NASCAR Cup Series Playoff Fast Facts: Race #3 (Bristol)
- The 2020 season marks the first time the NASCAR Cup Series Playoff’s third race has been held at Bristol Motor Speedway and the first Cup postseason event at the 0.533-mile track.
- Bristol Motor Speedway will become the fifth different track in series history to host the third race of the Playoffs; joining Talladega Superspeedway (2004-2005), Kansas Speedway (2006–2010), Dover International Speedway (2011-2017) and the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course (2018-2019).
- A total of 13 different drivers have won the third race of the Playoffs, led by Jimmie Johnson (2008, 2013), Greg Biffle (2007, 2010), and Tony Stewart (2006, 2009).
- No non-Playoff driver has won the third NASCAR Cup Playoff race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course (2018-2019) or at Dover International Speedway (2011 – 2017).
- Two non-Playoff drivers won the third race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs when held at Kansas Speedway (2006 – 2010):
- Tony Stewart was ranked 11th in points when he won the 2006 Kansas Playoff race
- Greg Biffle was ranked 14th in points when he won the 2007 Kansas Playoff race.
- Only one non-Playoff driver has won the third race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs when held at Talladega Superspeedway (2004-2005) – NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Jarrett was 14th in points when he won the 2005 Talladega Playoff race.
|Third Race of the Playoffs – Race Winners|
|Track||Playoff Race Winners||Date|
|Charlotte RC||Chase Elliott||Sunday, September 29, 2019|
|Charlotte RC||Ryan Blaney||Sunday, September 30, 2018|
|Dover||Kyle Busch||Sunday, October 1, 2017|
|Dover||Martin Truex Jr||Sunday, October 2, 2016|
|Dover||Kevin Harvick||Sunday, October 4, 2015|
|Dover||Jeff Gordon||Sunday, September 28, 2014|
|Dover||Jimmie Johnson||Sunday, September 29, 2013|
|Dover||Brad Keselowski||Sunday, September 30, 2012|
|Dover||Kurt Busch||Sunday, October 2, 2011|
|Kansas||Greg Biffle||Sunday, October 3, 2010|
|Kansas||Tony Stewart||Sunday, October 4, 2009|
|Kansas||Jimmie Johnson||Sunday, September 28, 2008|
|Kansas||Greg Biffle||Sunday, September 30, 2007|
|Kansas||Tony Stewart||Sunday, October 1, 2006|
|Talladega||Dale Jarrett||Sunday, October 2, 2005|
|Talladega||Dale Earnhardt Jr||Sunday, October 3, 2004|
- When Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course hosted the third race of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs (2018-2019), none of the event winners went on to win the title the same season.
- When Dover International Speedway hosted the third race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs (2011-2017), two drivers won the event and went on to win the title the same season.
- In 2012, Brad Keselowski won the third race of the Playoffs at Dover, and went on to win his first series title. It was Keselowski’s lone win during the 2012 Playoffs.
- In 2013, Jimmie Johnson won the third race of the Playoffs at Dover, and went on to win his sixth series title. It was his first of two Playoff wins that season (Dover-2, Texas-2).
- When Kansas Speedway hosted the third race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs (2006-2010), only one driver won the event and went on to win the title the same season.
- In 2008, Jimmie Johnson won the third race of the Playoffs at Kansas, and went on to win his third consecutive title. It was his first of three Playoff wins that season (Kansas, Martinsville-2, Phoenix-2).
- When Talladega Superspeedway hosted the third race in the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs (2004-2005), no drivers that won the event went on to win the title later that season.
- The worst finish by a driver in the third Playoff race that went on to win the series title was:
- At Charlotte Road Course (2018-2019): In 2019, Kyle Busch finished 37th at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Road Course – the third race of the Playoffs – and went on to win the title later that season.
- At Dover (2011-2017): In 2011, Tony Stewart finished 25th at Dover International Speedway – the third race of the Playoffs – and went on to win the title later that season.
- At Kansas (2006-2010): In 2006, Jimmie Johnson finished 14th at Kansas Speedway – the third race of the Playoffs – and went on to win the title later that season.
- At Talladega (2004-2005): In 2004, Kurt Busch finished fifth at Talladega Superspeedway – the third race of the Playoffs – and went on to win the title later that season.
NASCAR Cup Series 2020 Top 16 in the Driver Standings at Bristol Motor Speedway
|Driver||Races||Poles||Wins||Top Fives||Top 10s||DNFs||Average Finish||Driver Rating*|
|5||Martin Truex Jr||29||0||0||2||3||4||20.6||83.4|
* – Based on last 31 races at Bristol Motor Speedway (2005 – 2020).
At Bristol Motor Speedway:
- Groundbreaking for Bristol International Speedway, as Bristol Motor Speedway was originally known, took place in 1960. The track was an exact half-mile.
- The first NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway was on July 30, 1961; Jack Smith won the event (with relief from Johnny Allen).
- All of the NASCAR Cup Series races have been scheduled for 500 laps, except for both races in 1976 and the second in 1977, which were 400 laps each.
- In the fall of 1969, the track was reshaped and re-measured to .533-miles.
- The name changed to Bristol International Raceway in 1978.
- The first night race was held in the fall of 1978.
- The surface was changed from asphalt to concrete in 1992.
- The name changed to Bristol Motor Speedway in May, 1996.
- The track was resurfaced between races in 2007, and the turns were ground down in 2012 to eliminate part of the progressive banking.
- The 2020 season marks the first time that Bristol Motor Speedway hosted the NASCAR Cup Series Open and All-Star Race as well as a Playoff race.
- There have been 119 NASCAR Cup Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway since the first race in 1961, two races each season.
- A total of 468 different drivers have competed in at least one NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway; 326 have competed in more than one.
- NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty leads the series in starts at Bristol with 60.
- Kevin Harvick and Kurt Busch lead all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in starts at Bristol with 39 starts each, followed by Jimmie Johnson and Ryan Newman with 37 each.
- Thirty-four drivers have made their first series career start at Bristol Motor Speedway; the most recent was Chad Finchum (April 16, 2018).
- NASCAR Hall of Famer Fred Lorenzen (12 starts) and driver Charlie Glotzbach (four starts) are tied for the all-time series lead in average starting position at Bristol with a 3.25 each.
- Chase Elliott leads all active NASCAR Cup Series drivers in average starting position at Bristol with a 6.889 in 10 starts.
Top Five in Average Starting Positions at Bristol Motor Speedway (All-Time & Active)
|Rank||All-Time Drivers||Average Start||Starts||Rank||Active Drivers||Average Start||Starts|
|1||Charlie Glotzbach||3.250||4||1||Chase Elliott||6.889||10|
|2||Fred Lorenzen||3.250||12||2||Joey Logano||8.130||24|
|3||Marvin Panch||3.750||8||3||Ryan Blaney||8.700||11|
|4||Fireball Roberts||4.286||7||4||Brad Keselowski||9.952||22|
|5||Junior Johnson||4.400||10||5||Erik Jones||10.000||8|
- A total of 51 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won the pole at Bristol Motor Speedway.
- NASCAR Hall of Famers Mark Martin (1989, 1993, 1995 sweep, 1996 sweep, 2001, 2009 sweep) and Cale Yarborough (1969, 1970, 1973 sweep, 1975, 1977 sweep, 1980 sweep) lead the series in poles at Bristol with nine each.
- Denny Hamlin leads all active drivers in poles at Bristol with three (2013, 2014, 2015, 2019).
- Fred Lorenzen won the inaugural pole at Bristol in the NASCAR Cup Series with a speed of 79.225 mph in a Ford.
- 12 different drivers have posted consecutive poles at Bristol Motor Speedway; Mark Martin is the only driver of the 12 to win four consecutive poles at Bristol:
o Fireball Roberts (swept 1962), Fred Lorenzen (swept 1963),
o Richard Petty (1967-’68),
o Bobby Allison (swept 1972),
o Cale Yarborough (swept 1973; swept 1977; swept 1980),
o Darrell Waltrip (swept 1981, spring 1982),
o Geoff Bodine (swept 1986),
o Mark Martin (swept 1995-1996– all four races; and swept 2009);
o Rusty Wallace (swept 1998, spring 1999),
o Jeff Gordon (swept 2002),
o Denny Hamlin (fall 2013, spring 2014)
o Carl Edwards (2016 sweep).
|NASCAR Cup Series|
|First-Time Pole Winners at Bristol|
|Tim Richmond||Saturday, August 28, 1982|
|Rick Wilson||Sunday, April 10, 1988|
|Ernie Irvan||Sunday, April 8, 1990|
|Chuck Bown||Sunday, April 10, 1994|
|Steve Park||Sunday, March 26, 2000|
|Jeff Green||Saturday, August 25, 2001|
|Joey Logano||Sunday, March 21, 2010|
|Erik Jones||Saturday, August 19, 2017|
- Seven different drivers have posted their first NASCAR Cup Series career pole at Bristol Motor Speedway.
- Joey Logano (March 10, 2010) and Erik Jones (August 19, 2017) are the only active drivers to win their first series pole at Bristol Motor Speedway.
- Youngest Bristol pole winner: Joey Logano (March 21, 2010 – 19 years, 9 months, 25 days) – his first NASCAR Cup Series career pole.
- Oldest Bristol pole winner: Harry Gant (August 27, 1994 – 54 years, 7 months, 17 days) – his last NASCAR Cup Series career pole.
- A total of nine different manufacturers have won pols at Bristol Motor Speedway in the NASCAR Cup Series; led by Chevrolet (39) and followed by Ford (36), Toyota (11), Dodge (8), Pontiac (7), Buick (4), Plymouth (4), Oldsmobile (3) and Mercury (2).
- A total of 42 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have won at Bristol Motor Speedway.
- NASCAR Hall of Famer Darrell Waltrip leads the series in wins at Bristol with 12 victories in 52 starts; including eight straight (1978, 1979, 1981 sweep, 1982 sweep, 1983 sweep, 1984, 1986, 1989, 1992).
- Kyle Busch leads the series among active drivers in wins at Bristol with eight victories in 30 starts (Spring 2007, 2009 sweep, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019).
- Jack Smith (with relief from Johnny Allen) won the first NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway on July 30, 1961 in a Pontiac.
- 12 drivers have won consecutive NASCAR Cup Series races at Bristol; led by Darrell Waltrip with eight consecutive victories from 1979-1984.
- The other 11 drivers with consecutive wins are Fred Lorenzen (1963-1964 sweep), David Pearson (1968 sweep), Bobby Allison (1972 sweep), Cale Yarborough did it twice (1974 sweep and four straight from 1976-1977), Richard Petty (1975 sweep), Dale Earnhardt also did twice (1985 sweep and 1987 sweep), Alan Kulwicki (1992 sweep), Rusty Wallace (2000 sweep), Kurt Busch (2003 sweep and 2004 Spring race), Kyle Busch (2009 sweep and Fall 2017-Spring 2018) and Brad Keselowski (Fall 2011-Spring 2012).
- Youngest Bristol winner: Kyle Busch (March 25, 2007 – 21 years, 10 months, 23 days).
- Oldest Bristol winner: Dale Earnhardt (August 28, 1999 – 48 years, 3 months, 30 days).
- Five drivers have posted their first NASCAR Cup Series career win at Bristol Motor Speedway:
- Dale Earnhardt (April 1, 1979)
- Rusty Wallace (April 6, 1986)
- Ernie Irvan (March 25, 1990)
- Elliott Sadler (March 25, 2001)
- Kurt Busch (March 24, 2002)
- The race winner has started from the pole or first starting position 27 times (22.6%) – the most productive starting position in the field.
- The last driver to win from the pole or first starting position was Brad Keselowski earlier this season (March 31, 2020).
NASCAR Cup Series Wins by Starting Positions at Bristol Motor Speedway
|Starting Position||Wins||Winning %||Starting Position||Wins||Winning %||Starting Position||Wins||Winning %|
|Winning from the First Starting Position:||22.69%||27|
|Winning from the Front Row:||33.61%||40|
|Winning from a Top-Five Starting Position:||57.14%||68|
|Winning from a Top-10 Starting Position:||78.15%||93|
|Winning After Starting Outside the Top 20:||5.04%||6|
- Six drivers have won from the pole position multiple times: Bobby Allison (1972 twice), Cale Yarborough (1973, 1977 twice, 1980), Darrell Waltrip (1981 twice, 1982), Rusty Wallace (1991, 1993, 1999, 2000), Matt Kenseth (2005, 2015) and Carl Edwards (2008, 2016).
- The deepest in the field that a race winner has started is 38th, by Elliott Sadler in 2001.
- Junior Johnson leads the series in car owner wins at Bristol with 16. Roger Penske and Joe Gibbs lead the series among active car owners with the most wins at Bristol with 13 each; followed by Jack Roush and Rick Hendrick with 11 each.
|Top Five Bristol Owner Winners|
|Junior Johnson & Assoc.||16|
|Joe Gibbs Racing||13|
|Roush Fenway Racing||11|
- Eight different manufacturers have won in the NASCAR Cup Series 119 races at Bristol; led by Chevrolet with 45 victories (37.8% winning percentage); followed by Ford (38 wins), Toyota (12), Dodge (8), Pontiac (8), Buick (4), Plymouth (3) and Oldsmobile (1).
ADDITIONAL FINISHING POSITIONS STATS
- A total of 53 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have finished runner-up at Bristol Motor Speedway, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty with 10 second-place finishes.
- Kevin Harvick leads all active drivers in runner-up finishes at Bristol with five.
Top Five in Runner-Up Finishes at Bristol Motor Speedway (All-Time & Active)
|Rank||All-Time Drivers||Runner-Ups||Rank||Active Drivers||Runner-Ups|
|1||Richard Petty||10||1||Kevin Harvick||5|
|2||Rusty Wallace||7||2||Kyle Busch||3|
|3||Bobby Allison||6||3||Jimmie Johnson||2|
|4||Dale Earnhardt||6||Matt Kenseth||2|
|5||Mark Martin||6||Ricky Stenhouse Jr||2|
- A total of 117 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have finished in the top-five at Bristol, led by NASCAR Hall of Famers Darrell Waltrip and Richard Petty with 26 top-five finishes each.
- Matt Kenseth leads all active drivers in top fives at Bristol Motor Speedway with 15 top-five finishes.
Top Five in Top-Five Finishes at Bristol Motor Speedway (All-Time & Active)
|Rank||All-Times Drivers||Top Fives||Rank||Active Drivers||Top Fives|
|1||Darrell Waltrip||26||1||Matt Kenseth||15|
|Richard Petty||26||2||Jimmie Johnson||13|
|3||Bobby Allison||23||Kyle Busch||13|
|4||Rusty Wallace||22||4||Kevin Harvick||12|
|5||Dale Earnhardt||20||Kurt Busch||12|
- A total of 199 different NASCAR Cup Series drivers have finished inside the top-10 at Bristol Motor Speedway, led by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty with 37 top-10 finishes.
- Jimmie Johnson leads the series among active drivers in top-10 finishes at Bristol with 21.
Top Five in Top-10 Finishes at Bristol Motor Speedway (All-Time & Active)
|Rank||All-Time Drivers||Top 10s||Rank||Active Drivers||Top 10s|
|1||Richard Petty||37||1||Jimmie Johnson||22|
|2||Terry Labonte||33||Matt Kenseth||22|
|3||Darrell Waltrip||32||3||Kurt Busch||21|
|4||Ricky Rudd||31||4||Kevin Harvick||19|
|5||Dale Earnhardt||30||Ryan Newman||19|
- Dick Hutcherson leads the NASCAR Cup Series in average finishing postion with a 2.4 in five starts.
- Christopher Bell leads the series among active drivers in average finishing position at Bristol with a 9.0 in two series starts.
Top 10 in Average Finishing Position at Bristol Motor Speedway (All-Time & Active)
|Rank||All-Time Drivers||Avg Finish||Races||Rank||Active Drivers||Avg Finish||Races|
|1||Dick Hutcherson||2.400||5||1||Christopher Bell||9.000||2|
|2||Junior Spencer||5.500||2||2||Chase Elliott||12.667||10|
|3||Jimmy Hensley||6.500||2||3||Jimmie Johnson||13.000||38|
|4||Joe Weatherly||6.667||6||4||John H. Nemechek||13.000||2|
|5||Janet Guthrie||8.500||2||5||Kyle Busch||13.133||31|
|6||Benny Parsons||8.630||27||6||Clint Bowyer||13.655||30|
|7||Christopher Bell||9.000||2||7||Matt Kenseth||13.676||38|
|8||Gene Black||9.000||3||8||Daniel Suarez||13.714||8|
|9||Dale Earnhardt||9.256||43||9||Kevin Harvick||13.769||40|
|10||Rusty Wallace||9.568||44||10||Kurt Busch||14.000||40|
- A total of 132 different drivers have led at least one lap in the series at Bristol Motor Speedway.
- NASCAR Hall of Famer Cale Yarborough leads the series in laps led at Bristol with 4,305 laps led in 29 starts.
- Kyle Busch leads all active drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series in laps led at Bristol with 2,434 in 30 starts.
- The most laps led in a NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway is 500 laps led by Cale Yarborough on March 25, 1973 – he won the event starting from the pole position and led every lap.
- The most laps led in a NASCAR Cup Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway by a driver that did not win the event was 442 laps led by Richard Petty who finished second on July 26, 1964 – he started first.
Top Five Laps Leaders at Bristol Motor Speedway (All-Time & Active)
|Rank||All-Time Drivers||Led||Completed||% Led||Rank||Active Drivers||Led||Completed||% Led|
|1||Cale Yarborough||4,305||10,878||40%||1||Kyle Busch||2,434||14,243||17%|
|2||Dale Earnhardt||3,751||20,038||19%||2||Matt Kenseth||1,583||17,558||9%|
|3||Rusty Wallace||3,743||20,474||18%||3||Kurt Busch||1,095||18,678||6%|
|4||Darrell Waltrip||3,436||22,964||15%||4||Jimmie Johnson||914||18,209||5%|
|5||Jeff Gordon||2,730||22,525||12%||5||Kevin Harvick||912||18,901||5%|
- Two female drivers have made NASCAR Cup Series starts at Bristol: Janet Guthrie and Danica Patrick.
|Driver||Starting Position||Finishing Position||Driver Rating||Date|
|Driver||Starting Position||Finishing Position||Date|
TRACK/EVENT SPECIFIC STATS
- Since the advent of electronic scoring (1993) the closest margin of victory in the NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol Motor Speedway is the March 25, 2007 race won by Kyle Busch with a margin of victory of 0.064 second over Jeff Burton.
Top Five Closest Margins of Victory in the NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol:
|Rank||Margin of Victory||Winner||Runner-Up||Date|
|1||0.064||Kyle Busch||Jeff Burton||3/25/2007|
|2||0.098||Kyle Busch||Mark Martin||8/22/2009|
|3||0.102||Dale Jarrett||Mark Martin||8/23/1997|
|4||0.140||Mark Martin||Rusty Wallace||8/28/1993|
|5||0.160||Rusty Wallace||Mark Martin||8/27/1994|
|0.160||Terry Labonte||Dale Earnhardt||8/26/1995|
- Qualifying has been cancelled due to weather conditions in the NASCAR Cup Series at Bristol Motor Speedway four times: 3/26/2006, 3/16/2008, 8/25/2012 and 04/24/2017. It was also cancelled earlier this season (May) and the starting lineups was decided by random draw.
- Two of the 119 NASCAR Cup Series races at Bristol Motor Speedway have been shortened due to weather conditions.
|Scheduled Laps||Actual Laps||Fewer Laps||Race Winner||Date|
- There have been five NASCAR Overtime finishes at Bristol:
|Scheduled No. of Laps||Actual No. of Laps||NASCAR Overtime Laps||Race Winner||Date|
NASCAR IN TENNESSEE
- A total of 353 NASCAR national series races among eight tracks have been held in the state of Tennessee.
|Track Name||City||Cup||Xfinity||Truck||Total Races||First Year|
|Bristol Motor Speedway||Bristol||119||76||22||221||1961|
|Memphis Motorsports Park||Memphis||0||11||12||23||1998|
|Smokey Mountain Raceway||Maryville||12||0||0||12||1965|
|Chattanooga International Raceway||Chattanooga||2||0||0||2||1962|
- The first NASCAR Cup Series race held in Tennessee was at Tennessee-Carolina Speedway on October 7, 1956 and won by Fireball Roberts.
TENNESSEE DRIVERS IN NASCAR
- A total of 108 different drivers in NASCAR national series history have their home state recorded as Tennessee.
- 14 drivers from Tennessee have won at least one race in NASCAR’s three national series; totaling 150 wins across all three series.
Tenessee Drivers In NASCAR with Wins
|Joe Lee Johnson||2||0||0||2|
|Bobby Hamilton Jr||0||5||0||5|
- Darrell Waltrip, from Franklin, Tennessee, was inducted into the 2012 class of the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Waltrip is the only Tennessee native driver to win a NASCAR Cup Series championship.
- Only two of the 14 drivers from Tennessee have won at least one race in the NASCAR Cup Series at a track located in the state of Tennessee: Darrell Waltrip (Bristol, 12 wins; Nashville, eight wins) and Joe Lee Johnson (Nashville, one win).
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