* Double-duty rampant this weekend * Harvick pulling the ultimate -- triple-duty NEWS & NOTES * Charting the NASCAR Top 10: Kenseth, Kenseth and more Kenseth ... Matt Kenseth has been No. 1 in the NASCAR Top 10 since the fourth race of the...
* Double-duty rampant this weekend
* Harvick pulling the ultimate -- triple-duty
NEWS & NOTES
* Charting the NASCAR Top 10: Kenseth, Kenseth and more Kenseth ... Matt Kenseth has been No. 1 in the NASCAR Top 10 since the fourth race of the season (Atlanta, March 9), a run of 20 consecutive race weeks. When he's not challenging for a victory, he's coming up with consistency. Kenseth finished ninth this past Sunday at Michigan International Speedway; that was his series-leading 18th top-10 finish in 23 starts and fourth in the last five races. As a result, he enjoys his largest points lead of the year -- 329 over Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet).
* Winston Leader Bonus reaches $240,000 ... Incredibly, it's been 54 races since the NASCAR Winston Cup point leader won a race and took home the NASCAR Winston Cup Leader Bonus, which now stands at a record $240,000. The bonus is paid when a race winner also is the series points leader. Kenseth leads the series points and has the only shot at the bonus this week. The previous record bonus was $190,000, collected by Bobby Labonte (No. 18 Interstate Batteries Chevrolet) via a win at Indianapolis in 2000. The $10,000 bonus is available following every NASCAR Winston Cup race. If the point leader does not win the race, the bonus rolls over to the next week. Sterling Marlin (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge) was the last driver to collect the bonus, via his victory at Darlington in March 2002.
* Double-tough -- and beyond ... A total of eight drivers, including Kenseth, are scheduled to race in both the NASCAR Busch Series and NASCAR Winston Cup events this week at Bristol. Then there's Ken Schrader (No. 49 BAM Racing Dodge), entered in Wednesday night's NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event in addition to the Sharpie 500. Kevin Harvick (No. 29 GM Goodwrench Chevrolet) will go one step beyond, racing all three events. The other six drivers set for the Friday-Saturday NASCAR Busch Series/NASCAR Winston Cup doubleheader (with their NASCAR Winston Cup rides listed in parentheses): Michael Waltrip (No. 15 NAPA Chevrolet), Greg Biffle (No. 16 Grainger Ford), Scott Wimmer (No. 27 Bill Davis Racing Dodge), Casey Mears (No. 41 Target Dodge), Jamie McMurray (No. 42 Havoline Dodge) and Tony Raines (No. 74 Staff America Chevrolet).
* Harvick more than ready for three in a row ... There's no question that Kevin Harvick has been busy this season. Competing in four regular series in 2003 -- NASCAR Winston Cup, NASCAR Busch Series, NASCAR Craftsman Truck and IROC -- he has been in more races (40) than any other NASCAR Winston Cup regular. This week, Harvick is going to another level, competing in all three of NASCAR's national series at BMS. "I don't think it will be that hard," Harvick said. "Bristol is one of my favorite race tracks and when we looked on the schedule and saw that they were all together, we decided to do it. The nice thing is that we have a day off between running the Truck and the Busch Series races. It will give me a chance to relax before going full steam into the weekend."
* Biffle's crew takes McDonald's/POWERade Award for Michigan ... The pit crew for Biffle obviously had something to do with the rookie's strong fourth-place finish last Sunday at Michigan International Speedway and in the process, captured the weekly McDonald's/PowerAde Drive-Thru Pit Championship, worth $20,000. Biffle spent a total of 206.124 seconds in the pits, the least amount of pit time among teams participating in the program.
ON THE RIGHT TRACK
Rusty Wallace has company, when it comes to success at Bristol Motor Speedway:
* Jeff Gordon is second among active drivers in Bristol victories, with five;
* In addition to Wallace, six other drivers had top-10 finishes in both Bristol races last season: Kurt Busch (No. 97 Rubbermaid Ford), Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kevin Harvick, Matt Kenseth, Bobby Labonte and Jimmy Spencer (No. 7 Sirius Satellite Radio Dodge).
* Terry Labonte (No. 5 Kellogg's/got milk? Chevrolet) leads active drivers in top-10 finishes at Bristol, with 33.
* "Bristol is down-and-dirty racing in a bullring. It's racing at its best -- short-track racing with high banks. Bristol is a rush-hour Interstate at 120 mph." -- Robby Gordon (No. 31 Cingular Wireless Chevrolet).
* "As one driver put it, it's kind of like flying fighter jets in a gymnasium." -- Johnny Benson (No. 10 Valvoline Pontiac), on the challenge of Bristol racing.
* "I always think of Bristol as a huge cereal bowl." -- Elliott Sadler (No. 38 M&M's Ford), who got his first career victory at Bristol in March 2001.
* "You know how demolition derby works? You give up everything but try to protect your radiator and try to keep the sheet metal off the tires. Well, that's the way things are at Bristol." -- Kyle Petty (No. 45 Georgia Pacific/Brawny Dodge).
* "When they turn the lights on at that place, all hell breaks loose." -- Rusty Wallace, on Bristol's night-racing atmosphere.
* "It's still amazing to me how fast we turn laps around Bristol. It's probably one of the most demanding tracks on a driver, both physically and mentally." -- Jamie McMurray (No. 42 Havoline Dodge).
* "It's like Saturday night at your local short track except on a much bigger scale." -- Bill Elliott (No. 9 Dodge Dealers/UAW Dodge).
* "That's the great thing about Bristol -- most of the race is in the driver's hands." -- Greg Biffle.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Tony Stewart won the Bud Pole for Bristol's late-summer race in 1999, breaking a streak of five consecutive poles by the Wallace family at Bristol. Kenny Wallace won the pole for the 1997 late-summer race and Rusty Wallace won the other four.
What: Sharpie 500 (NASCAR Winston Cup Series race No. 24 of 36.)
Where: Bristol Motor Speedway; Bristol, Tenn.
When: Saturday, Aug. 23, 7:30 p.m. ET.
TV: TNT, 7 p.m. ET.
Radio: PRN/XM Satellite
Race length: 500 laps/266.5 miles.
Track layout: .533-mile concrete oval.
Pre-race schedule (all times local): Friday--Practice, 11:20 a.m.-1:20 p.m., 4:45-5:30 p.m. and 6:10-6:55 p.m. Qualifying--3:05 p.m.