BRISTOL, Tenn. - It’s an elimination race for the NASCAR Cup Series on Saturday night while four Ford F-150 drivers prepare to open the NASCAR Gander RV & Truck Series playoffs Thursday at Bristol Motor Speedway. The NASCAR XFINITY Series concludes its regular season with a Friday night race at the half-mile track.
This Week’s Schedule:
Thursday, Sept. 17 – NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Series, 7:30 p.m. (FS1)
Friday, Sept. 18 – NASCAR XFINITY Series, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
Saturday, Sept. 19 – NASCAR Cup Series, 7:30 p.m. (NBCSN)
A SEASON TO REMEMBER
Brad Keselowski’s win on Saturday night at Richmond Raceway was Ford’s 16th NASCAR Cup Series victory of the season. This marks the third time in the modern era (1972-present) that Ford has won that many races in a season, and is only four behind the all-time single-season high of 20. Here is a look at Ford’s best seasons in terms of victories since 1972.
1994 – 20
2018 – 19
1997 – 19
2020 – 16
2005 – 16
1992 – 16
1998 – 15
FORD CONTINUES WINNING PACE
Keselowski’s fourth win of the season last weekend continued Ford’s string of success this season, and particularly since NASCAR returned to action. Overall, Ford drivers have combined to win 16-of-28 NASCAR Cup Series races (57%) and 14-of-24 points races (58%) since Kevin Harvick won the first race back at Darlington on May 17. Ford also holds a 62-point lead in the series manufacturers’ standings with eight races remaining.
CINDRIC CLINCHES NXS REGULAR SEASON CHAMPIONSHIP
Austin Cindric joined Kevin Harvick as a regular season champion after clinching the NASCAR XFINITY Series title at Richmond. Cindric’s summer surge that saw him win 5-of-6 races helped carry him to the title and 15 bonus points that go along with it. Chase Briscoe is second in the point standings going into Friday’s regular season finale at Bristol and leads the series in wins with six. Harvick claimed the Cup Series regular season championship last month.
GOING FOR THREE STRAIGHT TRUCK SERIES WINS
ThorSport Racing drivers Ben Rhodes and Grant Enfinger have won the last two NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series races. A win on Thursday night at Bristol Motor Speedway would give Ford its first three-race winning streak in the series since 2000 when Greg Biffle (3) and Kurt Busch (2) combined to win five in a row. Ford’s five series wins this season also represents its highest single-season total since 2007.
FORD IN THE NASCAR CUP SERIES AT BMS
- Ford has 38 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 13.
ROUND OF 16 NCS PLAYOFF STANDINGS (Top 12 advance after Bristol)
1. Kevin Harvick (Clinched: Darlington win)
3. Brad Keselowski (Clinched: Richmond win)
4. Joey Logano +51
10. Aric Almirola +7
12. Clint Bowyer +3
14. Cole Custer -8
15. Matt DiBenedetto -25
16. Ryan Blaney -27
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).
- Chase Briscoe (1st) and Austin Cindric (2nd) lead the series point standings after six events.
FORD IN THE NASCAR GANDER RV & OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES AT BMS
- Ford has five series wins at BMS.
- Joe Ruttman won the inaugural series race in 1995.
- Brad Keselowski’s lone series win came at Bristol in 2014.
ROUND OF 10 NGOTS PLAYOFF STANDINGS (Top 8 advance after Talladega)
4. Grant Enfinger +16
6. Ben Rhodes +11
7. Matt Crafton +6
9. Todd Gilliland -2
KESELOWSKI GOING FOR BRISTOL CUP SWEEP
Brad Keselowski will try to become the first Ford driver to win both points races at Bristol Motor Speedway in the same season since Kurt Busch did it in 2003. He earned that opportunity after taking the lead with three laps remaining to win the Food City Supermarket Heroes 500 in May. Keselowski was in the right place at the right time as he took advantage of Chase Elliott and Joey Logano making contact and hitting the wall to snag his second win in as many weeks. Keselowski, who started on the pole after a draw decided the lineup, led for a total of 115 laps on the day, none more opportune than the final three.
FIREBALL BURNS BRIGHT IN FORD DEBUT
Ford won its first 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 RV & Outdoors Truck, XFINITY and Cup at Bristol Motor Speedway. Brad Keselowski captured his first NGOTS 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.
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 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 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)
2020 – Brad Keselowski (1)
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 NASCAR GANDER RV & OUTDOORS TRUCK WINNERS AT BRISTOL
1995 – Joe Ruttman
2004 – Carl Edwards
2006 – Mark Martin
2014 – Brad Keselowski