After a weekend off, it’s time to leave the superspeedways behind and focus on short-track racing! This weekend is the first short-track race of the season at the Bristol Motor Speedway – the "World's Fastest Half Mile”. After that, it’s off Martinsville Speedway before the next break in the season.
Bristol is always an exciting race, but this weekend’s race could be more exciting than ever for several reasons:
1. Fans are waiting to see how the tensions between drivers will play out – particularly after the Edwards-Keselowski crash in Atlanta. Chances are, NASCAR may not be as lenient on any offenders this weekend, so we’ll have to see how things play out.
2. Bristol marks the last race that the top 35 in the owners’ standings from 2009 will have a guaranteed spot. Starting in Martinsville, the 2010 owners’ points standings will decide who gets a starting spot in the race. This could make this very interesting for drivers who have been hovering around that mark in the last few races.
3. Bristol also marks the last race where drivers will run the car as we have come to know it. Starting in Martinsville, teams are expected to switch back to using a rear spoiler instead of a wing on the back of the car.
4. The track itself has also changed this year – the Steel and Foam Energy-Reduction (SAFER) barrier has been extended in turns 2 and 4, narrowing those areas by approximately 3 feet each. The change was made to foster tighter racing – something fans have always loved about Bristol.
I’m excited about this weekend’s race – the short-track races are probably my favorite. Even though the speeds aren’t as fast as on the superspeedways, the close quarters on the short tracks allow fans to see the entire race and allow for non-stop action throughout the entire race. I think that’s what gives these tracks their attitude and personality. Here’s to another great weekend of racing!