The 2019 NASCAR Monster Energy Series heads to another historic race track as the Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee hosts round 8 of the 2019 NASCAR season.

The Bristol Motor Speedway hosted the first ever NASCAR race on July 31, 1961. It is one of the shortest courses at .533 miles of concrete track. The Food City 500 is competed over 500 laps around the short track. This year’s edition will be held on April 7, 2019

Last year, Kyle Busch won the 2018 Food City 500 after overtaking Kyle Larson with only six laps to go in the race. Busch led a total of 117 laps in the race while Larson led 200 laps before yielding the lead.

Jimmie Johnson came in ar  third while Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Alex Bowman rounded out the Top 5 finishers. The win was Busch’s seventh career Cup victory at Bristol, the most among active drivers and fifth all-time in the history of the track.

Let’s take a look at the NASCAR Monster Energy standings. This is the official standings for the season before the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 race at Texas Motor Speedway on Monday.:

Rank Name Points Wins Top 5
1 Kyle Busch, Toyota 273 2 5
2 Denny Hamlin, Toyota 252 1 3
3 Kevin Harvick, Ford 248 0 3
4 Joe Logano, Ford 245 1 3
5 Brad Keselowski, Ford 236 2 4
6 Aric Almirola, Ford 215 0 1
7 Martin Truex Jr., Toyota 207 0 2
8 Ryan Blaney, Ford 203 0 3
9 Chase Elliott, Chevrolet 186 0 1
10 Kurt Busch, Chevrolet 185 0 2

Heading to the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, Kyle Busch has the most wins and Top 5 finishes this season. Busch won back to back races before placing third at Martinsville in the last race prior to Texas on Monday. Likewise, Brad Keselowski has two wins under his belt after his victory at Martinsville last March 25, 2019.

“Racing" The Favorites

The odds for the 2019 Food City 500 haven’t been released yet with the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 will still be raced on Monday, April 1st. However, we have already listed down our own favorites and picks to win the 2019 Food City 500.

Defending race champion Kyle Busch is most probably the odds on favorite to win the Food City 500. Busch has a total of seven victories at Bristol including five at the Spring race and he’s having a fantastic start to his 2019 campaign. The driver of car #18 of Joe Gibbs Racing has not finished outside the Top 19 through his first six starts this year. He currently has four stage victories and a pair of race wins this early.

Reigning Monster Energy Cup Series Champion Joey Logano has two victories at this track, tying him for third among active drivers. Driver #22 has seven Top 10 finishes in his last 10 starts here. Including his win at the Duel 2 last February, Logano has six Top 10 finishes in eight races started in 2019. He won the pole at Martinsville the last time out but finished the race at 19th.

Brad Keselowski won his second race of the year as he dominated Martinsville to win the 2019 STP 500 last March 25th. Keselowski won back to back at Bristol in 2011 and 2012 but hasn’t won at Bristol. Entering the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500 race, Keselowski has four Top 3 finishes in his last four starts, winning in Atlanta and Martinsville during that span.

Kevin Harvick is third in the standings but he has not won a race for far this year. The 2015 winner only has two wins in 30 races in Bristol but has been improving here with seven straight Top 10 finishes. While many may find it unlikely that Harvick is going to notch his first win of the year at Bristol. The bullring has always been full of surprises.

“Racing" Dark Horse Picks

Speaking of the bullring, Kurt Busch leads all active drivers with five wins at the bullring. Busch won this race in 2004 and is the most recent winner in this race track after his victory at the 2018 Bass Pro Shops NRA Night Race last August. Kurt missed out on his 5th Top 10 finish at Martinsville but given his track record at the bullring, he’s one driver worth looking at.

Jimmie Johnson could also be a dark horse pick in this race as the seven-time champion ranks second in points scored (behind Kyle Larson) and third in stage points scored ( behind Larson and Erik Jones) here at Bristol in the last two years. Johnson hasn’t made a trip to victory lane since the AAA 400 in 2017 but there may be a chance he breaks the longest winless streak of his career at the Food City 500.

We mentioned Kyle Larson and Erik Jones earlier and while both have never won here, they have been two of the most consistent drivers at Bristol. Larson has led a total of 489 laps in two seasons here while Jones nearly won at this track in his rookie season and currently sits second behind Larson in stage points in the last two years. These two names are also worth watching in the Food City 500.

“Racing" Who Wins?

Although they are two different races, Martinsville and Bristol have roughly the same length. Regardless of what happens in Texas, Brad Keselowski should carry some momentum and form heading to a short track race like the Food City 500. I like how Keselowski won at Martinsville and being a former winner of this race, I like his chances this year.

Of course, Kyle Busch has been the odds-on-favorite in the last three races including Texas. Busch finished third in Martinsville and won back to back races prior. He’s leading in the team standings right now and off to a great start so you can never count him out. If there’s such thing as a safe pick in this race, then it’s Kyle Busch for you.

As for a dark horse pick, I like the elder Busch because Kurt has been successful at Bristol in recent years and he’s the highest ranked Chevrolet driver in the standings right now and he won the last race here a Bristol last summer.

Place Your Food City 500 Bet Here

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