Racingone Rewind: Bristol

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    A look back at Matt Kenseth's 14th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win in Saturday night's Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway including news, notes and observations by RacingOne's own Pete Pistone and Jeff Wackerlin.

    RacingOneCast
    Click Here to watch to RacingOne's audio/slideshow (Window's Media) recap of tonight's Sharpie 500 brought to you by racetickets.com.

    Inside Line
    Matt Kenseth followed up his win in Saturday night's Busch Series race at Bristol with a victory in Saturday night's NEXTEL Cup Series Sharpie 500, his second straight win in the August night race at "Thunder Valley." Race Story

    Keys to Victory Lane
    Kenseth passed Dale Earnhardt Jr. on lap 399 and drove away to his fourth NEXTEL Cup Series win of the season.

    Zero to Hero
    Dale Earnhardt Jr. started 40th, but used pit strategy to get to the front of the field and stayed there to bring home a third-place finish.

    Hero to Zero
    Kurt Busch started from the pole and was looking to sweep both NEXTEL Cup races at Bristol until he was clipped by Reed Sorenson and suffered front-end damage before also getting caught for speeding on pit road. A blown transmission finally ended his night with a 37th-place finish.

    Rookie of the Race
    Denny Hamlin brought the FedEx Chevrolet home to a sixth place finish for the best freshman run of the night.

    Notables
    Carl Edwards started back in the 39th position and notched a seventh place finish to keep his outside "Chase" hopes alive. Kevin Harvick battled back after his No. 29 Chevrolet blew a right front tire to finish 11th. Kasey Kahne finished 12th after starting 31st. And Dale Jarrett scored a 15th place finish after taking the green flag in the 32nd starting spot.


    What's the Points?
    Jimmie Johnson and Kenseth clinched a birth in the "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup" with their respective finishes. Johnson now leads Kenseth by seven points as the series heads to California Speedway. Kevin Harvick sits third (-321) and Kyle Busch moved up three spots to fourth (-402). Jeff Gordon is fifth 408 markers back. Mark Martin fell six spots to 10th with his 28th-place finish.

    Eliminated from the Chase
    Led by Kurt Busch, positions 14th on back in the standings have been eliminated from the 2006 "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup." Championship Standings

    Where Are They Now?
    Where last year "Chase for the NEXTEL Cup" competitors currently are in the standings: Jimmie Johnson (first), Matt Kenseth (second), Tony Stewart (eighth), Mark Martin (10th), Greg Biffle (12th), Carl Edwards (13th), Kurt Busch (14th), Ryan Newman (15th) and Jeremy Mayfield (36th).

    Sharpie 500 Loop Data Leaders
  • Average Running Position: Jeff Burton - 2.7
  • Fastest Early In a Run: Matt Kenseth - 117.351 mph
  • Fastest Late In a Run: Scott Riggs - 112.801 mph
  • Fastest in Turns 1 and 2: Kyle Busch - 110.011 mph
  • Fastest in Turns 3 and 4: Dale Earnhardt Jr. - 112.418 mph
  • Fastest Laps Run: Jeff Burton - 69 laps (13.8 %)
  • Fastest on Restarts: Matt Kenseth - 115.573 mph
  • Most Passes During Green Flag Conditions: Greg Biffle - 39
  • Laps In Top 15: Jeff Gordon - 500

    Pit Stops
  • Matt Kesneth captured his 14th career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win in his 244th start. The win was also his ninth top 10 - second win - in 14 starts at Bristol Motor Speedway. Detailed Active Driver Wins
  • Kenseth won the 94th race for car owner Jack Roush. Detailed Active Car Owner Wins
  • Kenseth became the 76th driver to win at Bristol from a top-10 starting position. He also became the 110th driver overall to win a race from the fourth starting position. Starting Position Facts
  • Kenseth led four times for 177 laps. Jeff Burton led the most with 263. Lap Summary (pdf)
  • Kenseth won the fifth race of the season for Ford. It was also the 575th overall win for Ford. All-Time Manufacturer Wins
  • Kyle Busch lowered his 23.0 average finish to 17.8 with his second-place finish.
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr's third-place finish was his seventh top 10 at Bristol.
  • Scott Riggs scored his first top five of the season with a fourth-place finish.
  • Jeff Gordon captured his 11th top five at Bristol after finishing fifth.
  • Denny Hamlin was the top finishing rookie - only in the top 17 - with his sixth-place finish.
  • Carl Edwards' seventh-place finish was his second consecutive top 10 at Bristol.
  • Ryan Newman scored his fifth Bristol top 10 with an eighth-place finish.
  • Jeff Burton's ninth-place finish was his third consecutive August Bristol top 10 with Richard Childress Racing.
  • Jimmie Johnson's 10th-place finish was his 18th top 10 of the season
  • The 500-lap race saw 18 lead changes among seven drivers and an average speed of 90.025 mph.
  • Ten caution flags were thrown for 62 laps.
  • The Sharpie 500 lasted 2 hours, 57 minutes, 37 seconds.

    Lug Nuts
  • Thought there might be a bit more payback going on at Bristol with all the recent feuds, but Saturday night's race was relatively clean.
  • Except for Scott Riggs and David Stremme getting a little "choppy" with each other.
  • Oh and Riggs and Jeff Gordon also exchanged a few pleasantries as well.
  • Not a good night for the "trading places" couple of Elliott Sadler (39th) and David Gilliland (40th).
  • Guess the racing Gods paid back Kurt Busch for those dumb snow angels, huh?
  • What is up with Jeff Burton having the best car so many times this year and then falling towards the end of the race?
  • Good to have you back in the booth Benny!
  • The great starting spots for Petty Enterprises sure didn't help get either car a good finish Saturday night.
  • Always great to see the children of Motor Racing Outreach sing the National Anthem at Bristol.

    Garage Talk
  • "The last two weeks have been just unbelievable." - Matt Kenseth
    "It was tough (racing Jeff Gordon). He was holding me up a little bit and he knew it." -Scott Riggs
  • "We took care of business tonight. It wasn't anything pretty and it wasn't anything really racey. We weren't up there fighting for the win, but we stayed out of trouble and took care of the race car and we did what we needed to do tonight." -Jimmie Johnson
  • "I love running good here because my Old Man did." -Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  • "I am pretty much a jerk all week coming into Bristol." - Dale Earnhardt Jr.
  • "I just don’t understand getting caught speeding on pit road while getting passed. Somebody’s got to explain that to me." -Elliott Sadler

    RacingOne Rating
    On a scale of one to ten degrees of Bristol banking, we'll give Saturday night's Sharpie 500 an eight. It wasn't a classic by any means but we don't care, racing at Bristol at night is flat out exciting. There were some spirited battles for position and while Kenseth was the class of the field over the final 100 laps, there was still a lot going on to keep our attention on a hot August night. Next week it's more racing under the lights as the Labor Day weekend actions shifts to California Speedway for Sunday's Sony HD 500.

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