Irwin Tools Night Race

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Saturday night at Bristol is NASCAR’s biggest party of the year.

Bristol is on the Mount Rushmore of  tracks. The .533-mile bowl is one of the most popular spots for drivers and fans, who routinely gobble up the160,000 available seats.This is the 33rd year of night racing at Bristol, which has hosted races for more than 50 years.

Bristol is a fast half-mile, and that was before the new surface that Sprint Cup teams will run on for the first time Saturday night. Typically, that means faster speeds and less grip, which could make Bristol that much more exciting with all of that banking. Bristol already resembled a steel cage match. Saturday night could be a steel cage match on steroids.

Qualifying is important, as pit stall space is critical. If you start in the back, you’re almost a lap down the moment the green flag drops. 22 drivers have won at Bristol from the pole. That's a better than average number compared to other tracks
 
Now some other random facts from the track’s website to impress your friends as ABC provides broadcast coverage:
  • Brad Keselowski is the defending race champion.
  • Greg Biffle won the day race at Bristol earlier this year.
  • The frontstretch and backstretch are 650 feet in length, with 16 degree banking. Banking in the corners varies but can reach 36 degrees.
  • Keselowski has the highest average finish among active drivers.
  • Kyle Busch, who has five wins here,  has the second highest average finishing position of active drivers.
  • Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Greg Biffle round out the top five.
  • Busch, Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch have five wins here. Carl Edwards, Matt Kenseth, Mark Martin, Biffle and Keselowski are  multiple winners.
  • In 21 of 41 years, a driver who won at Bristol won the season championship.