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Food City 500 driver capsules

Jeff Birchfield • Apr 6, 2019 at 7:52 PM

00 Landon Cassill

Starcom Racing Chevrolet

Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Best Bristol finish: 20th (2 times)

Notable: Former test driver for Hendrick Motorsports No. 48 car when team won four straight NASCAR championships, currently 32nd in points

 

1 Kurt Busch

Ganassi Racing Chevrolet

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nev.

Best Bristol finish: WIN (6 times)

Notable: 2004 NASCAR champion, 30 career wins including 2017 Daytona 500, most recent Bristol winner, currently 10th in points.

 

2 Brad Keselowski

Team Penske Ford

Hometown: Rochester Hills, Mich.

Best Bristol finish: WIN (2 times)

Notable: 2012 NASCAR champion, 29 career wins, two wins in 2019, including short-track at Martinsville, currently sixth in points.

 

3 Austin Dillon

Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

Hometown: Welcome, N.C.

Best Bristol Finish: 4th

Notable: 2018 Daytona 500 winner, two career wins, 2013 Xfinity champion, one Bristol Xfinity win, currently 17th in points.

 

4 Kevin Harvick

Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

Hometown: Bakersfield, Calif.

Best Bristol Finish: WIN (2 times)

Notable: 2014 NASCAR champion, 45 career wins including 2009 Daytona 500, swept Bristol race weekend in 2005, five Bristol Xfinity wins, one Bristol Truck win, currently third in points.

 

6 Ryan Newman

Roush Fenway Ford

Hometown: South Bend, Id.

Best Bristol Finish: 2nd

Notable: 18 career wins including 2008 Daytona 500, has one Xfinity Series, two Modified Series wins at Bristol.

 

8 Daniel Hemric

Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet

Hometown: Kannapolis, N.C.

Best Bristol finish: first start

Notable: Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate, finished third in 2018 April Xfinity race, currently 29th in points.

 

9 Chase Elliott

Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

Hometown: Dawsonville, Ga.

Best Bristol finish: 3rd

Notable: Reigning Most Popular Driver award winner, three career wins, pole winner for Food City 500 with a new BMS track record, currently ninth in points.

 

10 Aric Almirola

Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

Hometown: Tampa, Fla.

Best Bristol finish: 3rd

Notable: Two career wins, coming off best career year when finished fifth in points, also fifth in 2019 points.

 

11 Denny Hamlin

Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Hometown: Chesterfield, Va.

Best Bristol finish: WIN

Notable: 33 career wins including two Daytona 500 wins, two wins this season including Daytona 500, currently second in points.

 

12 Ryan Blaney

Team Penske Ford

Hometown: Hartford, Ohio

Best Bristol finish: 7th

Notable: Two career wins, one Bristol Xfinity win, currently eighth in points.

 

13 Ty Dillon

Germain Racing Chevrolet

Hometown: Welcome, N.C.

Best Bristol finish: 15th

Notable: Tied career-best finish with sixth at Daytona 500, had eight top-10 finishes in 10 Bristol Xfinity races, currently 23rd in points.

 

14 Clint Bowyer

Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

Hometown: Emporia, Kans.

Best Bristol finish: 2nd

Notable: 10 career wins, one Bristol Xfinity win, 2008 Xfinity Series champion led 120 laps at BMS last August, currently 10th in points.

 

15 Ross Chastain

Premium Motorsports Chevrolet

Hometown: Alva, Fla.

Best Bristol finish: 26th

Notable: First Cup start of the season, won 2013 World Series of Asphalt championship, won his first national series win in the Xfinity last season.

 

17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr.

Roush Fenway Racing

Hometown: Olive Branch, Miss.

Best Bristol finish: 2nd (twice)

NOTABLE: Two career wins, two Xfinity Series championships, currently 13th in points

 

18 Kyle Busch

Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Hometown: Las Vegas, Nev.

Best Bristol finish: WIN (Seven times)

Notable: 2015 NASCAR champion, Busch’s seven Bristol Cup Series wins leads all active drivers, have a track record 21 wins overall, 53 career wins, only driver to ever sweep all three NASCAR national series in same weekend (both times at Bristol), current points leader.

 

19 Martin Truex Jr.

Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Hometown: Mayetta, N.J.

Best Bristol finish: 2nd

Notable: 2017 NASCAR champion, 19 career wins, pair of runner-up finishes, currently seventh in points.

 

20 Erik Jones

Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota

Hometown: Byron, Mich.

Best Bristol finish: 2nd

Notable: One career win, if wins sponsor will donate $1 million to Children’s Miracle Network, currently 16th in points.

 

21 Paul Menard

Wood Brothers Racing Ford

Hometown: Eau Claire, Wisc.

Best Bristol finish: 5th

Notable: One career win, began racing on ice at age 14, won 10 International Ice Racing Association events, currently 21st in points.

 

22 Joey Logano

Team Penske Ford

Hometown: Middletown, Conn.

Best Bristol finish: WIN (2 times)

Notable: Defending NASCAR champion, 22 career wins including 2015 Daytona 500 and earlier this season at Las Vegas, two Bristol Xfinity wins including leading every lap of 2015 spring race, currently fourth in points.

 

24 William Byron

Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

Hometown: Charlotte, N.C.

Best Bristol finish: 18th

Notable: Won pole for season-opening Daytona 500, 2017 Xfinity Series champion, currently 18th in points.

 

32 Corey LaJoie

Go Fas Racing Ford

Hometown: Concord, N.C.

Best Bristol finish: 24th

Notable: Six-time winner in NASCAR K&N Series, former development driver for Richard Petty Motorsports, currently 30th in points.

 

34 Michael McDowell

Front Row Motorsports Ford

Hometown: Glendale, Ariz.

Best Bristol finish: 18th

Notable: Scored second career top-five finish at Daytona 500, 2004 Star Mazda champion for open-wheel cars, currently 26th in points.

 

36 Matt Tifft

Front Row Motorsports Ford

Hometown: Hinckley, Ohio

Best Bristol finish: First start

Notable: Finished sixth in last season’s Xfinity point standings, is back in NASCAR after undergoing surgery for a brain tumor in 2016, currently 31st in points

 

37 Chris Buescher

JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet

Hometown: Prosper, Texas

Best Bristol finish: 5th

Notable: One career win, 2015 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion, currently 22nd in points.

 

38 David Ragan

Front Row Motorsports Ford

Hometown: Unadilla, Ga.

Best Bristol finish: 10th

Notable: Two career wins, 2009 Bristol August Xfinity winner, currently 27th in points.

 

41 Daniel Suarez

Stewart-Haas Racing Ford

Hometown: Monterrey, Mexico

Best Bristol finish: 11rth

Notable: One career pole, 2016 Xfinity Series champion, currently 14th in points.

 

42 Kyle Larson

Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet

Hometown: Elk Grove, Calif.

Best Bristol finish: 2nd (twice)

Notable: Five career wins, runner-up in the last two BMS races, also a two-time BMS pole winner, currently 12th in points.

 

43 Bubba Wallace

Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet

Hometown: Mobile, Ala.

Best Bristol finish: 16th

Notable: Became first African-American to win a NASCAR national series race in 2013, finshed 2nd in 2018 Daytona 500, best finish ever for an African-American driver, won Short Track U.S. Nationals at BMS in 2017.

 

47 Ryan Preece

JTG Daugherty Racing Chevrolet

Hometown: Hartford, Conn.

Best Bristol finish: First start

Notable: Won Bristol April Xfinity race in 2018, one Modified win at BMS, finished eighth at Daytona 500, currently 25th in points.

 

48 Jimmie Johnson

Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

Hometown: El Cajon, Calif.

Best Bristol finish: WIN (2 times)

Notable: Seven-time NASCAR champion (tied with Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt for most all-time), 83 career wins (tied with Cale Yarborough for sixth all-time), two-time Daytona 500 winner, currently 15th in points.

 

51 Gray Gaulding

Petty Ware Racing Chevrolet

Hometown: Colonial Heights, Va.

Best Bristol finish: 29th

Notable: Scored career-best ninth at Talladega in 2017, won Legends car championship at age 12, former Kevin Harvick development driver, first start of season.

 

52 Bayley Currey

Rick Ware Racing Ford

Hometown: Driftwood, Texas

Best Bristol finish: First start

Notable: Third career Cup Series start, finished both races at Phoenix and Texas, second-generation driver.

 

66 Timmy Hill

MBM Motorsports Chevrolet

Hometown: Port Tobacco, Md.

Best Bristol finish: 28th

Notable: Has over 250 combined starts in Cup and Xfinity Series, scored a top-10 finish in first-ever Truck Series race, second start of season.

 

77 Quinn Houff

Spire Motorsports

Hometown: Weyers Cave, Va.

Best Bristol finish: First start

Notable: Second career start, made his Xfinity Series debut at Bristol in 2017, was part of 2016 Kulwicki Driver Development program.

 

88 Alex Bowman

Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet

Hometown: Tuscon, Ariz.

Best Bristol finish: 5th

Notable: Two career poles including 2018 Daytona 500, 2018 Food City 500 was first of three top-five finishes, 2009 USAC national midget rookie of the year, currently 19th in points.

 

95 Matt DiBenedetto

Leavine Family Racing

Hometown: Grass Valley, Calif.

Best Bristol finish: 6th

Notable: Sixth-place finish in 2016 Food City 500 is career best, led 49 laps in season-opening Daytona 500, father was a road racer, currently 24th in points.

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