Irwin Tools Race at Bristol, Odds and Predictions
by Tony Sink - 8/23/2014
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series travels to Bristol, Tennessee, this week for the Irwin Tools Night Race.
Few events can put the buzz back into the sport more than the Night Race at Bristol, one of the most anticipated races of the year. The electricity of the fans at Bristol is like no other track. The race is always very entertaining from start to finish and this track has given fans some of the best finishes in NASCAR history.
The last race here in March was a wet one. The event was delayed for two hours before the cars took the green flag. Denny Hamlin won the pole for that race and ran near the front before finishing sixth. Team Penske led the first half of the race, as Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano led 53 of the first 54 laps. Joe Gibbs Racing took over in the middle, with Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth leading 238 of the 503 laps. Roush Fenway Racing led the lap that mattered the most, though, with Carl Edwards taking the checkered flag. His teammate, Ricky Stenhouse Jr., finished second.
Although Bristol is a fun race to watch, the track is hard to predict. There is little room to hide, so when there is a wreck, multiple cars are typically involved. Track position will be very important this week. Teams that pit on the frontstretch will have an advantage over the teams pitting on the back. Make sure you pick the drivers who qualify up front in this race.
Here are my picks for the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol.
The Winner: Jeff Gordon (7 to 1)
Hard to go wrong with the 24 anywhere. Gordon has been piling up solid finishes at Bristol recently, logging seven Top-15 finishes in his last nine starts at the track. In fact, Gordon has finished in the Top 10 in four of his last six starts at Bristol, picking up two third-place finishes during the span and finishing seventh in each of his last two starts at the track. Gordon has been one of the most dependable options all year, and that shouldn't change this weekend. He finished seventh here earlier in the year and qualified sixth. Gordon also ranks first in terms of average finish the last three years in Bristol night races. Needless to say, the 24 will be fast at this weekend and will probably be the car to beat again.
Don't Overlook: Matt Kenseth (7 to 1)
This team has struggled a bit lately, but they're due for a good run and Bristol is a good track for the defending winner of this weekend's race. This season on races where we practice in the day and race at night he owns a 4.6 average finish. In his last 10 starts at Bristol, he has eight Top-15 finishes, including seven Top-10s. During the same stretch, he has five finishes of sixth or better, including his victory last summer. For his career, Kenseth is a three-time winner at Bristol, and his blend of reliability and upside makes him a strong choice this weekend.
Stay Away: Danica Patrick (100 to 1)
The thought of her constantly around cars just scares me and it should scare you too!!!
Doc's Sports provides weekly NASCAR selections from the Sprint Cup Series. $100 bettors are up +$10,356 on the season with a record of 58-26 with their driver match-up selections!
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