There's been some silly talk lately about coming up with a NASCAR equivalent of golf's major tournaments. One thing's for sure...if I could choose the events for a Nextel Cup Triple Crown, the late summer night race at Bristol Motor Speedway would be one of the three jewels (alongside Daytona and The Brickyard). It's the one race on the schedule that evokes all of the fun and emotion of small town bullring racing under the lights. Heck, all the small town bullrings are taking tonight off the schedule because they know anyone who might otherwise be there is going to be camped out in front of the tube...watching Bristol. 43 cars ludicrously stacked up on a half-mile oval. Paint will be traded. Bumpers will be trashed. Tempers will flare. I can't wait. So...let's get right to the quick(ish) predictions for tonight:
You guys know how much I love Juan Pablo Montoya but, despite starting on the outside pole, he's marked man tonight. He's got a lot of guys who feel he's got a receipt coming and tonight's the night you can take a free shot. Hey, it's Bristol. Kasey Kahne, the pole sitter, may also get a little tough love tonight from Ryan Newman following their dust-up in the Busch race last night (personally, I thought it was the freaking ballsiest pass of the year). So I'm going to go with some guys starting farther back in the field who know how to work their way up to the front while keeping their equipment more or less intact. Their names will not surprise you.
Sharpie 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway
1. Kurt Busch
2. Tony Stewart
3. Kevin Harvick
[Bristol pic courtesy of BusinessWeek, of all places]