The spring race at Bristol Motor Speedway could not have come at a better time for Kyle Busch.
The winner of the past two editions of the Food City 500 is coming off a disappointing 29th-placed finish at the Alsco Uniforms 500 on Thursday night. Busch has experienced mixed results in the four races since NASCAR's return, earning a pair of top-five finishes and two spots outside the top 25.
The driver of the No. 18 car and his older brother, Kurt, possess the most wins at Bristol of any active drivers.
There are nine Food City 500 wins between the brothers, but they will face plenty of challengers Sunday, including Chase Elliott, who has had one of the fastest cars over the past two weeks and won Thursday night at Charlotte.
NASCAR at Bristol Information
Date: Sunday, May 31
Start Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Live Stream: Fox Sports app and FoxSports.com.
Kyle Busch will begin his title defense from seventh position after a draw was held for the starting positions Friday afternoon.
Brad Keselowski, who also won the draw for the first of two races at Darlington Raceway, was assigned the pole position. Keselowski is one of four drivers to win since NASCAR's return in mid-May, with Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin and Elliott being the others.
Before winning Thursday night, Elliott had opportunities to win the prior races at Darlington and Charlotte, but his plans were derailed by a wreck caused by the No. 18 car and failed pit strategy. Despite the recent bad luck, the Hendrick Motorsports racer has five top-10 finishes this season, and he's third in the driver standings.
Harvick, the Cup Series points leader, has found himself in the top 10 on eight occasions. He has also led the most laps of any driver. The No. 4 car driver is one of eight racers to have at least four top-10 placings, and five of those racers have captured at least one victory.
Kurt and Kyle Busch are two of the three competitors in that group who have not reached Victory Lane. The former put together the better performances of the two in the past two weeks, including a fifth-placed mark Thursday night.
The Chip Ganassi Racing team member has finished higher than his starting position in five of the past six races. Those performances, coupled with his five wins at Bristol from 2002 to 2009, make him one of the favorites to win Sunday afternoon.
His brother, Elliott and Keselowski are also among the favorites to win, but there are a few more drivers to consider for the 500-lap contest.
Ryan Blaney is coming off back-to-back third-placed finishes at Charlotte and starts on the second row in fourth place, while Jimmie Johnson has run well since racing resumed and is the only other driver in the field with multiple spring race wins at Bristol.