Irwin Tools Predictions

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series returns to Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday night for the Irwin Tools Night Race, which is always one of the most exciting races of the year.

Bet the Irwin Tools Night Race

Anytime NASCAR competes under the lights, it always makes for an exciting race. But throw in the high banking, beating and banging, and hot tempers and you have a race filled with excitement.

Bristol was always a track where the favorites faired well. Of course, that was until the new surface was unveiled in the fall of ‘07. The main difference with the new surface is that an outside groove has made it possible for drivers to legitimately pass on the outside. In previous races, if a driver was slower and wouldn’t get out of the way, the faster drivers would have to push him out because you could only pass down on the bottom.

As we get closer to the start of the chase, keep a eye on those drivers near the bottom in points since they all need good finishes and might be afraid to be a little aggressive to guarantee a good finish. Those drivers outside of the top 12 might take a few extra chances to pick up valuable extra points.

Kurt Busch 7/1
Kurt Busch was the king of Bristol for many years - winning four of five races at one point - and is the only active driver with more than two wins with a total of five. Busch has struggled a bit since the new surface was installed, but still never finished worse than 15th, which is still impressive at this difficult track. We think with the way he has run this year, he might just be ready to get back to the victory lane at his favorite track.

Kyle Busch 6/1
We haven't heard much from Kyle Busch lately but this could be the track to get his name mentioned Saturday night and like his brother, Kyle has taken a real liking to Bristol. In 11 races at Bristol, Kyle has three wins and eight top-10 finishes and has a very good average finish of 10.1. Getting back in victory lane would be a nice confidence builder heading into the chase.

Live Longshot

Mark Martin 30/1
Martin has had a year he’d like to forget, but if there was a track that could give him and his team a much needed lift it’s Bristol, where he has run well throughout his career. Even though he has just two wins here, what we like is how consistent he’s been, with 23 top-10s in 43 starts. With nothing to lose, he will be all out to get a win at this point in the season.

Bet the Irwin Tools Night Race

Posted: 8/18/10 3:10PM ET

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