Kyle Busch is out to defend his place at the top of the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings on Saturday when this year's competition makes its way to Bristol Motor Speedway in Tennessee.
Joe Gibbs Racing star Busch, 34, holds a 20-point cushion over second-place Joey Logano heading into the 2019 Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race, but he's failed to place top five in any of his last four races.
Bristol could be the right setting for him to rediscover his triumphant touch; he's won here three times in his career (2009-10, '17), not to mention he and older brother Kurt have accounted for the past two wins.
Another name worth keeping an eye on is 2014 Sprint Cup Series champion Kevin Harvick, who remains 70 points off the summit but looks like a threat following two wins in his last four races.
Date: Saturday, August 17
Location: Bristol Motor Speedway, Bristol, Tennessee
TV Info: NBCSN (U.S.)
Live Stream: fuboTV (U.S.)
Start Times (ET)
Friday, August 16
11 a.m., Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series first practice
1 p.m., Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series final practice
5:30 p.m., Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Busch Pole Qualifying
Saturday, August 17
7:30 p.m., Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race
A full list of drivers taking part in the event can be found on the NASCAR website.
Bristol Motor Speedway has produced mixed results for the younger Busch sibling in recent years, although three wins from his last four appearances is a record any driver would be envious of.
"Rowdy" has triumphed in each of the past two Spring meetings at this venue but finished 20th at the 2018 Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race, evidence of the double-edged nature of the track.
Busch has had highs and lows in Bristol, as well as moments he'd rather forget, via Fox:
Former Roush Fenway Racing driver Carl Edwards edged Busch—then in his first season as a Joe Gibbs Racing driver—to a famous win over the Las Vegas native here in 2008:
Fans will hope to see the sparks of competition fly again in Bristol on Saturday, and Harvick looks sure to be one of those fighting to keep Busch from extending his lead in the standings.
It took Harvick 20 races to get his first victory of 2019 on the board, but he looks all the more menacing after he won the Consumers Energy 400 at Michigan International Speedway last Sunday:
The 43-year-old veteran hasn't finished outside the top seven in his last four races and looks a prospect for the title once again, with only three races left in the regular season.
Busch's Joe Gibbs team-mate Denny Hamlin is also on a hot streak after placing in the top five in each of his last five races (one win), and he took second in Brooklyn, Michigan, last time out:
The post-season order is taking shape as we head into the business end of the 2019 campaign, with a lot still left to fight for heading to Bristol.