Bristol Cup Race Recap


   
Saturday night was a throwback of sorts, a vintage-feeling Bristol Night Race that was dominated by Kevin Harvick. The bottom line returned to fame as the bump and run was the best method for passing, especially the first 400 laps of this race. Overall an underwhelming Bristol race considering modern day multi-grooved Bristol barely showed up, and the bump and run being a forgotten art, but the finish really saved this race. 
    
    Chase Elliott won stage one, but Kyle Busch was in hot pursuit after he started in the back for failing pre race inspection. Stage one was fairly clean except for contact between Jimmie Johnson and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. while they were trying to pass a lapped car. Stage one felt like the calm  before the storm. Spoiler alert...the storm never showed. 

    Stage two was the Kyle Busch show. He put on a dominant performance, and the crazy part is, this was the best he's looked all season. There was an incident on track between JGR teammates Denny Hamlin and Martin Truex Jr. Truex was coming off of pit road after a tire issue. After getting back on track he slid up in front of Hamlin, making contact with both the #11 Toyota and the wall. Another incident occurred when Christopher Bell and William Byron got stacked up behind a lapped car ruining Byron's night and playoff chances. 

    Stage three started off a bit dull, but after a caution with roughly 75 laps to go it was a battle between Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick. Two of the best going head-to-head at arguably NASCAR's best track was amazing. The two champions navigated the constant flow of lapped traffic while battling each other at the same time. It was intense. They swapped the lead a few times, but in the end Kevin Harvick made the final pass for the lead.

    None of the four drivers that entered below the cut line were able to advance. William Byron and Cole Custer were involved in early race accidents that ended their chances. As for Matt DiBenedetto and Ryan Blaney they showed decent speed at times, but in the end the strategy just didn't work their way.