FORD PERFORMANCE NASCAR: BRISTOL NOTES
Bristol Motor Speedway will be host to all three NASCAR national series this week, beginning with the Gander Outdoor Truck Series Playoff opener on Thursday night. That’s followed by the NASCAR XFINITY Series race on Friday and Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series event Saturday night. Here’s a look at each series going into this week’s competition.
FORD IN THE MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT BMS
· Ford has 37 all-time series wins at BMS.
· Joey Logano won back-to-back Bristol Night Races in 2014 and 2015.
· Roger Penske is tied for the most BMS series wins among active owners with 12.
FORD IN THE NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT BMS
· Ford has nine series wins at BMS.
· The last Ford victory came by Joey Logano in 2015 (Drive to Stop Diabetes 300).
· Jack Roush has five series wins at BMS by five different drivers (Mark Martin, Jeff Burton, Matt Kenseth, Carl Edwards and David Ragan).
FORD IN THE GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES AT BMS
· Ford has 5 all-time series wins at BMS.
· Joe Ruttman won the first series event at the track in 1995.
· Brad Keselowski’s only NCWTS win came at Bristol in 2014.
CUP PLAYOFF RACE DOWN TO THE WIRE
With three races remaining in the regular season, there are five Ford drivers in prime position to advance and make the NASCAR Playoffs field of 16. Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick have won multiple times and are guaranteed spots while Ryan Blaney and Aric Almirola are ninth and 11, respectively, in the point standings. Three other Ford drivers are battling to be 16th or better in the standings with only three races remaining. Ryan Newman (15th), Clint Bowyer (16th) and Daniel Suarez (17th) are separated by 16 points.
FORD GOING FOR FOURTH STRAIGHT NXS VICTORY
Ford enters this weekend’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on a three-race winning streak. Chase Briscoe won his first event of the season at Iowa Speedway and then Austin Cindric captured back-to-back road course races at Watkins Glen and Mid-Ohio. Ironically, the last time Ford won four straight NXS races was 2014 when Brad Keselowski, Marcos Ambrose, Chris Buescher and Ryan Blaney won consecutively at Iowa, Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio, and Bristol – the same stretch of races for this current streak.
THREE FORD DRIVERS EYE TRUCK SERIES TITLE
The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoffs get started on Thursday night and three Ford drivers from ThorSport Racing will be contending for this year’s championship. Grant Enfinger enters as the regular-season champion after clinching that title last week at Michigan International Speedway. He’s joined by Johnny Sauter, who earned his position by winning at Dover, and Matt Crafton, who got the final position based on points. Crafton won back-to-back series championships in 2013-2014 while Sauter captured the crown in 2016.
FIREBALL BURNS BRIGHT IN FORD DEBUT
Ford won its first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 31, 1963 when Fireball Roberts won the Southeastern 500. What made the win so noteworthy is that it marked the debut of Roberts with Ford as a teammate of Fred Lorenzen’s at Holman-Moody. The duo put on a dominant show that day as they combined to lead 329 of 500 laps with Roberts leading 165 and Lorenzen 164. Roberts passed his new teammate with eight laps to go and won by five seconds as the race saw only one caution for nine laps. Roberts went on to win four races in 1963 while Lorenzen won six times.
A THREE SERIES SWEEP
One of the most memorable Ford weekends in recent years came in August of 2014 when Ford swept all three NASCAR series races – Gander Outdoors Truck, XFINITY and Monster Energy Cup at Bristol Motor Speedway. Brad Keselowski captured his first GOTS victory while Ryan Blaney took the XFINITY event. Joey Logano capped the weekend sweep when he passed Matt Kenseth with 45 laps to go and then had to hold off Keselowski to post his third win of the 2014 season. Logano was in control until caution came out with 69 laps to go. While he pitted for four tires, Kenseth and others stayed out which put Logano sixth on the ensuing restart with 63 to go. With fresh tires, however, he was able to move to the front in less than 20 laps and then hold off his Penske teammate down the stretch. It marked the first time Ford swept all three divisions in the same weekend since 2006 when Mark Martin (GOTS) and Kenseth (NXS and MENCS) did it, ironically, at Bristol.
LOGANO WINS BACK-TO-BACK NIGHT RACES
Joey Logano held off a hard-charging Kevin Harvick over the final 25 laps to win the IRWIN Tools Night Race for the second consecutive year in 2015. Logano led four times for 176 laps, including all but four of the final 147 laps and that was because he pitted when the caution came out with 71 laps to go while Penske teammate Brad Keselowski opted to stay out for track position. Even though Keselowski had the lead on the ensuing restart, Logano’s four fresh tires enabled him to get the lead immediately and he held on over the final 64 circuits to post his 11th career victory.
BRISTOL BULLET POINTS
Rusty Wallace and Kurt Busch lead the way with five career Ford wins at BMS while Fred Lorenzen won three consecutive races at the half-mile oval…In addition, Alan Kulwicki won five races during his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career and two of those came at Bristol Motor Speedway (1991-92)…Ford has swept both Bristol races seven times with the last coming in 2014 when Carl Edwards won the first event in March and Logano followed with his Night Race triumph in August.
ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND
The date was July 20, 1969 and while Neil Armstrong we uttering those groundbreaking words as being the first man to step foot on the moon, David Pearson was busy winning at Bristol on the first race since the track installed high banking. What made the race even more interesting is that Pearson was relieved during the race by none other than Richard Petty, who was driving a Ford that season and dropped out earlier in the event. Even more ironic is that Petty was chasing Pearson for the championship that season, one in which Pearson eventually won for the second straight time.
FORD MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP WINNERS AT BRISTOL
1963 – Fireball Roberts and Fred Lorenzen
1964 – Fred Lorenzen (Sweep)
1965 – Junior Johnson and Ned Jarrett
1966 – Dick Hutcherson (1)
1968 – David Pearson (Sweep)
1969 – David Pearson (2)
1970 – Donnie Allison (1)
1971 – David Pearson (1)
1988 – Bill Elliott (1)
1990 – Davey Allison (1)
1991 – Alan Kulwicki (2)
1992 – Alan Kulwicki (1)
1993 – Mark Martin (2)
1994 – Rusty Wallace (2)
1996 – Rusty Wallace (2)
1997 – Dale Jarrett (2)
1998 – Mark Martin (2)
1999 – Rusty Wallace (1)
2000 – Rusty Wallace (Sweep)
2001 – Elliott Sadler (1)
2002 – Kurt Busch (1)
2003 – Kurt Busch (Sweep)
2004 – Kurt Busch (1)
2005 – Matt Kenseth (2)
2006 – Matt Kenseth (2)
2007 – Carl Edwards (2)
2008 – Carl Edwards (2)
2014 – Carl Edwards and Joey Logano
2015 – Joey Logano (2)
2018 – Kurt Busch (2)
FORD NASCAR XFINITY WINNERS AT BRISTOL
1989 – Mark Martin (2)
1994 – Kenny Wallace (2)
1996 – Mark Martin (1)
1997 – Jeff Burton (1)
2006 – Matt Kenseth (2)
2007 – Carl Edwards (1)
2009 – David Ragan (2)
2014 – Ryan Blaney (2)
2015 – Joey Logano (1)
FORD GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES WINNERS AT BRISTOL
1995 – Joe Ruttman
2004 – Carl Edwards
2006 – Mark Martin
2014 – Brad Keselowski
2015 – Ryan Blaney