2020 NASCAR Cup Series Preview: Bristol 1 (Supermarket Heroes 500)

Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

After four races in the Carolinas, the Cup Series continues on not too far away in Tennessee at Bristol Motor Speedway. 

Drivers will also become accustomed once more with low downforce that was reminiscent at Phoenix Raceway back in March. Both Bristol and Phoenix share the same aero-package with low-downforce and 750 horsepower. 

Chase Elliott finally picked up his first victory on the year at Charlotte on Thursday and will look to carry his momentum into Bristol. Elliott’s 606 quality passes currently rank first among the field this season. At Bristol, the No. 9 for Hendrick Motorsports has an average finish of 12th in eight career races and has three finishes in the top five, including two of his past three races. The 24-year-old is currently third among the field in points (290) and first among Chevrolets. He will start sixth. 

Elliott’s teammate Alex Bowman looks to rekindle the fire that was luminous in his dominant victory at Auto Club Speedway earlier in the season. Despite four stage wins on the season so far (first among the field), in addition to 527 quality passes (third among the field behind only Elliott and Joey Logano), the 27-year-old has finished outside the top-15 in his last three races (18th, 19th and 31st). In the most recent Bristol race last season (August 15), Bowman finished 15th. Bowman will start just outside the top 10 in 11th

Kevin Harvick, the current leader among the field in season points, looks to continue his scorching start to the year. The No. 4 Ford for Stewart-Haas Racing is the only driver to finish in the top 10 in every race in the Cup Series this season. Additionally, his 391 laps led on the season is first among the field. Harvick will look to improve from last year’s run at the track, as rear gear issues faltered the car to a 39th-place finish. Harvick will start eighth. 

Denny Hamlin, the winner of the race in Bristol last August, will look to move forward without his crew chief, car chief and engineer through Jun. 10 after he was penalized for his car dropping ballast in the Coca-Cola 600. The 39-year-old for Joe Gibbs Racing has 697 career laps led at Bristol and will look to collect his fourth top-five finish out of his past five races. 

Hamlin’s teammate in Kyle Busch, meanwhile, leads all active drivers in laps led at Bristol (2,334). In four of his past five races at Bristol, the 35-year-old has four top-five finishes and three wins. Busch will start seventh. 

The race will air on FOX Sports 1. Coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. EST. 

Here is the starting lineup: https://www.jayski.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2020/05/29/2020-09cup-lineup.pdf

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