What’s old is new again at Bristol Motor Speedway


Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, and crew members celebrate with the American Flag and a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 18, 2012 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

It’s always one of the most anticipated races during the NASCAR Sprint Cup season. But this trip to Bristol Motor Speedway for Saturday’s Irwin Tools Night Race offers a different challenge then the last time the series visited here in the spring leaving teams, drivers and fans a little unsure what will happen.

The .533 mile track underwent a reconfiguration that saw the top lane of the concrete shaved in an attempt to make the racing here more like it was prior to the installation of progressive banking and a repaving in 2007. Whether the new work will bring back the old racing is still a question mark.  One thing is a little bit more sure however; the favorites for this week’s race. Brad Keselowski won here in the spring race and won this race last year. With the momentum he’s had from the last few weeks, three top five runs that include two runner-up finishes in the last two races, Keselowski should be the class of the field Saturday. That is as long as his Penske Motorsports team can tame the new configuration.

“Bristol to me is a man’s racetrack and I respect that place so much,” Keselowski said. “I think it takes a level of respect for it. From day one, the first day I walked in there, I respected it but I also wanted to win there. I wanted to prove to myself and others that I could be the man to win at a man’s racetrack. So it’s always been a challenge to me and it’s one that, for some reason, has taken a piece of me somewhere deep inside and made it rise to the next level. I just love it for that reason.  There are few things in life that can do that to anyone and Bristol is that place for me.” MORE>>>


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