Saturday, August 25
Bristol Motor Speedway
Carl Edwards waves to crowd as he does his cool down lap after winning the Sharpie 500. More pix at the end of this page...
Edwards Records First Bristol Win
By Reid Spencer, Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service
BRISTOL, Tenn. (August 25, 2007) -- Three quarters of the way through Saturday night's Sharpie 500 NASCAR Nextel Cup race at newly repaved Bristol Motor Speedway, Carl Edwards found a place he liked -- the lead -- and decided to stay there.
Edwards took the point for good on Lap 371, beating Kasey Kahne out of the pits under a caution for David Ragan's spin in Turn 4. That's the way the top two cars ran the rest of the way, as Edwards was as dominant in the late stages of the race as Kahne had been in the early going.
With the victory, Edwards clinched a berth in the Chase for the NASCAR Nextel Cup.
Kahne led 305 laps before Edwards claimed the point for the final time, but Edwards led the final 130 laps to claim his second victory of the season and his first in the Car of Tomorrow. Edwards beat Kahne to the finish line by 1.405 seconds to win the sixth race of his Cup career and the first for Ford with the COT.
Clint Bowyer ran third, followed by Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. Kurt Busch, Ryan Newman, Bobby Labonte, Kyle Busch and Greg Biffle completed the top 10.
Ricky Rudd's spin in Turn 1 brought out the eighth caution of the race on Lap 451. The cars of Jimmie Johnson, Matt Kenseth, David Gilliland and Juan Pablo Montoya suffered varying degrees of damage in the ensuing wreck. The crash knocked Kenseth out of the race, but the Roush Fenway driver nevertheless clinched a berth in the Chase with his 39th-place finish.
Complete race results and point standings in the Event Stats section below...
- Carl Edwards won the Sharpie 500, his sixth victory in 109 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series races.
- This is his second victory and 10th top-10 finish in 2007.
- This is his first victory and third top-10 finish in seven races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
- Kasey Kahne (second) posted his third top-10 finish of 2007 and his second in eight Bristol races.
- Clint Bowyer (third) posted his 12th top-10 finish of 2007 and tied his career-best finish set at Fontana in
September 2006. It is his second top 10 in four races at Bristol.
- Jeff Gordon continues to lead the 2007 point standings. He has led the point standings since Bristol and
is now 349 points ahead of Tony Stewart.
- The top five in the point standings have clinched a berth in the 2007 Chase for the NASCAR NEXTEL
Cup: Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart, Denny Hamlin, Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards.
- Fourteen driver are still mathematically eligible to make the Chase, however Dale Earnhardt Jr. in 13th is
158 points behind 12th-place Kurt Busch and can not move into the top 12 in the next race (providing both
drivers start the race) if Busch finishes 41st or better.
Event Stats PDF files unless otherwise noted
Practice: Friday, August 24 (SPEED at 12:30 p.m./AT, 11:30 a.m./ET)
Qualifying: Friday, August 24 (SPEED at 4 p.m./AT, 3 p.m./ET)
Final Practice: Friday, August 24 (SPEED at 7 p.m./AT, 6 p.m./ET)
RaceDay: Saturday, August 25 (SPEED at 7 p.m./AT, 6 p.m./ET)
Countdown to Green: Saturday, August 25 (ESPN & TSN-HD at 8 p.m./AT, 7 p.m./ET)
Race: Saturday, August 25 (ESPN & TSN-HD at 9 p.m./AT, 8 p.m./ET)
Green Flag Fast Facts
Kasey Kahne won the Bud Pole for the Sharpie 500 with a lap of 16.016 seconds, 119.805 mph.
Kasey Kahne won the Bud Pole Award
- This is his 14th Bud Pole in 132 career NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races.
- This is his second Bud Pole and 12th top-10 start in 2007.
- This is Kahne’s first Bud Pole and sixth top-10 start in eight races at Bristol Motor Speedway. His previous best start was
second, which he has done twice – most recently in the spring race this season.
- Juan Pablo Montoya posted the second-fastest qualifying time with a lap of 16.064 seconds, 119.447 mph. This is his sixth
top-10 start in 2007.
- Jamie McMurray (third) posted his seventh top-10 start this season and his fifth in 10 Bristol races.
- David Ragan (fourth) joined Montoya as the second rookie candidate to qualify in the top 10. It is his
career best start and his second top-10 this season.
- Scott Riggs (11th) was the fastest of the drivers required to make the field on time.
- Drivers that faileld to qualify were: David Reutimann, Sterling Marlin, Brian Vickers, Kevin Lepage, Stanton Barrett.
The Race: Sharpie 500
The Place: Bristol Motor Speedway
The Date: Saturday, August 25
The Time: 8 p.m. (ET)
TV: ESPN, 7 p.m. (ET)
The Track: 533-mile oval
The Distance: 266.5 miles/500 laps
The Purse: $6,182,147
2006 Winner: Matt Kenseth
2006 Pole: Kurt Busch
Pre-Race Schedule (local/ET time): Friday—Practice, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Qualifying, 3:20 p.m. Final Practice, 6:15-7:20 p.m.
Year-To-Date Standings: click here
Keys to Winning...
Bristol Motor Speedway is a physically demanding track that scoffs at aerodynamics and rewards drivers who keep their cars unscathed. The latter is a difficult task on a high-banked half mile. But despite the new racing surface, look for these Bristol constants:
Green Flag Notes...
- New concrete doesn’t mean a new personality. Bristol remains a small, fast track that likely will provide a second groove by Saturday night.
- Staying out of trouble is as important as staying near the front. Although cars can tolerate some body damage here, too much contact means a serious drop in the running order.
- A new track means new setups. Also new spring and shock combinations and lots of practice research.
- Everyone is a rookie, again. Organizations with NASCAR Busch Series and/or NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series teams may have a head start because of those series’ Aug. 23-24 tests at Bristol.
- Almirola To Make DEI Debut at Bristol...Aric Almirola (No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet) will make his first start for Dale Earnhardt Inc., Saturday night at Bristol.
It will be the second NASCAR NEXTEL Cup start for the 23-year-old from Tampa, Fla., who departed Joe Gibbs Racing in mid-July for Ginn Racing – which then merged, days later, with DEI.
Almirola will split time in the No. 01 with veteran Mark Martin for the rest of this season and in ’08. He’ll also compete in Friday night’s NASCAR Busch Series event for JGR.
Saturday night’s start also will be Almirola’s first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Bristol; he competed in two previous NASCAR Busch Series events there.
“I don't have a lot of experience at Bristol, but I have enough to know that you have to be patient and totally focused," he said. “It’s a demanding track; you can’t ever let your guard down.”
- Some “Concrete” Facts...The day after Bristol Motor Speedway’s March 25 event, workers began demolishing its old concrete track to prepare for reconstruction. The result is a new multi-million-dollar concrete surface and a five-month transformation that represents the biggest change to Bristol’s racing surface since concrete replaced asphalt 15 years ago.
Variable banking has corrected a convex shape into a smoother bowl effect. Workers also smoothed transitions into all four turns. The high-banked, .533-mile track also gained three feet, expanding to 43 feet wide.
Bristol’s 43 pit stalls – asphalt before – now are concrete and two feet wider.
The project required more than 20,000 cubic yards of concrete – 3,000 of which forms the track’s new, top layer. The new track surface, including the sub-base, is 17 inches thick.
More than 650 tons of rebar – iron reinforcement bars – was used. That’s equivalent to 382 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup cars (which weigh 3,400 pounds each), 1,182 adult Kodiak bears and 41,600,000 Sharpie pens.
- ll For A Good Cause...The NASCAR Foundation is gearing up for a busy Bristol Motor Speedway weekend – first for Saturday morning’s charity track walk and also in preparation for the second annual NASCAR Foundation Blood and Marrow Drive on Sept. 11.
Saturday’s track walk begins at 10 a.m. Fans may walk the .533-mile surface for fun, fitness and to raise money for those in need. All proceeds go to the Foundation and the Bristol chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities.
All NASCAR NEXTEL Cup cars will run a “Roll Up Your Sleeves” decal this weekend in support of the Blood and Marrow drive. In addition, temporary “Roll Up Your Sleeves” tattoos will be available at The NASCAR Foundation booth for fans to show their support.
The second annual NASCAR Foundation Blood and Marrow Drive takes place Sept. 11 at 25 tracks across the country.
Edwards trademark celebratory backflip...
Victory Lane celebrations...
IMPORTANT: All information, schedules and/or scheduled events is/are subject to change without notice. Please
check with the source to confirm.
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