Hot 20 – Nothing like a good swig of Bristol to get the taste of Texas out of your mouth

by Ron Thornton On Wed, Apr. 11, 2018

Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe's Chevrolet, crosses the finish line to win the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 24, 2017 in Bristol, Tennessee. Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images.

Texas. That may have been the worst NASCAR race I ever watched. If not, I hope I never remember a worse one. Indianapolis in 2008 might challenge it, but that was due to having to throw out a caution every 10 laps to prevent the damn tires from exploding. That race was a disaster due to the tires. Texas was a disaster all on its own. If you saw it and liked it, I envy you.

Bristol. This is where all those bad feelings about horrid racing should all go away. It is where Darrell Waltrip won a dozen times, including seven straight. Nine times Cale Yarborough, Dale Earnhardt, and Rusty Wallace each shook the suds. It is where Kyle Busch will try to claim his second straight this year to up his own total to seven.

Bristol is where they have been providing NASCAR thrills twice a year since 1961. Earnhardt and Wallace both won their first there. It was where Davey Allison edged out Mark Martin by inches in 1990. It is where Busch won over Jeff Burton in 2007 and then Martin in the fall race of 2009 by a combined margin of under two-tenths of a second.

The former Southeastern 500 has had Food City as its sponsor since 1992. Wallace claimed this particular Bristol offering six times. Jimmie Johnson won it last year. Well, there is no time like the present.

If you watched last week, come on back. This is Bristol. Things will be different this Sunday. I promise.

1. KEVIN HARVICK – 3 WINS – 257 Pts
A damn lug nut and some damn lug who could not even tighten a nut. That was Texas.

2. KYLE BUSCH – 1 WIN – 316 Pts
Finally got to walk down the aisle, but Harvick did his best to ruin the party again.

3. MARTIN TRUEX JR. – 1 WIN – 250 Pts
He coulda been a contender. He coulda been somebody, instead, a tire blew and he was done.

4. CLINT BOWYER – 1 WIN – 249 Pts
A win and averaging over 35 points per race. How sweet life is.

5. AUSTIN DILLON – 1 WIN – 159 Pts
The only member of the Bowtie Brigade with a checkered flag.

6. JOEY LOGANO – 278 POINTS
So, this is a comeback year? If only his 2017 Richmond win had not been encumbered.

7. RYAN BLANEY – 265 POINTS
Fifth straight Cup guy to win a Xfinity race. I wonder what those ratings are like?

8. BRAD KESELOWSKI – 237 POINTS
Brad has nothing to say regarding the questionable air guns. When did that ever happen before?

9. KURT BUSCH – 224 POINTS
All I hear is how great Kyle is at this or how wonderful Kyle did that! Kyle, Kyle, Kyle!

10. DENNY HAMLIN – 222 POINTS
A pair of pit penalties could not do what that wreck early in the final segment accomplished.

11. KYLE LARSON – 202 POINTS
The wheels on the car get ground, ground, ground and then they make a terrible sound.

12. ERIK JONES – 193 POINTS
Thinks 400 miles at Texas would be enough. I think 40 feet is enough.

13. ARIC ALMIROLA – 177 POINTS
Texas was lovely for Almirola until it wasn’t.

14. ALEX BOWMAN – 154 POINTS
Wished he could have had a day like Almirola. Bowman’s was messed up by the second lap.

15. PAUL MENARD – 146 POINTS
30th in Texas and still on this chart. It gives you an idea how bad the day went for others…

16. RYAN NEWMAN – 145 POINTS
…like Newman. He was 27th after another tire left another driver hitting another wall.

17. WILLIAM BYRON – 135 POINTS
A Top Ten. See, Texas did not suck for everybody.

18. CHASE ELLIOTT – 128 POINTS
A brace that supports the rear window did not meet specs in Texas, at a cost of 20 points.

19. DARRELL WALLACE JR. – 126 POINTS
A new look driver, an old look number, and an old-time sponsor for Bristol.

20. A.J. ALLMENDINGER – 123 POINTS
Okay, this is the Hot 19 along with a trio currently on simmer.

21. JIMMIE JOHNSON – 123 POINTS
Lose a couple of pounds, eat a chocolate cake. Gain a few points, then get wrecked. Same idea.

22. RICKY STENHOUSE JR. – 123 POINTS
Are drivers athletes? Well, just ask Kansas football coach David Beaty.

** The opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of the publisher. All comments other than website related problems need to be directed to the author. (c)SpeedwayMedia.com. **

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