Man, how can you not just absolutely love Bristol Motor Speedway as a race fan? Yesterday’s afternoon race turned night race was no different. Rain delays though are so annoying aren’t they?
Poor Fox, they’ve had to endure so many rain delays so early into the season. I still think it’s karma/punishment for their new crappy ticker at the top of the screen. What was wrong with the old one? If it ain’t broke…
Even the rain delay at Bristol was good there for awhile: the three announcers wrapped in TP after Alex Bowman’s car ejected a battery and the fiberglass wrap ended up all over the track like a high school prank. Next week in Fontana, BK Racing may consider just going with TP to pack the batteries. It’d be a lot cheaper than a racing specialty. Jimmie Johnson and Goodyear both coming on and making their defense on a shredded tire was pretty entertaining as well. Then there was Danica Patrick getting her beau some air time. As it turns out, his finish would get him a second interview after the race was said and done.
But anyway, how awesome is it that four races in, we’ve already got four different winners, and with it four already in the chase: Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Kevin Harvick, Brad Keselowski and now Carl Edwards all going to the 2014 Chase?
Kevin Harvick continues to have rocket ships, but for the second race in a row, those rockets can’t hold up for the entire race. Last week, a hub did him in. This week, it was an engine. Teammate Kurt Busch in the No. 41 was also again plagued with mechanical failure, though his was in part from avoiding plowing into his brother in the No. 18 after Kyle Busch ended up spinning at the top of the race track.
Harvick’s and the elder Busch brother’s boss though fared better. Tony Stewart finished in the top 5 for the first time in 2014 and also the first time since returning from injury.
Despite the nearly four hour rain delay, Bristol was as exciting as ever. I was psyched to see both of my favorite drivers up front at different times of the race — though with the new Chase rules, I’m not sure what Clint Bowyer gained by not pitting after the race’s unprecedented second competition caution. It was still cool to see the No. 15 upfront. It was unfortunate that Danica Patrick rammed him as she spun out of her pit stall.
Then there was my other driver, Kasey Kahne. He was up front under the lights, battling it out for a fair number of laps later in the race. It’s too bad he didn’t hold on.
But what wasn’t bad was the top 5: Richard Petty Motorsports ended up having both of their drivers finish Top 5, Ford had 4 of the top 5, and Roush Fenway Racing had the top two spots. I believe it was both Aric Almirola and Ricky Stenhouse Jr.’s best Sprint Cup finishes to date as well.
In the end though, despite a mistake of a caution with two to go, and then rain ending it all, the race was won by the guy who had the best car out front as the race was coming to a close — Carl Edwards in the No. 99. Like so many other Bristol winners, it’s a matter of staying out of trouble, keeping your car in one piece and ultimately surviving.
Drivers and fans alike love this track and races that happen at it. It’s definitely on my bucket list of tracks to see a race at, and it should be at yours as well.