsports Frank Kerr 17 Chevrolet RTIC Coolers

77 Erik Jones Furniture Row Racing Chris Gayle 18 Toyota Sport Clips

78 Martin Truex Jr Furniture Row Racing Cole Pearn 18 Toyota Furniture Row/Denver Mattress

83 Corey LaJoie BK Racing Randy Cox 18 Toyota JAS Expedited Trucking

88 Dale Earnhardt Jr Hendrick Motorsports Greg Ives 17 Chevrolet Nationwide

95 Michael McDowell Leavine Family Racing Todd Parrott 17 Chevrolet WRL General Contractors

Bristol Motor Speedway Data

Season Race #: 08 of 36 (04-23-17)

Track Size: 0.533-miles

Banking/Turns 1 & 2: 24-28 degrees

Banking/Turns 3 & 4: 24-28 degrees

Banking/Frontstretch: 4-8 degrees

Banking/Backstretch: 4-8 degrees

Frontstretch Length:  650 feet

Backstretch Length:  650 feet

Race Length: 500 laps / 266.5 miles

Stages 1 & 2 Length: 125 laps (each)

Final Stage Length: 250 laps


BRISTOL, TN – AUGUST 22: Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Skittles Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)

Top 10 Active Driver Ratings at Bristol

Matt Kenseth………………………. 100.9

Kyle Busch…………………………. 100.5

Kevin Harvick……………………….. 95.7

Chase Elliott…………………………. 94.9

Kurt Busch…………………………… 93.1

Jimmie Johnson…………………….. 91.6

Brad Keselowski……………………. 91.5

Denny Hamlin……………………….. 90.2

Dale Earnhardt Jr………………….. 87.4

Kyle Larson………………………….. 87.4

Note: Driver Ratings compiled from 2005-2016 races (24 total) among active drivers at Bristol Motor Speedway


Qualifying/Race Data

2016 pole winner:

Carl Edwards, Toyota

127.997 mph, 14.991 secs. 04-15-16


2016 race winner:

Carl Edwards, Toyota

81.637 mph, (3:15:52), 04-17-16


Track qualifying record:

Denny Hamlin, Toyota

131.407 mph, 14.602 secs. 08-21-15


Track race record:

Charlie Glotzbach, Chevrolet

101.074 mph, (2:38:12), 07-11-71


At Bristol Motor Speedway:


  • Groundbreaking for Bristol International Speedway, as Bristol Motor Speedway was originally known, took place in 1960. The track was an exact half-mile.
  • First Monster Energy NASCAR Cup race was July 30, 1961; Jack Smith won the event (with relief from Johnny Allen).
  • All of the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races have been scheduled for 500 laps, except for both races in 1976 and the second in 1977, which were 400 laps.
  • In the fall of 1969, the track was reshaped and re-measured to .533-miles.
  • The name changed to Bristol International Raceway in 1978.
  • The first night race was held in the fall of 1978.
  • The surface was changed from asphalt to concrete in 1992.
  • The name changed to Bristol Motor Speedway in May 1996.
  • The track was resurfaced between races in 2007, and the turns were ground down in 2012 to eliminate part of the progressive banking.


  • There have been 112 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway since the first race in 1961, two races each season.
  • 441 drivers have competed in at least one Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol; 311 in more than one.
  • NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Bristol with 60. Matt Kenseth leads all active MENCS drivers with 34 starts.
  • Joey Logano leads all active MENCS drivers in average starting position at Bristol with a 7.760. 
  • Logano (7.760) and Chase Elliott (9.500) are the only two active drivers with an average starting position inside the top 10.


  • Ryan Newman leads the series among active drivers with the most Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts at Bristol without visiting Victory Lane at 30.
  • Paul Menard (19 starts) leads the series in starts with the fewest DNFs (0) at Bristol.
  • Thirty-three drivers have made their first series career start at Bristol Motor Speedway; but only one is currently active in the MENCS – AJ Allmendinger (03/25/2007).  



  • Fred Lorenzen won the inaugural Coors Light pole with a speed of 79.225 mph in a Ford.
  • 48 different drivers have poles at Bristol, led by Mark Martin and Cale Yarborough with nine each.  Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman lead all active drivers with three each.
  • 10 different drivers have posted consecutive poles at Bristol Motor Speedway; Mark Martin is the only of the 10 to win four consecutive poles at Bristol: Fireball Roberts (swept 1962), Fred Lorenzen (swept 1963), Richard Petty (1967-’68), Bobby Allison (swept 1972), Cale Yarborough (swept 1973; swept 1977; swept 1980), Darrell Waltrip (swept 1981), Geoff Bodine (swept 1986), Mark Martin (swept 1995-1996– all four races; and swept 2009); Rusty Wallace (swept 1998), Jeff Gordon (swept 2002) and Denny Hamlin (fall 2013, spring 2014).
  • Youngest Bristol pole winner: Joey Logano (3/21/2010 – 19 years, 9 months, 25 days) – his first career series pole.
  • Oldest Bristol pole winner: Harry Gant (8/27/1994 – 54 years, 7 months, 17 days).
  • Seven different drivers have posted their first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career pole at Bristol. Joey Logano is the only active driver to win his first MENCS pole at Bristol (03/21/2010).



  • 42 different drivers have won at Bristol, led by Darrell Waltrip (12). Kurt Busch and Kyle Busch each have five wins, the most among active drivers.
  • 12 drivers have won consecutive MENCS races at Bristol led by Darrell Waltrip with seven consecutive victories from 1981-1984. The other 11 are Fred Lorenzen (1963-1964 sweep), David Pearson (1968 sweep), Bobby Allison (1972 sweep), Cale Yarborough did it twice (1974 sweep and four straight from 1976-1977), Richard Petty (1975 sweep), Dale Earnhardt also did twice (1985 sweep and 1987 sweep), Alan Kulwicki (1992 sweep), Rusty Wallace (2000 sweep), Kurt Busch (2003 sweep and 2004 spring race), Kyle Busch (2009 sweep) and Brad Keselowski (2011 fall-2012 spring).
  • Youngest Bristol winner: Kyle Busch (03/25/2007 – 21 years, 10 months, 23 days).
  • Oldest Bristol winner: Dale Earnhardt (08/28/1999 – 48 years, 3 months, 30 days).
  • Five drivers have posted their first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career win at Bristol Motor Speedway: Dale Earnhardt (04/01/1979), Rusty Wallace (04/06/1986), Ernie Irvan (03/25/1990), Elliott Sadler (03/25/2001) and Kurt Busch (03/24/2002).


  • Junior Johnson leads the series in car owner wins at Bristol with 16; Roger Penske leads the series among active car owners with the most wins at Bristol with 12.
  • The race winner has started from the pole 24 times (21.6%) – the most productive starting position. The last driver to win from the pole was Carl Edwards (Spring, 2016).
  • Six drivers have won from the pole position multiple times: Bobby Allison (1972 twice), Cale Yarborough (1973, 1977 twice, 1980), Darrell Waltrip (1981 twice, 1982), Rusty Wallace (1991, 1993, 1999, 2000), Matt Kenseth (2005, 2015) and Carl Edwards (2008, 2016).
  • 37 of the 112 (33%) MENCS races at Bristol have been won from the front row: Pole position (24 wins); second-place (13 wins).
  • 65 of the 112 (58%) MENCS races have been won from a top-five starting position.
  • 89 of the 112 (79.4%) MENCS races have been won from a top-10 starting position
  • Six of the 112 (5.4%) races have been won from a starting position outside the top 20; most recent was Kevin Harvick in 2016 fall race – he started 24th. 
  • The deepest in the field that a race winner has started is 38th, by Elliott Sadler in 2001.
  • Eight different manufacturers have won in the MENCS at Bristol; led by Chevrolet with 43 victories; followed by Ford (36), Toyota (9), Dodge (8), Pontiac (8), Buick (4), Plymouth (3) and Oldsmobile (1).
  • Four car numbers have produced eight or more Bristol MENCS wins:

Car Number – (Number of Wins) – Most Recent Win

o   No. 11  – (19 wins) – Denny Hamlin, 2012

o   No. 2 – (12 wins) – Brad Keselowski, 2012

o   No. 17 – (eight wins) – Matt Kenseth, 2006

o   No. 3 – (eight wins) – Dale Earnhardt, 1999


Additional Finishing Position Stats

  • Richard Petty leads the series in runner-up finishes at Bristol with 10; Kevin Harvick leads all active drivers with five; followed by Kyle Busch with three.
  • Darrell Waltrip leads the series in top-three finishes at Bristol with 23 followed Richard Petty with 18. Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth lead all active drivers with 8 each.   
  • Darrell Waltrip and Richard Petty lead the series in top-five finishes at Bristol with 26 each. Matt Kenseth leads all active drivers with 13; followed by Kevin Harvick with 11.
  • Richard Petty leads the series in top-10 finishes at Bristol with 37. Matt Kenseth leads the series among active drivers in top-10 finishes with 20; followed by Jimmie Johnson (17).


  • Chase Elliott leads the series among active drivers in average finishing position at Bristol with a 9.5.


Average Finishing Positions at Bristol Motor Speedway


Last Four Races (2015-2016)

Active Drivers

Average Finish

Active Drivers

Average Finish

Chase Elliott


Dale Earnhardt Jr


Ricky Stenhouse Jr


Jimmie Johnson


Dale Earnhardt Jr


Chase Elliott


Kevin Harvick


Ricky Stenhouse Jr


Jimmie Johnson


Jamie McMurray



Track/Event Specific Stats

  • 13 of the last 17 MENCS races (76.4%) that have ended under green at Bristol Motor Speedway have a Margin of Victory of less than a second.
  • Since the advent of electronic scoring the closest margin of victory in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol is the 3/25/2007 race won by Kyle Busch with a MOV of 0.064 second.
  • Two of the 112 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway have been shortened due to weather conditions. The first was the 8/27/1983 race won by Darrell Waltrip and the second was on 3/31/1996 and won by Jeff Gordon.
  • Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol Motor Speedway three times; most recently August 25, 2012.
  • There have been five NASCAR Overtime finishes at Bristol – all five were the spring race: 2007 (500/504); 2008 (500/506); 2009 (500/503); 2014 (500/503); 2015 (500/511).

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