FYI WIRZ: NASCAR's Top Point Aces Talk Brisk Race 4 at Bristol

Dwight DrumCorrespondent IIIMarch 16, 2011

Carl Edwards gets ready to get in his car in the Daytona garage
Carl Edwards gets ready to get in his car in the Daytona garage

Momentum is a nebulous entity. It seems to be everywhere when wins and top finishes belong to a driver and team, but as soon as parts break or timing results in crashes that same entity vanishes.       

Kurt Busch took his second place Sprint Cup standing to the Gatornationals where he qualified his Pro Stock Car in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag racing series at Gainesville, Florida.  Busch ran solid passes and even though he went out in a close race in his first round, he showed prowess in a very different type of racing.  Whether he takes his momentum forward is the stuff of the long season ahead.      

Carl Edwards felt momentum from the 2010 season and summed up his Ford thoughts after Daytona.  Edwards went on to win again in Las Vegas.   

“I think we've got a lot of positive things going on, a lot of 'em,” Edwards said. “Our performances have been good.  That's a pretty good streak to be on.”

As for the week off after the first three races of the season spoiling momentum—observe it now, because in next year’s schedule the week off in Spring will be gone with a later start in Daytona.

Drivers may benefit from that with a longer break during the offseason, but so many say after a few weeks they would rather be racing.  That said, down time has benefits.

From comments by this week’s top drivers, it’s apparent that the concrete half-mile oval at Bristol has unique size and banking that result in exciting speeds and unpredictable racing.    

FYI WIRZ is the swift presentation of pertinent motorsports topics by Dwight Drum @  Quotes are derived from team press releases.  

Tony Stewart [No 14 Chevrolet]

“Bristol is a hard race to win,” Stewart said. “It only takes one minor incident—you would think being a short track race that if you have a great car you can get there but normally one small mistake will take that opportunity away from you. Seems like the odds are, that you have better odds of something happening that keeps from you winning than you do of actually winning itself.”

Kurt Busch [No. 22 Dodge]

“It’s not easy to win out there and you have to be able to capitalize when the opportunity is there to win,” Busch said. “I learned that a long time ago. These things are just so darned hard to win. You just don’t know when the stars will align and you’re able to put another winning effort together.  

“We’re heading back into Bristol with a ton of confidence that we can get our sixth career win there this weekend.”

Carl Edwards [No 99 Ford]

“We’ve had success at Bristol in the past and the Cup cars are a lot of fun to drive there,” Edwards said. “The track has three grooves and there are probably 20 guys who can win that race every time we go there since they repaved it.  Hopefully we’ll go and have a solid run.”

Juan Montoya [No. 42 Chevrolet]

“I actually enjoy racing at Bristol," Montoya said.  "It’s one of those tracks that can be intimidating at first but once I got out there, I caught on to it pretty quickly. You are on the wheel all the time and it’s a track that you want to be running up front. Track position is key. It’s when you get into the back of the pack that it’s a nightmare and can make for a very long day.”

Ryan Newman [No. 39 Chevrolet]

“I’ve always liked the banked racetracks,” Newman said. “You could say I’m more comfortable at Bristol. I think Bristol has always been one of those short tracks that everybody loves...I love the banking, the fact it’s concrete and doesn’t seem like it changes a whole lot.  Once you get a car right, it’s typically right for 500 laps, which is difficult to get on some of the racetracks.

“I’ve told people before that Bristol is like a baby superspeedway. If something happens in front of you, it may not be your fault, but you can get caught up in somebody else’s wreck in the blink of an eye. You have to really be on your toes at Bristol. Everything happens so fast there. You don’t have time to think or blink.”

Photo credit: Dwight Drum