There are few places to experience NASCAR better than at Bristol Motor Speedway where tempers will get frayed and paint will get traded. The Food City 500 is the first of two trips to Bristol for the drivers of the Sprint Cup series and this is a track where you can’t let up for a second. Here’s a look at the NASCAR betting lines for this week’s action:
Bristol is a half-mile track in Tennessee that has been compared to a bullring and there isn’t much room to pass someone. You will see the “bump and run” utilized here more than most places because of how difficult it is to pass, especially with the new Gen-6 car that Sprint Cup drivers are still getting used to.
You should see the Joe Gibbs Racing trio of Kyle Busch, Denny Hamlin and Matt Kenseth near the top of the list when it comes to favorites on Sunday as they’ve combined for eight victories here. Hamlin won the fall race last year, while Busch has five wins in 16 trips to Bristol and his aggressive style was made for this track. Kenseth has a pair of wins and is coming off a victory at Las Vegas, his first for JGR.
Outside of Joe Gibbs Racing, take a look at reigning Sprint Cup champion Brad Keselowski on the betting lines, who is off to a great start in his title defense and he won the previous two races at Bristol before Hamlin took the checkered flag last August. And of course, you can count on the Hendrick stable to be a factor. Dale Earnhardt Jr. has the best finishing average at Bristol out of his team (but he hasn’t won here since the 2004 fall race), while Jimmie Johnson has been getting better and better at Bristol and Jeff Gordon has an 11.4 finishing average in 40 starts at Bristol.
The final Hendrick driver, Kasey Kahne, doesn’t have the best track record at Bristol, but he had the best car at Las Vegas and was only beaten by a gutsy call to take fuel only by Kenseth and his crew. Kahne started slow last season in his debut with Hendrick, but since then he has been great and as long as he has a fast car under him, the #5 driver could be a solid dark horse to ride.
Kevin Harvick has struggled to start the 2013 campaign, but he loves the spring race at Bristol, picking up seven top-10s in 10 starts in this event, and that includes a victory in 2005. Harvick is leaving Richard Childress Racing after the season and much has been made of his “lame-duck” status there, but he is still talented and the organization is far too professional to let that ruin the season. If Harvick is going to jumpstart his season, it has to start on Sunday. He is an aggressive driver who isn’t going to let anyone push him around. If he and Kyle Busch are racing for the finish line, expect fireworks.