Bristol’s Dominant Trio Must Rise Yet Again
Saturday night’s Irwin Tools Night Race may not be the last stand for three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champions. But if Jeff Gordon, Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski can’t rise to the occasion here; then where?
They are among Bristol Motor Speedway’s most successful competitors.
Gordon and Busch have each won five times at the .533-mile concrete oval. Keselowski counts two victories in the past four races with a third-place finish in March’s event thrown in for good measure.
This is a week for Keselowski and Busch to consolidate recent gains. For Gordon, it’s an opportunity to regroup after several disappointing races.
Keselowski (eighth) and Busch (ninth) are eight and six points, respectively, ahead of 11th. Gordon is 14th – 26 points outside the top 10.
Gordon’s recent statistics are best among the trio: second-best series Driver Rating (100.6), second-fastest Average Green Flag Speed (114.863 mph) and series-high 6,974 laps among the top 15 over the last 17 Bristol races.
A year ago, Gordon found himself in a similar situation – 16th in points – but with finishes of third, third and second in the final three races of the regular season qualified for the Chase.
“We have a good stretch of tracks ahead and we have to do everything possible to make the most of these races,” he said.