If there is ever a more perfect venue to decide who is in and who is out of the playoffs, this place has to be it. A track where drivers get on your nerves, but as tight as the action can get, it means payback can be on the horizon. As quick as laps get taken off the board, it also means time runs short as the night progresses.
A short track to decide what four drivers see their playoff hopes come to an end…that is smart booking.
Some may think of Richmond as “Racing Perfection”, but let’s face it, last week when the only cautions that came out were the stage breaks, it made for a rather dull evening. Bristol is a track that without question will not go caution free. The All-Star Race held earlier this year barely lasted a couple laps in the open before contact was made and one driver was done for the night.
Just look back at the history of the famed bumper tags at this place, from Earnhardt to Labonte in both 1995 and 1999, to Gordon on Wallace in 1997 and 2002. Then there’s the bumper tags that caused a bit of outrage, and showing off some skills.
We can never forget when Ward Burton hurled his heat shields at Dale Jr, then afterwards wished it was something he could’ve hurled through the windshield. Same race, Robby Gordon got into Jimmie Johnson on a restart and with him out of the race, Johnson saluted the other Gordon back then with a hearty Stone Cold gesture.
Of course, Tony Stewart’s helmet toss to Matt Kenseth certainly comes to mind, especially when the announcers seemed to forget that Smoke is actually a lefty.
Add in the pressure of drivers that are on the cusp of elimination, and what they would do to just get into that position. Plus, there’s drivers that are just wanting to win, play spoiler, and make it a day where the playoff notes get put second instead of first.
Anything can happen, especially considering the fans will be able to witness what is taking place. Their favorites may ultimately win, or lose, a chance to continue their title quest. Some may be upset they got taken out, others will be wanting revenge.
All this and more on a Saturday night slugfest. IT’S BRISTOL BABY!!