A little more to consider as we check out Bristol Motor Speedway and Sunday's Food City 500 in the rear-view mirror:
Boy, it sure is nice to have Bristol back again, isn’t it?
Since I do a radio show each weekday morning on Sirius NASCAR Radio this may come off as a shameless plug. So be it, but I feel fans should know that Kevin Harvick is scheduled to appear as a guest on Tony Stewart’s weekly show on that channel MOnday night at 8.
Stewart is supposed to allow Harvick – and I am not making this up – to wax the hair off Stewart’s back in exchange for a large charitable donation. Interesting timing, huh?
I know Dale Jarrett now works for ESPN, but would it have killed Fox to show at least some of the prerace tribute to him?
They waited until the very end of a long postrace fill to show him addressing the drivers’ meeting and then interviewed him. Frankly, Jarrett deserved better.
Fox certainly found the time to work in a free ad for the “Digger” T-shirts being made and sold by Motorsports Authentics. With decisions like that, is there any wonder that company lost money last year?
Darrell Waltrip was a trouper on Sunday’s broadcast, but to what end? The man couldn’t talk. Send him home and put Jeff Hammond in the booth.
Biffle picks up points ground
Greg Biffle is one of only four drivers with four top-10 finishes in the season’s first five races after his fourth-place finish in Sunday’s Food City 500. He joins Kevin Harvick, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kasey Kahne in that group.
The solid start has Biffle second in the Sprint Cup standings, just 30 points behind leader Kyle Busch.
“It’s unfortunate that the caution came out at the end because I think we could have got those other guys that stayed out on tires,” said Biffle, who came in for two tires and lined up fifth for the restart with five laps left. “But, oh well.
“We just used our head. We were real smart on pit road and had great pit stops today. We just hung in there, but I kind of waited too long, I think, to put the pressure on.”
Gilliland gets a top-10 finish
David Gilliland stayed on the lead lap all day long and wound up ninth in his No. 38 Ford.
“I’m so proud of the guys and everyone at Yates Racing,” Gilliland said. “They’ve prepared some great cars for us to bring to the race track and that showed today. ... If you look back, my past finishes haven’t been very good at Bristol. But we had some good practices this weekend and we knew we were going to be pretty good in the race.”
Gilliland had never finished better than 30th in a Cup or Nationwide series race at this .533-mile track before Sunday.
“This is a big confidence booster for everyone at Yates Racing,” Gilliland said. “This is just what we needed to try and bring sponsorship in to both of our race teams. ...This is one of our last races for freecreditreport.com, so we need sponsorship and a run like we had today can only help.”
Power steering pump trips Busch
Kyle Busch came to Bristol riding a wave of momentum, but he left without saying much following races on Saturday and again on Sunday.
Busch, who won last week’s Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, headed straight through the tunnel out of the track after his Nationwide Series car got clipped in a wreck on Saturday.
Then, on Sunday, Busch spun his car coming off Turn 2 on Lap 291 after just having taken the lead.
“We had a great car that would have won the race and we blew a seal out of a power steering pump,” crew chief Steve Addington said.
“We have to figure out what’s going on. The 11 (Denny Hamlin) car had problems last week and then we had problems this week.”
Busch returned to the race without power steering and managed to finish two laps down in 17th to hold onto the Sprint Cup points lead.
Almirola opens his season with top 10
Aric Alimorla drove the No. 8 Chevrolet for Dale Earnhardt Inc. for the first time Sunday as Mark Martin took his first weekend off for 2008. Almirola did the team proud, too, finishing a solid eighth.
“That’s where we should run,” said Alimirola, who said that when he drove last year he was simply trying to make laps and learn his way around tracks that were new to him,
“Coming into this year I’ve taken a different approach,” he said. “I’ve got my elbows up and I’m going to go out there and race with these guys. The guys on this team deserve it.”
Jarrett goes out with 37th-place finish
Dale Jarrett drove his No. 44 Toyota to a 37th-place finish, 10 laps down, in the final points race start of his career.
“It wasn’t the finish I would have liked,” Jarrett said. “But I really can’t be too upset when you take into consideration the kind of career I have been fortunate to have had.”
Jarrett finished with 32 career Cup victories. He addressed his fellow drivers in the prerace meeting and received several gifts in ceremonies before his father, Ned, waved the green flag to start the event.
Hornish squeezes into top 35
Sam Hornish Jr. finished 29th Sunday, just enough to earn him the final spot in the top 35 in car owner points after five races.
That’s important since this year’s standings will be used for the first time when the season resumes at Martinsville after an Easter weekend break. Hornish is guaranteed a starting spot for that race because he’s four points ahead of 36th-place Jamie McMurray.
Dale Jarrett’s No. 44 Toyota is 34th, 11 points ahead of Hornish and one point behind Casey Mears’ No. 5 Chevrolet.
McMurray finished 43rd Sunday to fall out of the top 35. Dave Blaney is 18 points behind him with Dario Franchitti another 15 points back.
Where: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
When: 2 p.m. Sunday, March 30.
TV: Fox Sports.
Radio: Motor Racing Network.
Last year’s winner: Jimmie Johnson.