NASCAR Preview: Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returns to the ‘The Last Great Colosseum.’ Who will win?

byT. Walker|
NASCAR Preview: Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway


The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series is back at Bristol Motor Speedway. With three races remaining in the regular season of the Cup Series, the opportunity for drivers who have not qualified for the playoffs is rapidly ending. Drivers trying to secure one of the coveted 16 playoff spots available have one simple goal—win and get in.

Thanks to NASCAR’s Big Three collectively winning 17 out of 23 races this season, only eight drivers have secured a spot in the playoffs. That list includes Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Martin Truex Jr., Austin Dillon, Clint Bowyer, Joey Logano, Erik Jones, and Chase Elliott. So far, this season has seen two first-time NASCAR Cup Series winners in both Jones and Elliott.

The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Schedule:

Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race: (Follow live)

The Place: Bristol Motor Speedway

The Date: Saturday, August 18

The Time: Approximately 6:30 p.m. ET

TV: NBCSN, 12:30 p.m. ET

Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio

Distance: 266.5 miles (500 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 125), Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 250), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 500)

Trackside Live: (Watch live)

4 p.m. – 5 p.m. ET

Press Pass: (Watch live)

2 p.m. ET: Charlotte Motor Speedway

10:30 p.m. ET: Post-Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race broadcast


Starting Lineup

(Position, Driver, Manufacturer, Speed)

1. Kyle Larson, Chevrolet, 127.792

2. Chase Elliott, Chevrolet, 127.665

3. Kyle Busch, Toyota, 127.639

4. Paul Menard, Ford, 127.605

5. William Byron, Chevrolet, 127.554

6. Kevin Harvick, Ford, 127.039

7. Denny Hamlin, Toyota, 126.896

8. Aric Almirola, Ford, 126.880

9. Kurt Busch, Ford, 126.863

10. Ryan Blaney, Ford, 126.762

11. Brad Keselowski, Ford, 126.253

12. Ricky Stenhouse, Jr., Ford, 125.988

13. Jimmie Johnson, Chevrolet, 125.922

14. Erik Jones, Toyota, 125.856

15. David Ragan, Ford, 125.691

16. Clint Bowyer, Ford, 125.675

17. Martin Truex, Jr., Toyota, 125.650

18. Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 125.592

19. Joey Logano, Ford, 125.461

20. Jamie McMurray, Chevrolet, 125.404

21. Daniel Suarez, Toyota, 125.363

22. Alex Bowman, Chevrolet, 125.117

23. Trevor Bayne, Ford, 125.068

24. Ryan Newman, Chevrolet, 124.347

25. A.J. Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 124.897

26. Kasey Kahne, Chevrolet, 124.387

27. Bubba Wallace, Chevrolet, 124.315

28. Chris Buescher, Chevrolet, 124.210

29. Matt DiBenedetto, Ford, 124.066

30. Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 123.937

31. Michael McDowell, Ford, 123.682

32. Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 123.261

33. Jesse Little, Toyota, 122.310

34. J.J. Yeley, Chevrolet, 121.798

35. Ross Chastain, Chevrolet, 121.767

36. Reed Sorenson, Chevrolet, 121.274

37. Timmy Hill, Toyota, 120.816

38. Gray Gaulding, Chevrolet, 120.687

39. Landon Cassill, Chevrolet, 120.407

40. Blake Jones, Toyota, 119.173

41. B.J. McLeod, Ford, 120.611

BRISTOL, TN - AUGUST 17: Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 18 M&M's White Chocolate Toyota, stands by his car during practice for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway., Photo by Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

Past 10 Winners at Bristol Motor Speedway

(Year, Driver, Manufacturer)

2008, Carl Edwards, Ford

2009, Kyle Busch, Toyota

2010, Kyle Busch, Toyota

2011, Brad Keselowski, Dodge

2012, Denny Hamlin, Toyota

2013, Matt Kenseth, Toyota

2014, Joey Logano, Ford

2015, Joey Logano, Ford

2016, Kevin Harvick, Chevrolet

2017, Kyle Busch, Toyota

NASCAR held its first Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway in 1961. Since opening, the Cup series has raced at the .533-mile course twice a year. The past 10 winners above represent the second race of the year at Bristol.

Kurt and Kyle for the Win

The brothers have dominated at Bristol. Kurt and Kyle Busch have shown the pace all year which could translate into capturing another win at one of NASCAR’s most celebrated short tracks. Kyle, who has six race wins this season, is no stranger to getting it done at Bristol, the track known as "The World's Fastest Half-Mile." His NASCAR Cup resume at the Tennessee oval includes seven wins, 10 top-fives, 15 top-10s, and two poles in 26 starts. Older brother Kurt Busch also has an impressive stat sheet at the high-banking short track; his stats include five wins in 35 race starts, 10 top -fives, 17 top-10s, and one pole.

Both brothers qualified in the top-10 for the Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race at Bristol. Will it be good enough to hold on for another win at the half-mile short track known for a high amount of yellow-flag caution laps or will one of the young guns steal a win? With Kyle Larson on pole, Chase Elliott starting from P2, and his Hendrick Motorsports teammate William Byron from P5, there are a few young guys poised to conquer “The Last Great Colosseum.”