Bristol Last Race For 2009 Locked In Drivers

When the Cup Series heads to Bristol this weekend, it marks the fifth race on the 2010 schedule.  It will be the final race that the top 35 in the owners standings from 2009 will have a guaranteed starting spot.  The following weekend at Martinsville, the 2010 owners points will decide who is in and who is out.  Bristol will be crucial for those who are floating right around that 35th spot in the standings.

Those who are on the outside looking in right now include Kevin Conway, Boris Said, Robby Gordon, and Max Papis.  A good run at Bristol for any of these drivers could mean the difference between racing and going home at Martinsville and beyond.  For Said, Gordon, and Papis who all have limited sponsorship, the idea of not having a guaranteed starting spot could drastically affect the health of their race teams and their ability to continue competing.

The drivers who are in currently, but are dangerously close to being out, include Mike Bliss, Travis Kvapil, Brad Keselowski, David Gilliland, Sam Hornish, Bobby Labonte, Ryan Newman, and Marcos Ambrose.  A bad finish at Bristol, combined with some good runs by the competition, could knock any of these drivers out of the top 35 and that vital guaranteed starting position.

Two drivers who stand to benefit following Bristol are Mike Bliss and Scott Speed.  Speed is very solidly in the top 35 (currently 12th) after a difficult 2009 season left him having to race his way in to the first five of 2010.  But his team has rose to the occasion this season, and their performance has improved markedly.  Bliss currently sits in the final guaranteed spot in 35th, which, if he could keep it would be a huge boost to his Tommy Baldwin Racing team.  This team continues to run severely underfunded, but a locked in spot in every race could help this team secure more sponsorship.

Bristol is always an exciting race anyway, filled with drama from start to finish.  And this season’s spring stop in Thunder Valley will be no different.  But if the usual story lines don’t grab you, take a look down the leaderboard a ways.  You will definitely find a tension filled race for many teams./

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “Bristol Last Race For 2009 Locked In Drivers”

  1. Neon says:

    BK’s #12 Penske Dodge sits 33rd in points after solid top 10 run, yet loosing three points positions in Atlanta thanks to the CE’s #99 Roush Fenway heat seeking missile. Boris Said’s #26 43-Latitude Motorsports Ford (w/ cars and engines incidentally supplied by none other than…Roush Fenway) gains one spot in the points to reach the highly coveted 35th “lock-in” position heading into race #5. I’m sure the cat-n-the-hat’s fat wallet didn’t mind CE’s Atl antics…
    Need I say more?

  2. Kevin says:

    Considering the #26 has been so slow all season long that it doesn’t stand a realistic chance at making the top-35 unless a bunch of really weird things happen at Bristol, your argument doesn’t hold much merit. I hate it for Boris because he’s a great driver, but that team is terrible and has been dead last in almost all of the practice sessions so far this year.

    On the bright side, I believe getting past Bristol will benefit the 90 and 46 who haven’t made a race yet. Instead of competing against the 82 and 71 every week, they will likely have to go against the much-less-formidable 37 and 26.

  3. Melissa says:

    @Neon – Boris Said is 35th in DRIVER’S points. The 26 is 37th in OWNER’s points, 24 points out of 35th. Owner’s points are what matter when determining the top 35 locked in to the race.

    David Stremme (in the 26 this week) will have to finish at least 9 places ahead of Mike Bliss (36) and Kevin Conway (37) and finish in front of Robby Gordon (7) to make the top 35.

    The BK/CE incident will not have any infulence on the top 35, unless Brad doesn’t bounce back.

  4. Neon says:

    Mel-point well taken as “owners” points matter. However, fact remains that #12′s premature exit only helps to pick up owners point for both #37 Yates and #26 Jenkins, which both have Roush connections. I am not saying any intention was played out here, but does show “cause and affect” of CE’s actions.

    Kev-I agree Boris has ability. Maybe Stremme can hoist the #26 @ Bristol. Because anything can happen and quickly.

  5. Richard in N.C. says:

    It does strike me as curious, but not unexpected, that apparently no one in the media has tried to get a statement out of Jack Roush about how much he was involved, if at all, in Carl’s going back on the track to mug Brad K. Since Carl went back on the track at Atlanta it is almost like Jack R. has been carried away by martians – vanished.

Leave a Reply

Designed by Oyun - For Green Hosting, Free MMO and Browser Games