QUALIFYING AND ON TRACK ACTIVITIES FOR APRIL 21ST HAVE BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO RAINFALL.
BRISTOL, Tenn - After taking last weekend off, the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series returns to action with Sunday’s annual Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway. Ford has had good success at the half-mile track, winning 36 times in NASCAR’s top touring series, including a streak of at least one win in 17-of-18 seasons (1990-2008).
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.
BRISTOL BECOMES BUSCH TERRITORY
Kurt Busch earned the first win of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series career when he captured the Food City 500 on March 24, 2002. That marked the first of four wins that season and ignited a Bristol streak that saw Busch win four out of five at the track and three straight after sweeping both races in 2003 and the first event of 2004. Overall, Busch has five series Bristol wins, tying him with his brother, Kyle, for most victories among active drivers.
A WEEKEND THREE SERIES SWEEP
One of the most memorable weekends the last couple of years came in August of 2014 when Ford swept all three NASCAR series races – Camping World Truck, XFINITY and Monster Energy Cup at Bristol Motor Speedway. Brad Keselowski captured his first NCWTS 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 (NCWTS) and Kenseth (NNS 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 RANKS FIRST
Ford has won 651 all-time Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series races and of the active tracks currently on the schedule, Bristol Motor Speedway ranks tied for first as the manufacturer’s most successful with 36 victories (Michigan and Daytona). Rusty Wallace leads the way with five career Ford wins at BMS from 1994-2000 while Fred Lorenzen and Kurt Busch each 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 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)
MULTIPLE FORD CUP WINNERS AT BRISTOL
5 – Rusty Wallace (1994, ’96, ’99, 2000*)
4 – David Pearson (1968*, ’69, ’71)
3 – Carl Edwards (2007, ’08, ‘14)
3 – Fred Lorenzen (1963, ‘64*)
3 – Kurt Busch (2003*, ‘04)
2 – Alan Kulwicki (1991, ’92)
2 – Mark Martin (1993, ’98)
2 – Matt Kenseth (2005, ’06)
2 – Joey Logano (2014, ’15)
* Denotes season sweep