Fantasy NASCAR rankings: Irwin Tools Night Race

by Brian Polking on August 27, 2011 @ 07:38:42 PDT

 


Carl Edwards

Ryan Newman powered his way to a pole at Bristol Motor Speedway Friday, putting him position to finally break through at the half-mile track. Since the changes to the track's layout, Newman has finished inside the top 10 in all but one start. While a Bristol victory has eluded him during the stretch and in his career, starting on the pole could be the X-factor. The first pit stall on pit road is a huge advantage, and if Newman's crew can put him out front late, he could end his night in Victory Lane.

Two prime candidates to stop Newman are Roush Fenway Racing teammates Carl Edwards and Matt Kenseth. The duo will start second and third Saturday night, and both drivers are two-time winners at the track. In March, both finished inside the top five with Edwards taking second and Kenseth coming home fourth. Newman may have the pole, but history favors Edwards and Kenseth.

History also favors Kyle Busch, but unlike Newman, track position is not on his side. Busch qualified a distant 23rd, putting his chances of a Bristol three-peat in doubt. However, he has won four of the last five races at the track and finished in the top two in seven of his last 10. If there is any driver that can overcome a poor starting spot, it's Busch.

Rk
Driver
Car No.
Make Sponsor Team
Starting Pos
1
Kyle Busch
18
Toyota M&M's Joe Gibbs Racing
23
2
Carl Edwards
99
Ford Aflac Roush Fenway Racing
2
3
Jimmie Johnson
48
Chevrolet Lowe's Home Improvement Hendrick Motorsports
13
4
Matt Kenseth
17
Ford Crown Royal Roush Fenway Racing
3
5
Brad Keselowski
2
Dodge Miller Lite Penske Championship Racing
8
6
Kurt Busch
22
Dodge Shell/Pennzoil Penske Championship Racing
10
7
Jeff Gordon
24
Chevrolet Drive to End Hunger Hendrick Motorsports
4
8
Kevin Harvick
29
Chevrolet Budweiser Richard Childress Racing
15
9
Greg Biffle
16
Ford 3M Roush Fenway Racing
14
10
Ryan Newman
39
Chevrolet U.S. Army Stewart-Haas Racing
1
11
Mark Martin
5
Chevrolet GoDaddy.com Hendrick Motorsports
5
12
Kasey Kahne
4
Toyota Red Bull Red Bull Racing
25
12
Dale Earnhardt Jr.
88
Chevrolet Mountain Dew AMP Energy Hendrick Motorsports
22
13
Clint Bowyer
33
Chevrolet Cheerios Richard Childress Racing
16
15
Paul Menard
27
Chevrolet Menard's Richard Childress Racing
7
16
Tony Stewart
14
Chevrolet Office Depot Stewart-Haas Racing
42
17
Marcos Ambrose
9
Ford Stanley Black & Decker Richard Petty Motorsports
11
18
Denny Hamlin
11
Toyota FedEx Joe Gibbs Racing
20
19
Martin Truex Jr.
56
Toyota NAPA Michael Waltrip Racing
27
20
Juan Pablo Montoya
42
Chevrolet Target Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing
19
21
Jamie McMurray
1
Chevrolet Bass Pro Shops Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing
6
22
David Reutimann
00
Toyota Aaron's Michael Waltrip Racing
34
23
David Ragan
6
Ford UPS Roush Fenway Racing
24
24
Jeff Burton
31
Chevrolet Caterpillar Richard Childress Racing
21
25
Joey Logano
20
Toyota Home Depot Joe Gibbs Racing
9
26
A.J. Allmendinger
43
Ford Best Buy Richard Petty Motorsports
18
27
Regan Smith
78
Chevrolet Furniture Row Furniture Row Racing
12
28
Brian Vickers
83
Toyota Red Bull Red Bull Racing
26
29
Bobby Labonte
47
Toyota Bush's Baked Beans JTG Daugherty Racing
30
30
Travis Kvapil
38
Ford Long John Silver's Front Row Motorsports
33
31
Scott Speed
46
Ford RetakeOurGov.com Whitney Motorsports
36
32
Dave Blaney
36
Chevrolet Golden Corral Tommy Baldwin Racing
35
33
Casey Mears
13
Toyota GEICO Germain Racing
29
34
Terry Labonte
32
Ford U.S. Chrome FAS Lane Racing
41
35
Robby Gordon
7
Dodge SPEED Energy Robby Gordon Motorsports
39
36
David Gilliland
34
Ford Taco Bell Front Row Motorsports
17
37
Mike Bliss
51
Chevrolet Phoenix Construction Phoenix Racing
40
38
Andy Lally
71
Ford TRG Motorsports TRG Motorsports
38
39
David Starr
95
Ford AdvoCare Leavine Fenton Racing
37
40
David Stremme
30
Chevrolet TBA Inception Motorsports
31
41
Mike Skinner
60
Toyota Big Red Germain Racing
43
42
Michael McDowell
66
Toyota RaceHP.com HP Racing
32
43
Joe Nemechek
87
Toyota NEMCO Motorsports NEMCO Motorsports
28
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About Brian Polking

Racing has been part of Brian's life ever since he can remember, and he spent his childhood at dirt tracks throughout Ohio and Kentucky watching his father race. NASCAR naturally became his favorite sport, and he has been following the Cup, Nationwide and Truck Series for most of his life. Brian majored in journalism and economics at Ohio State University and becoming a sports writer has always been his dream. Although he has covered everything from minor league baseball to the NCAA tournament, his passion has always been NASCAR. Brian has served as a NASCAR writer for a variety of sites, eventually becoming head editor of the NASCAR section for Fanball.com. His knowledge of NASCAR comes from his life-long love of racing, and he tries to add a personal touch to every article he writes. Brian is always up for talking NASCAR with anyone that wants to. Brian joined KFFL's team in 2011.

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