From the high banks of Bristol Motor Speedway to the paperclip-shaped turns at Martinsville Raceway, short track racing provides its own breed of excitement in the Sprint Cup Series. Bristol, Martinsville and Richmond International Raceway are the only tracks on the schedule where bumping and banging are not only accepted, but required in order to race effectively. Aerodynamics and power under the hood are still important, but a driver’s ability to muscle a car around the tight corners of a short track is often the determining factor.
Some of the greatest finishes in the sport have occurred on short tracks. Dale Earnhardt’s battles with Terry Labonte at Bristol, Kyle Busch’s infamous bump on Dale Earnhardt Jr. at Richmond, and Denny Hamlin’s feuds with Jimmie Johnson at Martinsville are just some of the examples. Given the unique nature of short track racing, it should come as no surprise that a select group of drivers have separated themselves from the rest.
With the Cup Series heading to Bristol next weekend, it’s time to take a look at the sport’s best short track drivers out there today.