On The Gas, On The Brakes From Bristol

Thunder Valley lived up to its name. Both on the track and off, as weather once again plagued the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. This time it was Bristol Motor Speedway that was on the hit list. Persistent rain caused four red flags and a delay of the second half of the race until Monday. Once things dried up, the action heated up and several drivers left Bristol wishing it would have just washed the track away. Who made the best of a long race weekend?

On The Gas…

3: Jimmie Johnson – Who’s that guy? Oh yeah, 7-time that has had the luck of a rookie as of late, but Thunder Valley gave a little hope to Johnson and the No.48 team as they ran up front, avoided trouble and came home with his first top 5 of the season.

2: Ricky Stenhouse Jr. – The only guy that may have worse luck this season than Johnson, but a trip to Bristol, looks to have been just what the doctor ordered. Stenhouse Jr. came home with his first top 10 and top 5 of the season, and with Talladega on the horizon, this may be a good stretch for the driver of the No. 17.

1: Kyle Busch – Second place was not happening for Busch. A late bump and run, which thrilled fans, even ones that boo Busch enjoyed the fact that we saw “Old School” Bristol on Monday…Kind of. You could see the whites of Kyle’s eyes from that bumper camera off the back of the No. 42. For Busch, it’s two straight W’s and that should concern the field.

With the happy, there is “less than thrilled” segment of the field.

On The Brakes…

3: Michael McDowell –  The only good news for McDowell, he didn’t have to go back to Bristol on Monday, the problem was, he made it home before the rain even came on Sunday. McDowell was swept up in a crash just 9 laps in. It was a major Disappointment as McDowell and his Front Row team showed speed coming in to the weekend and through practice.

2: Martin Truex Jr. – An early crash that saw Truex slide in to the back of several cars made a long weekend even longer. Truex found the wrong place at the right time once again and with heavy damage to the car, but not enough to put them out of the race, Truex had to go through the worst thing a driver can do, Race on Monday in a damaged car.

1: Ryan Blaney – If only Blaney would have better brakes, his weekend wouldn’t have fallen under the category of “yuck”. While leading and seemingly having the race in hand, Blaney found himself on the highside as all heck broke loose in front of him and everything came right back up in front of him. No where to go, except the garage and out.

It was a rough week in Thunder Valley, but the racing gave us a lot to enjoy. Now, if Mother Nature can get over the fact Dale Junior isn’t coming back, and she can just go away. We’ll try it again this weekend at the new Richmond Raceway.

Stephen Conley

If it races, I'll write about it, talk about it or shoot it with a camera.

I began pursuing a career in motorsports journalism immediately after attending college at Kent State University. I have hosted multiple Motorsports talk shows, worked in Country Music radio, and now i spend every day on the air in the morning with 1300 and 100.9 WMVO and in the afternoons watching the roadways around Central Ohio for 93.7 WQIO.

The excitement and the fans make everything I put out there worth while, it's been an exciting 15 years having covered everything from the Daytona 500 to the Rolex 24 and you can find me at pretty much any event run at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

What I like to bring is a look behind the scenes, a look at what and who makes the sport grow. From the guy that welds pieces back at the shop to the host in the tv booth.

Everyone has a story and I like to tell it. My main focus here at TPF is looking at the men and women behind the microphone and cameras.

My life long goal is to become a member of MRN or PRN Radio and bring the races to you. I hope that what I share now is enjoyable and gives you a unique look in to the world of motorsports.

See you at a track soon

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