Kenny Irwin Bristol Preview

TEXACO/HAVOLINE TEAM CARRIES MOMENTUM TO BRISTOL BRISTOL, Tenn. -- After scoring their first pole position for the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup season at Texas two weeks ago, Kenny Irwin and the entire No. 28 Texaco/Havoline team are pumped up...

TEXACO/HAVOLINE TEAM CARRIES MOMENTUM TO BRISTOL BRISTOL, Tenn. -- After scoring their first pole position for the 1999 NASCAR Winston Cup season at Texas two weeks ago, Kenny Irwin and the entire No. 28 Texaco/Havoline team are pumped up as they pack for the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway for Sunday's Food City 500. "Texas was a big confidence builder for us," said Irwin, driver of the No. 28 Texaco/Havoline Ford Taurus and the 1998 NASCAR Winston Cup Series Rookie of the Year. "It was a new car we took there - one we built in-house. The Bristol car for this weekend is also a new, in-house car. It's our first high-bank, short-track car. "Bristol is a track where we need to qualify well. Being on the frontstretch pit road is critical to running a good race. We feel like we have a good qualifying package, like we did in Texas, and we've also identified some areas that may have contributed to us not racing as well as we had hoped." Bristol Motor Speedway presents a challenge to all the teams. Being a fast, tight track that measures just barely over a half mile (.533), there is limited space for pit stalls on the frontstretch. Because more cars will start the race than the number of spaces available, there is a second pit road on the backstretch. Although it's possible to do well when pitting on the backstretch, the numbers show that teams on the frontstretch have traditionally been more successful on race day. In the 1998 Bristol Winston Cup events, Irwin started 27th and finished 43rd in the spring race, and started 34th and finished 15th in the fall race. "I enjoyed Bristol in the truck series," Irwin said, referring to the time he spent in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series in 1997. "It's a lot like Winchester Speedway and Salem Speedway, where we had a lot of success in the open wheel cars. We didn't have much success at Bristol last year in Winston Cup but we think we know why and feel like we can go back there this weekend with the Texaco/Havoline Ford and do better."

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Series NASCAR Cup