The Good, The Bad, The Ugly: Food City 500

Editor's note: Mark Garrow provides driver trends for Sunday's Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Aric Almirola

• Almirola is replacing Mark Martin in the No. 8 car this weekend. This is Almirola's first Cup race of the season.

• Almirola has one previous Cup start at Bristol, finishing 36th here last year. In three Nationwide starts at Bristol, he has one top-10 finish and a 32nd-place finish in one Truck Series start. In six total Cup Series starts, Almirola's best finish is a 26th at Phoenix last year.

• With Mark Martin in this car, it could run in the top 10 at Bristol. No offense to Almirola, but if he finishes in the top 25, it will be a moral victory.

John Andretti

• Andretti must use his qualifying effort to get him into the race Sunday. His team was outside the top 35 in owners' points in 2007.

• In 18 starts here, Andretti has two top-5s, one of which is a runner-up finish in this race in 2001. Andretti's average finish here is 24.6 with six DNFs.

Greg Biffle

• In 10 Sprint Cup starts at Bristol, Biffle has completed all but two laps (5,002 of 5,004). Of the 202 laps Biffle has led at Bristol in Sprint Cup races, 201 of them were during the spring races.

• Biffle is driving RK-508, the same car he drove to a runner-up finish last year in Dover. Of all active drivers who have 10 or more starts here, Biffle has the highest average finish with a 10.3.

• This guy is red-hot. He's going to run top-10 or better Sunday afternoon. What's also nice about Biffle's record at Bristol: In 10 starts, he's had zero DNF's. So, in other words, at Bristol he drives fast and safe.

Dave Blaney

• Blaney plans to utilize chassis No. 19, the same car the team won the pole with at [Loudon] New Hampshire International Speedway last July.

• Blaney has made 14 Cup Series starts at the .533-mile high-banked oval during his career. He has had quite a bit of qualifying success at the track, having qualified inside the top 10 on five occasions, including both races last season. Blaney has started as high as second (2005) and finished as high as 14th (2006). He has also scored two top-20 finishes in Cup Series competition at the speedway.

• He has stunk up the joint so far this year with an average finish of 32.0 and at Bristol not much better, at 26.9. His best finish on the half-mile track is 14th back in 2006. He came home 23rd and 31st last season.

Clint Bowyer

• Clint Bowyer will pilot Chassis No. 192 this weekend. Built new for 2007, this is the same car Bowyer raced eight times last season. The team unloaded this car in both races at Bristol last year (started 18th, finished 8th; fall: 15th and third). Chassis No. 192 also saw action last spring at Martinsville (21st and 11th), Phoenix (12th and 22nd), Darlington (1st and 9th), twice at Dover (15th and 8th; 42nd and 12th) and last July at New Hampshire (20th and 37th). In eight races in 2007, this car recorded an 18th-place starting average and a 13.75 average finish. Over that same span, Bowyer recorded one pole, one top-5 and four top-10 finishes.

• In four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) starts on Bristol's .533-mile high-banked oval, Bowyer has one top-5 and two top-10 finishes. Over those same four races, the third-year driver owns a 21.8 starting average and a 19.5 average finish. Most recently, Bowyer started 15th and finished third in the Sharpie 500 last August.

• Bowyer has been running at the end of every race dating back to Phoenix in November 2006, a streak of 41 races.

• I think Bowyer is a solid pick this weekend for a couple of reasons. He finally got things going last week at Atlanta, where he led 52 laps before finishing sixth. He also finished eighth and third last year at Bristol and really likes the new layout.

Jeff Burton

• In 28 NASCAR Cup starts at Bristol, Burton has posted seven top-5 and 11 top-10 finishes. Since joining RCR in August 2004, Burton has three top-5 and four top-10 efforts at the track.

• According to NASCAR's loop data statistics, Burton is the seventh-best driver in the average running position (ARP) category at Bristol. His ARP over the past six races at the Thunder Valley oval is 13.991.

• Burton currently has the longest active streak of finishing on the lead lap with 10 straight races.

• Burton has been what I like to call a "sneaky solid." His worst finish in the opening four races was 13th; his past two have been top-10 runs. He was also the runner-up in this race a year ago and backed that up with a 12th-place run in August. Burton will do his steady, but not spectacular thing again this weekend.

Kurt Busch

• Kurt Busch is driving PSC-516 at Bristol this weekend. This is the same car he drove to a sixth-place finish here last year. He also finished 12th in this car at Darlington.

• Busch has five wins at Bristol, as well as nine top-10s and an average finish of 14.5. He has led in nine of 14 races for a total of 562 laps. Busch has a total of 438 green-flag passes, the second-most of any active driver at Bristol.

• Other than at Las Vegas, he's been decent so far this year, nothing to write home about, but still OK. He's hard guy to figure this weekend. Busch has had a lot of success at Bristol, but I don't really know what to expect. I'd probably mark him down for a top-10.

Kyle Busch

• Busch won the debut race of the Car of Tomorrow in last year's Bristol race (March '07). In six Cup starts at Bristol, Busch has completed 95.9 percent of the laps run. Since spring 2006, Busch has posted four consecutive top-10 finishes at Bristol.

• If you don't have this guy on your fantasy team, go out and get him on it, because he is sizzling hot and is showing no signs of cooling off. He's the defending winner of this race and absolutely no one would be shocked if he grabbed the checkered flag again this weekend. He's money.

Patrick Carpentier

• Because he's outside the top 35 in owners' points, Carpentier will have to qualify on time.

• This will be his first attempt at qualifying and racing at Bristol.

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

• In 16 starts at Bristol, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has one win, six top-5 finishes and nine top-10s. He has led 743 laps and has an average finish of 11.7. Earnhardt's win came on Aug. 28, 2004, when he led 295 of the 500 laps after starting from the 30th position. He finished seventh in this race one year ago. Dale Jr.'s worst finish in the past 13 races at Bristol is a 16th-place finish.

• In the past 25 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series short-track races, Earnhardt has the highest-average finish with an 11.0.

• A little secret, Dale Jr. is considered one of the best short-trackers in Cup competition. I see him as a top-5 runner this Sunday and with a break or two could make a run at the win. He's anxiously awaited this race because he thinks he can win it. Remember, he's been the highest-finishing Hendrick driver in three of the opening four races.

Carl Edwards

• Carl Edwards enters Bristol as the most recent Sprint Cup Series winner at the track, having scored the victory in the August race. Edwards has won races here in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (August '07), NASCAR Nationwide Series (March '07), and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (August '04). Edwards will make his eighth Cup start at Bristol this weekend. In his previous seven starts, Edwards has achieved one win, two top-five and three top-10 finishes.

• Bristol is an Edwards playground, and he's got a shot to win this weekend. His team is rock-solid everywhere we've been so far this year; that won't change this weekend. His team also showed no letdown last week even though crew chief Bob Osborne is serving a suspension that will last four more weeks after this one.

Bill Elliott

• Elliott must make Sunday's field based on qualifying, as his team finished outside the top 35 in owners' points last year. He does, however, have a championship provisional that could be in effect if certain things fall right.

• In 42 starts at Bristol, Elliott has 14 top-10s, six top-5s and a win, with an average finish of 16.2 and five DNFs.

• Elliott's most recent top-10 here was in this race in 1997.

Dario Franchitti

• Franchitti is making his first-ever NASCAR Cup Series and Nationwide Series starts at Bristol this weekend. He is driving chassis No. 753, a car that finished 13th and 14th, respectively, here last year.

• Franchitti is under the gun. With the top 35 guaranteed starting spots being decided by 2008 points beginning next week, Franchitti is currently on the outside of the top 35 looking in. So, he's got a guaranteed spot this week, and if he doesn't come up with at least a top-20 finish, he'll probably have to qualify on speed at Martinsville. This guy is in real trouble, and this is his first trip to Bristol. It will blow his mind and could blow up his entire season.

David Gilliland

• Gilliland has an average starting position of 33.3 and an average finish of 37.0 at Bristol. Gilliland has completed 891 of 1,504 career laps at Bristol (59.2 percent).

• Gilliland is racing chassis No. 509. This is the same chassis the team ran at the Auto Club Speedway in California, where it finished 17th.

• His average finish in the first four races is a dismal 25.0, and the news doesn't get any better at Bristol. In three starts on the half-mile track, Gilliland has finishes of 40, 41, and 30. Good guy, but stay away … very far away.

Jeff Gordon

• In 30 starts here, Gordon has five wins, five poles, 12 top-5s and 18 top-10s. In 15 spring events, he has a 5.5 average start, a 9.9 average finish. He's been running at the finish in 13 races. Gordon has led 2,437 laps here, more than double that of the next-closest competitor, and has led more races (22) than any active driver.

• Gordon has more short-track wins (15) than any other active driver.

• I don't know if Jeff Gordon has the stuff to win this weekend, but he could run for a top-5 and you can definitely mark him down for a top-10. Gordon also seems to always run better in the spring race at Bristol. Four of his five Bristol wins have come in spring, and he has won the night race only one time.

Robby Gordon

• Gordon has 14 starts at Bristol with a career-best finish of 12th and an average finish of 27.4 and three DNFs.

• Robby's average finish in the past five Bristol races is 28.8. There is a little good news, however, because his best finish over that span is 20th, and it came in the first race on the new surface last August. Then again, after a top-10 at Daytona, Gordon's finishes have been 18th, 42nd, and 24th. But he lacks momentum, so maybe he'll finish in the top 25 at Bristol.

Denny Hamlin

• In four starts at Thunder Valley, Hamlin has one top-10 finish. In this race last year, Hamlin had a very strong car that was contending for a win, but a fuel pump issue forced him out of the race with 20 laps to go. Hamlin led 177 laps.

• Chassis No. 154 started six races last season, including both Bristol events, and finished in the top 10 on four occasions. This weekend is the first start of 2008 for this car and the first start as a Toyota.

• People forget that if not for a fuel pump problem that also nailed teammate Tony Stewart, Hamlin could have won this race a year ago. He was 43rd in August because of a blown engine, so throw that out of your equation this week. Hamlin is at least top-10 potential this weekend and maybe even top-5. He's a really good short-track driver, maybe even a little underrated.

Kevin Harvick

• Kevin Harvick will pilot Chassis No. 235 from this weekend, a new race car for the 2008 season that Harvick raced to a fourth-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

• In 14 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at NASCAR's fastest half-mile, Harvick has one win, seven top-5s and nine top-10 finishes. Additionally, he has led 358 laps and has a 10.5 average finishing position. According to NASCAR's loop data statistics, Harvick is the fourth-best driver in the average running position (ARP) category at Bristol. His average running position of the past six races at the Thunder Valley oval is 11.8. Harvick has a 99.2 driver's rating, which places him fourth among active drivers here.

• Harvick has not recorded a DNF in 48 consecutive races.

• If you have him on your team this week, pencil in a minimum of a top-10, but I really think Harvick is good enough to run in the top-5. This team, right now, is not very flashy, but they're getting the job done. He has collected three straight top-10s, and his worst finish was in the season-opening Daytona 500 -- a 14th-place finish. He's another guy who always runs stronger in the spring race at Bristol. In the past three, he's finished first, second and fourth.

Sam Hornish Jr.

• This will be the first time Hornish Jr. has competed at Bristol. He also is slated to compete in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race.

• If he survives this race without a DNF, it will be a miracle.

Dale Jarrett

• This weekend's race marks Jarrett's 44th career start at Bristol. Jarrett has one win at Bristol, scored during the night race in 1997. Jarrett started that race from the third position and led 210 laps en route to the win. In addition to his win at Bristol, Jarrett has earned nine top-5 and 19 top-10 finishes in his previous 43 starts.

• Jarrett's team was outside the top 35 in points last year, but will have a champion's provisional to use as long as Kurt Busch makes the race on time.

• This is scheduled to be D.J.'s last official Cup points race. He wants to go out in style, but that will be tough to do. He has a season average finish of 28.5 and finished 42nd and 34th last year at Bristol. I would love to see him at least in the top 25 when the day is over, but I'm not too hopeful that will happen. I'll tell you one thing, however: D.J. will be digging as hard as he can and if he throws the kitchen sink at it, we can only hope that will yield something in the finishing order.

Jimmie Johnson

• Johnson drove this same car to a 22nd-place finish in August 2007. This car also started from the pole position last year. In 12 Cup Series starts at Bristol, Johnson has completed 5,860 of 6,004 laps of competition. He has two top-5 and six top-10 finishes. His average starting spot is 17.2 and average finish is 16.0.

• Jimmie Johnson has won the past five of seven short-track races, but has not won at Bristol. His best finish here is a third-place finish in 2004.

• Johnson has been staggered the past two weeks, this team is on its heels, and Jimmie will be the first to tell you he doesn't really "marry up" well to Bristol. Obviously, a team this good could break out of a slump any week, but I see him finishing OK, but not great, this week. I'm going to recommend we get by the next two short-track races and Texas before we look to jump on his bandwagon again.

Kasey Kahne

• Kasey Kahne makes his ninth career start at Bristol this weekend. Kahne earned his best Bristol finish during the track's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series event last August. Kahne finished second after starting from the pole and led 305 laps. In addition to the second-place finish at Bristol, Kahne has one other top-10 finish. He finished 10th during the 2006 spring race.

• Kasey came to Earth just a bit at Atlanta, failing for the first time all year to finish in the Top 10. Bristol will be a return to the Top 10 even though he's done that only twice before on this tough oval. He looked like Superman on the new layout last August, winning the Nationwide race and coming home the runner-up in the Cup. It looked like his Sprint Car skills came in handy.

Matt Kenseth

• Kenseth is racing RK-473 here this weekend. This car tested at Vegas and Fontana earlier this season and started 10th at Dover last year, leading 192 laps before finishing 35th.

• In his previous 16 starts at Bristol, Kenseth has achieved seven top-5 and nine top-10 finishes. He has completed 96.5 percent (or 7,722 of 8,004) of all laps attempted. Kenseth has led a total of 742 laps. In the past 10 Bristol races, Kenseth has earned more points (1,469) than any other driver.

• Kenseth, along with Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Kurt Busch, lead all active drivers with seven top-10s in the past 10 Bristol races.

• Kenseth has been money in the bank at Bristol, but a little birdie is not chirping in my ear this time. I guess it's because it's been up and down for Kenseth so far this year, and odd races have been the "down." He was also a so-so 11th in this race a year ago, and he crashed here in August. I just have a bit of a negative vibe, but could also see Kenseth running in the range of eighth to 12th.

Travis Kvapil

• Kvapil has an average starting position of 26.2 and an average finish of 21.5 at Bristol. He has completed 1,848 of 2,000 career laps at Bristol (92.4 percent). Kvapil's best finish at Bristol is seventh, which he accomplished in the 2005 Food City 500.

• Kvapil is racing chassis No. 464 this weekend. Yates Racing purchased this chassis from Roush Fenway Racing earlier this year. This is the same chassis with which Carl Edwards won the 2007 Sharpie 500.

• I have a hunch about Kvapil this week. This new car drives a lot like a truck, and Kvapil has finished first, eighth and 11th in the three truck races he has run at Bristol. When he finished 11th last year, he led 91 laps. Keep an eye on where Kvapil qualifies. If he has a decent qualifying effort, he could be a sleeper top-20 finisher at a great price.

Bobby Labonte

• Labonte has 30 starts here with 10 top-10s, three top-5s, and an average finish of 18.6 with five DNFs. Labonte has led 60 laps here and has completed 94 percent of the total possible laps. He finished eighth here in August.

• Labonte has the longest active streak here of running at the finish, having done so 16 straight times.

• Here's a guy who might show up on the radar screen this week. Not only because he was in the Top 10 here in the first race on the new layout, but also because he has become a steady finisher in the 11th-17th range and his price is good. I project Bobby will finish in the top 15 on Sunday.

Jeremy Mayfield

• Mayfield has 25 starts here with five top-10s and two top-5s, and an average finish of 19.9 with two DNFs. Mayfield has led 371 laps here and has completed 97.4 percent of the total possible laps.

• I don't see much here this week. He'd take a top-25 finish and be very happy, although his average finish at Bristol is under 20. He finished 34th and 37th last year.

Jamie McMurray

• In the race one year ago at Bristol, McMurray posted his fourth top-10 finish here. In 10 Sprint Cup career starts at Bristol, McMurray has one top-5 and four top-10 finishes. McMurray's best finish came in August 2003, when he finished third. McMurray has a career average starting position of 15.6 and an average finishing position of 17.8 at Bristol.

• McMurray is racing RK-456 this weekend, the same car he drove to an eighth-place finish at Dover last year.

• This is getting ugly in the stat department. While the other Roush drivers have found some pockets of success this year, McMurray's best finish is 22nd. He did finish ninth in this race a year ago, but the next best finish in his past six Bristol starts is 24th.

Casey Mears

• Casey Mears earned his first career top-10 finish at Bristol last March with Hendrick Motorsports.

• Crew chief Alan Gustafson has chosen Hendrick Motorsports Chassis No. 414 for Sunday's race at Bristol. Mears raced this particular car at Martinsville Speedway last year. The team also tested the chassis at Atlanta Motor Speedway and the Milwaukee Mile last season.

• Mears has gotten the year off to a less-than-stellar start, but his 13th-place and 17th-place finishes the past two races indicate the team is at least heading in the right direction. He was 10th in this race a year ago and 22nd in August. I'm splitting the difference and thinking he can finish Sunday anywhere from 12th to 17th.

Paul Menard

• Menard has one previous start here with a 24th-place finish. Menard has six NS starts here with one top-10 finish.

• At least Menard has turned into a steady top-25 kind of guy. I could see him finishing in the Top 25 this weekend. Not great but not so bad at his price if that's about the only direction you can go.

Juan Pablo Montoya

• Montoya will make his third NASCAR Sprint Cup start at Bristol on Sunday. He earned the outside pole last fall in just his second attempt here and went on to finish 17th and on the lead lap. Montoya completed all but three laps in his first two races at the bull ring.

• I'll say one thing for JPM: Every time out this year, his finishes have been getting better; 32, 20, 19 and 16th at Atlanta. He was also 17th on the new layout last August. I'm marking him down for a top-20 finish and a possible top-15. No way do I see a top-10 -- Bristol is still too new for him.

Joe Nemechek

• Nemechek must make the field for Sunday's race based on his qualifying time, as his team finished outside the top 35 in owners' points in 2007.

• Nemechek missed both races here last year.

• No good news here. Nemechek has 24 starts here with a career-best finish of 12th and an average finish of 28th and five DNFs.

Ryan Newman

• Ryan Newman has two poles at Bristol and six top-10 finishes in his NASCAR Cup career. Newman's best result at the short track is a second-place effort, which came during the fall night race in 2004.

• Newman continues to stay steady. He's a lock top-15 finisher every week, and I think could be top-10 material at Bristol, because he's finished in the Top 10 in three of the past four races.

Kyle Petty

• In 48 starts here, Petty has nine top-10s, two top-5s, and an average finish of 20.6 and 11 DNFs.

David Ragan

• David Ragan competed in his first Sprint Cup race at Bristol in March 2007 and earned a 26th-place finish. Ragan has two starts in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Bristol; his best finish came in Fall 2007, when he qualified 19th and finished sixth.

• Ragan is racing RK-503, the same car he raced to a 14th-place finish earlier this year at California.

• Ragan has turned into a routine top-20 kind of a guy, but he still seems a little short on patience, and that will hurt him this week at Bristol and next week at Martinsville. I'm high on this kid, just not at a place like Bristol. I would say this, though: Keep an eye on how well he does in the Nationwide Series race. If he does well in that event, you might be able to plug him in and hope for a top-20 finish Sunday.

David Reutimann

• Reutimann must qualify for Sunday's race based on time, as his team was outside the top 35 in owners' points in 2007. Reutimann is attempting to make his first-ever Cup Series at Bristol this weekend.

• Reutimann has three Nationwide starts here with two top-10s and a top five, and three truck starts with a top-10 and a pole position.

• I've really been disappointed with Reutimann's finishes this year, and he failed to make either of the Bristol races in 2007. Leave him at arm's length.

Scott Riggs

• Riggs has eight starts here with two top-10s, a top-5, and an average finish of 24.4 and two DNFs.

• Here's one of my big sleeper picks this week. I think this team has leaped from being a top-35 finisher to a top-25 or a little better, which has surprised many people, including me. His best finish at Bristol is fourth, and he was 18th on the new layout last August. I can see him finishing from 14th to 20th, and he'd be a nice payoff at his price.

Elliott Sadler

• Sadler is racing Chassis No. 213; which was part of the No. 10 team last year for the spring races at Phoenix, Martinsville, Infineon and Watkins Glen.

• He won his first career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Spring 2001. Sadler has led four of the 19 races he competed in for a total of 113 laps and has earned three top-5s and four top-10s.

• I think this team is a lot stronger than last year, but not very consistent right now. He was runner-up in this race in 2005, but since then his best finishes have been a pair of 13th-place runs. If he stays out of trouble, I can see Elliott finishing anywhere from 13th to 18th.

Ken Schrader

• Schrader must make Sunday's race based on his performance in qualifying, as his team was outside the top 35 in owners' points in 2007.

• In 45 starts here, Schrader has 11 top-10s, four top-5s, and an average finish of 17.8. He also has nine DNFs. Schrader finished this race in 13th last year.

• He was the big surprise last spring, but has made only one of four races so far this year. If he gets into the race, mark him down as a possible top-25 pick. No miracles this time.

Mike Skinner

• Skinner is once again replacing A.J. Allmendinger in the No. 84 Red Bull car this weekend at Bristol. He must make Sunday's field based on his qualifying time, as his team finished outside the top 35 in points in 2007.

• Skinner has 15 Cup Series starts here, with one top-10 and an average finish of 25.2 and three DNFs. He has six truck starts here with four top-10s.

• If Skinner qualifies for this race, he could be interesting pick. He loves to attack a race track, which is what you have to do at Bristol. He might sneak a 17th- to 25th-place finish if he gets in. His price makes him worth a thought or two this week. But his downside is that it appears that pit stops are not quite as quick as they need to be with this team, and that really hurts at a place like Bristol.

Regan Smith

• Smith is making his second career Cup Series start at Bristol, finishing 25th last year. Smith has six Nationwide starts here with an average finish of 30.7.

• It's been ugly so far this year, and it won't get any prettier at Bristol.

Reed Sorenson

• Altogether, he has four starts in Cup competition, with one top-10 start and one top-15 finish.

• In Nationwide competition, he has six starts that include an outside pole, three top-10 starts, one top-5 ffinish and two top-15s.

• Sorenson is racing chassis No. 745, the same car he drove to a 32nd-place finish at Richmond last year.

• He was 15th here last August, and I can see that happening again. His team is running better than its past three finishes at Fontana, Vegas, and Atlanta show. If you're looking for a budget pick, Sorenson is worth some thought.

Tony Stewart

• Stewart finished fourth in August at Bristol. It was his first top-10 result since finishing eighth in the 2005 August night race, and only his sixth top-10 in 18 career NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts. Stewart has eight finishes of 20th or worse here. Stewart has led the most laps in this event the past two years: 257 last year and 245 in 2006. Stewart has led 1,085 laps here, second only to Jeff Gordon.

• In the past 25 short-track races, Stewart has led more laps than anyone (1,606), one more than Jeff Gordon.

• Throw out the crash in Las Vegas, and Stewart's average finish in the other three is 4.0 and coming off strong Atlanta effort. It has usually been feast for famine when it comes to his Bristol finishes, but he was fourth on the new layout in August. Plus, Tony's under the gun for the Goodyear comments he made after Atlanta. When he's been in this position in the past, he almost always responds with a strong effort. I see him finishing in the Top 5 this week.

Martin Truex Jr.

• Truex has four starts here with a career-best finish of 11th and an average finish of 26th with one DNF. Truex has led no laps and has completed 95 percent of the total possible laps.

• This is another team I think is performing at a higher level than finishes indicate in the opening four Cup races. I see him running in the top 15 this week, and he could sneak into the Top 10.

Brian Vickers

• Brian Vickers must make Sunday's race here based on his performance in qualifying as his team was outside the top 35 in owners' points in 2007.

• In seven starts here, Vickers has a career-best finish of 12th, with an average finish of 24.6 and one DNF. He finished 15th in this race last year, but did not qualify for the August race.

• He's averaging a 14th-place finish so far this year and I can see him finishing between 14th and 20th Sunday. That's a good payoff for a guy whose value is on the rise.

Michael Waltrip

• He will attempt to start in his 44th race here. His best Bristol start is third, which he did three times (August 26, 1995; August 24, 2002; and August 23, 2003), and best finish is fifth (April 5, 1994).

• During his career at Bristol, Waltrip has earned one top-5 and eight top-10 finishes. His average start is 22nd and average finish is 19th.

• Waltrip must make Sunday's race based on qualifying time, as his team finished outside the top 35 in points last season.

• I don't see much happening here again. His season average finish is 29.5, and he failed to get into this race last year. He got into the August event and finished 23rd, which if he could do that again, might not be too shabby with his price being so low.

J.J. Yeley

• Yeley has made seven NASCAR Nationwide Series starts at Bristol and will make his fifth Sprint Cup Series start here Sunday. Yeley started 40th here in August and finished 13th. Yeley has an average finish of 28.2 and has led nine laps here.

• Here's a guy who because of his price and his 13th-place finish here last August, you need to give some thought. Yeley could get you a top-20 finish, and he's way off the radar screen.

Mark Garrow covers fantasy racing for ESPN.com.