Race Weekend Wrap Up
Carl Edwards wins at Bristol: #19-Carl Edwards won the Food City 500 Sprint Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway for his 1st win of the season, 4th win at Bristol and 26th career win. Edwards won from the pole for the 3 times in 18 tries, the first driver to win from the pole in 2016.
#88-Earnhardt Jr. finished 2nd followed by #41-Busch, #24-Elliott (best career finish), #6-Bayne (1st top-five since he won the 2011 Daytona 500), #83-DiBenedetto (best career finish), #4-Harvick, #15-Bowyer, #31-Newman and #22-Logano.
#88-Dale Earnhardt Jr. (second) posted his 16th top-10 finish in 33 races at Bristol Motor Speedway. It is his fifth top-10 finish in 2016.
#41-Kurt Busch (third) posted his 16th top-10 finish in 31 races at Bristol Motor Speedway.
#24-Chase Elliott (fourth) was the highest finishing rookie.
DiBenedetto has career-best run for BK Racing: If Matt DiBenedetto had done a burnout alongside race winner #19-Carl Edwards, no one would have blamed him. That's how unexpected DiBenedetto's sixth-place finish was in Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol. After going a lap down, the driver of the #83 BK Racing Toyota got a free pass as the highest-scored lapped car for a restart on Lap 345, and subsequent cautions kept him on the lead lap. On the final three late-race restarts, DiBenedetto lined up 14th, 10th and eighth - all in the top lane - and took full advantage of the fast way around the .533-mile concrete oval. On the final restart with five laps left, the NASCAR Next alumnus passed Kevin Harvick for sixth and held the spot to the finish. That result was a career-best for both DiBenedetto and BK Racing. "That's unbelievable for a team like to us to be growing this much and for us to get a sixth-place run," said DiBenedetto, who came to driver introductions disguised as ZZ Top lead guitarist Billy Gibbons, beard and all. "I'm sorry I'm so emotional. It's just this is like a win for us. I'm so excited. I see my family back here - my wife, Taylor, my brother is in town from the military and I'm so glad he got to experience this. This is just... this is incredible. I'm so blessed to be here." Race winner Carl Edwards had made a point of congratulating DiBenedetto on his 20th-place run in Phoenix in the fourth race of the season, but Edwards wasn't aware of the driver's strong run behind him. "They finished sixth?" Edwards asked, incredulous. "Man that's unbelievable. That's probably tougher than what we did."(NASCAR Wire Service)(4-18-2016)
Bristol Driver Song Selections: Bristol Motor Speedway has always featured the most unique driver introductions on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit, but 2016 takes it to a whole new level with the addition of Colossus TV. The sights and sounds of each driver selecting their own songs was presented on the world's largest, outdoor, center-hung, four-sided video display. See the full list onJayski.com's Bristol Motor Speedway Track News and Links page (BMS)(4-18-2016)
NEXT RACE: This weekend at Richmond International Raceway; TV Sunday on FOX at 10 a.m.
Simon Pagenaud, in the No. 22 PPG Automotive Refinish Chevrolet, edged reigning series champion Scott Dixon across the finish line by 0.3032 of a second, the closest finish in the 33 Indy car races held at Long Beach and the fastest ever with an average speed of 100.592 mph. It gave Pagenaud five career Verizon Indy Car Series wins and his first since joining Team Penske in 2015.
Starting the 80-lap race third, Pagenaud took his first lead on Lap 52 when teammate and pole sitter Helio Castroneves made his final pit stop. Pagenaud was able to push two laps farther before stopping for fuel and tires, exiting the pits just ahead of Dixon and Castroneves.
INDYCAR race stewards warned Pagenaud for improper lane usage exiting the pits, but he was able to lead the final 25 laps to collect the win in the first Verizon IndyCar Series caution-free race since Mid-Ohio in August 2013 and the first completely green-flag race on the often-chaotic streets of Long Beach since 1989.
Dixon, in the No. 9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet, believed Pagenaud should have been assessed a stronger penalty, but was resigned with the runner-up finish that kept him second in the standings. Pagenaud leads with 134 points after three of 16 races, Dixon has 120 and Team Penske's Juan Pablo Montoya is third with 106.
Castroneves finished third in the No. 3 Auto Club of Southern California Chevrolet, leading a race-high 47 laps. Montoya finished fourth in the No. 2 Verizon Team Penske Chevy after a frenetic late-lap battle with Takuma Sato, who wound up fifth in the No. 14 ABC Supply AJ Foyt Racing Honda.
NEXT RACE: This weekend at the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama; TV on NBCSN at noon on Sunday
NEXT RACE: NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Charlotte this weekend; TV on FOX Sports 1 on Sunday, 1:30-4:30p.m. PT
At Sonoma Raceway
- Wednesday Night Drags, Sonoma Drift & Top the Cops hit the track this Wednesday
- Track Ambassador Orientation this Saturday