A NASCAR tripleheader at Bristol Motor Speedway is on tap this weekend.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, Xfinity Series and Gander Outdoor Truck Series will all descend on “Thunder Valley” to tackle the .533-mile Tennessee short track.
Saturday night‘s Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race is the 24th of the regular season meaning there are only three races remaining to make the playoffs. Clint Bowyer has the final transfer spot with Daniel Suarez just six behind and Jimmie Johnson 12 out of the position. None of the trio has any room for error Saturday night.
“You can talk about the bubble and worrying about points, but I am way more worried about getting established and running up front at these types of racetracks,” Bowyer said.
“If you make the playoffs and can‘t compete in it, then what‘s the use? We have some things to work out. We have some time. We have some good racetracks for us including Bristol coming up. We have plenty of racing but we have to get some things figured out.”
Kyle Busch has had things figured out at Bristol for year. He‘s won three of the last four races at the track and has eight career Bristol victories. The Joe Gibbs Racing driver is anxious for Saturday‘s opportunity to sweep the track‘s two races in 2019.
“Obviously we‘re kind of on a hot streak with Bristol,” Busch said. “We love going there. I would like to think that we can go there, be fast and be able to respond, absolutely. So we‘ll see what we can do getting there, and hopefully having a fast racecar and doing what we normally do there, just try to stay out of trouble. It‘s a tough place to stay out of trouble.
“Looking forward to this weekend with our M&M‘S Camry and hopefully we can make it another back-to-back wins there for us and keep making some progress in the points in the regular-season championship.”
Friday night‘s Xfinity Series Food City 300 will provide Busch with another chance to win at Bristol as he‘ll be in the field against series regulars including Christopher Bell, who won the spring race at the track.
There are just a few races left in the regular season as well in the Xfinity Series and opportunities to win before the playoffs are winding down. Justin Allgaier remains on that winless list and the JR Motorsports driver is determined to do something about that Friday night.
“Man, I‘m ready to get back to Bristol,” said Allgaier, who is fourth in the series standings. “I felt like we had the car to beat there in the spring, but we ended up having an early end to our day. That one that still really hurts, so I‘m definitely wanting to get back there and see if we can get this BRANDT Professional Agriculture Camaro to Victory Lane.
“We‘re getting closer to the playoffs and we‘re looking to get as many bonus points as we can. A win this weekend would definitely help with that.”
Thursday night‘s UNOH 200 (MRN, 8 p.m. ET) is the opening race of the Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs. Eight drivers are set to begin battle for this year‘s championship including Brett Moffitt, Grant Enfinger, Stewart Friesen, Austin Hill, Ross Chastain, Matt Crafton, Johnny Sauter and Tyler Ankrum.
“We had a good truck but pit road problems in Michigan,” said Chastain, who was involved in an accident last week. “But this Niece Motorsports team is ready for the playoffs and to get off to a great start in Bristol.”
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East will also be in action on Thursday with the Bush‘s Beans 150.