NASCAR At Bristol: Brad Keselowski Wins Food City 500

Brad Keselowski won the Food City 500 for his fifth-career win and second-straight at Bristol Motor Speedway. Matt Kenseth was second, ahead of Michael Waltrip Racing drivers Martin Truex Jr., Clint Bowyer, and Brian Vickers (his first race of 2012).

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8 Total Updates since March 17, 2012
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NASCAR At Bristol Results: Brad Keselowski Wins Food City 500

When Brad Keselowski won last August at Bristol Motor Speedway, he declared after the race that it was an event legends win, drivers like Jeff Gordon and Tony Stewart, not drivers like him.

Keselowski looked like a legend Sunday, holding off Matt Kenseth to score the win in the Food City 500, his second-consecutive victory on the World's Fastest Half-Mile. Martin Truex Jr. finished third ahead of teammates Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers in a banner day for Michael Waltrip Racing.

The top-10 was completed by Jeff Burton, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing teammates Jamie McMurray and Juan Pablo Montoya, Jimmie Johnson, and Paul Menard.

Late problems befell Tony Stewart, who smacked the wall after contact with Brendan Gaughan, and Dale Earnhardt Jr. who saw a top-10 go away when his Chevrolet fell off the pace within sight of the white flag.

The victory is the fifth of Keselowski's career and the tenth for car owner Roger Penske - all with the No. 2 machine. Rusty Wallace picked up seven wins in the car, Kurt Busch won the 2006 Food City 500, and Keselowski now has two triumphs.

For the full results, visit NASCAR.com.

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Food City 500 Update: Contact With Teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr. Sends Jeff Gordon Into The Wall

Contact between teammates Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. as they battled for fifth place cut down the left-rear tire on Gordon's Chevrolet, sending the five-time Bristol winner backing hard into the wall in turn three. Gordon could not get his car back to the garage and will require a tow and heavy repairs if he is to return before the conclusion of this afternoon's race.

Matt Kenseth held the lead at the caution flag, but not without controversy. His car barely nipped Brad Keselowski at the restart. The second-place driver is not supposed to beat the leader to the start finish line, but Keselowski edged back past in turn one. The pair banged doors in the fourth turn, allowing Kenseth to pull ahead to the lead.

Keselowski, who won in August, has had one of the two cars to lead substantial laps today. Brian Vickers has led a career-high 125 laps in his return to the Cup Series after not racing since the end of last season.

With 130 laps remaining, the top-10 drivers are Kenseth, Keselowski, Clint Bowyer, Jeff Burton, Earnhardt, Vickers, Jimmie Johnson, polesitter Greg Biffle, Juan Pablo Montoya, and Paul Menard.

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Food City 500 Update: Brian Vickers Leads Return To Sprint Cup Series After 100 Laps

Eyebrows were raised when Michael Waltrip hired Brian Vickers to run the races Mark Martin and Waltrip himself are not running in the No. 55 Toyota, given Vickers' less-than-glamorous end to the 2011 season. So far, Vickers is making Waltrip look like a genius, taking the lead from A.J. Allmendinger just prior to the 100-lap mark after Allmendinger was unable to lap Bobby Labonte.

Vickers, Allmendinger, Jeff Gordon, Jeff Burton, and Martin Truex Jr. ran in the top-five as a caution flag flew for a crash by Kenny Schrader at lap 115. All but Gordon had stayed out under the caution flag for the major crash on lap-25 to pick up track position. Schrader's venture into the wall - apparently due to a blown tire - played the role of equalizer, sending all the leaders to pit road for four tires and fuel.

Vickers had spent the last five years racing for Red Bull Racing, but when that team folded at the end of the season, he was passed over for the precious few open seats in the Sprint Cup Series. His incident-filled conclusion to the season, including a pair of high-profile incidents with Matt Kenseth and a day at Martinsville that saw him hit everything but the lottery, seemed to at least temporarily end his Sprint Cup career, but he has been solid in his tryout as he tries to regain respect.

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Food City 500 Update: Melee Strikes Eliminating Kasey Kahne, Kyle Busch, And Others From Contention

Contact between Kasey Kahne and Regan Smith set off a Talladega-style pileup at the Bristol Motor Speedway that has eliminated Kahne, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards, and Marcos Ambrose and sent Kevin Harvick to pit road for repairs. Kahne slid up to clear Smith for fifth position but the pair connected, sending Kahne bouncing off the wall and into a spin that saw Busch, Edwards, Ambrose, and Busch pile in.

The accident, which occurred at lap 25, continues Kahne and Busch's rough starts to the 2012 season. Kahne has now hit the wall in all four races he's run for Hendrick Motorsports this season and will likely finish deep in the field if his Chevrolet can even rejoin the field.

Busch and Edwards were expected to contend for the victory, and Kahne's Chevrolet had quickly moved up near the front of the field.

Greg Biffle led the opening laps from the pole easily, while A.J. Allmendinger ran second ahead of Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon, and Brad Keselowski (who had minor involvement in the wreck).

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NASCAR At Bristol: Food City 500 Stories To Watch

Race day at Bristol always seems a little different than at other places. The impending battle at The Last Colosseum is enough to put a race fan's hair on end.

Here are some stories to watch in today's Sprint Cup Food City 500.

Can Greg Biffle parlay his hot start and pole position into his first short track win? The Biff is off to the best start of his career, with a trio of third-place finishes to open the 2012 season. The Sprint Cup point leader has never won on a track smaller than a mile, with a 2005 triumph at the one-mile Dover International Speedway standing as his "lowest-distance" victory.

A.J. Allmendinger and Aric Almirola each start within the first four rows, does NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series pick up its first new winner of the year today? Allmendinger is driving for Roger Penske, who has always been successful at Bristol with drivers Rusty Wallace, Brad Keselowski, and Kurt Busch. Almirola meanwhile is trying to get Richard Petty's famous No. 43 to victory lane for the first time since John Andretti won at Martinsville in 1999. After picking up five first-time winners in 2011, Allmendinger and Almirola are definitely the top-two remaining drivers without a triumph to their credit.

Kyle Busch is not off to the best start, can the three-time Food City 500 winner get on track today? Busch starts 13th today, well within striking distance of front-row starters Biffle and Allmendinger. He didn't get the much-needed boost from the Nationwide race he needed, leading several laps but banging the wall late and being a non-factor at the checkered flag. Last season he was coming off a blown engine at home in Las Vegas when he won the race, so turning things around at Bristol is nothing new for "Wild Thing."

Jeff Gordon once owned this race, but he hasn't won it since 1998. Can he claim career win No. 86? Gordon won the spring event at Bristol four times, all in succession from 1995-98. He added a night race victory in 2002, but has not won at the track since. He seemed destined to end that drought last summer before losing to Brad Keselowski. He is off to a disappointing start this year, something a victory or at least a top-five result could help go a long way in curing for the four-time champion.

There are plenty of other stories to watch, and we'll be keeping an eye on all of them. So sit down, strap in, shut up, and hang on. We're goin' racin' at Bristol!

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NASCAR At Bristol 2012: Food City 500 TV Schedule, Time And More

The NASCAR season's first short-track race of the season will take place at Bristol Motor Speedway on Sunday, March 18. Greg Biffle will start from the pole position and will be joined by AJ Allmendinger on the outside.

The weather forecast calls for unseasonably warm temperatures which have blanketed the southeast. That means there is a chance for a pop up thunderstorm in the afternoon. SB Nation's Jordan Bianchi lists Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Greg Biffle as the favorites to win today's race. Busch has won four of the last six races at Bristol coming into today. Greg Biffle is the current point leader having finished third in all three races this season

Race Date/Time: Sunday, March 18, with the green flag expected to drop at approximately 1:13 p.m. ET

Location: Bristol Motor Speedway

TV: FOX

Radio: Performance Racing Network

For more news and notes on NASCAR head on over to SB Nation's NASCAR racing page.

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NASCAR At Bristol: Greg Biffle Edges A.J. Allmendinger For Food City 500 Pole

Point leader Greg Biffle is off to a strong start in 2012, with three third-place finishes to open the season. Friday he continued the hot streak, edging A.J. Allmendinger by just .001 seconds to claim the pole for Sunday's Food City 500 at the Bristol Motor Speedway.

Ryan Newman, Jeff Gordon, and August 2011 winner Brad Keselowski completed the top-five. Rounding out the top-10 were Regan Smith, Aric Almirola, Carl Edwards, Joey Logano, and Kasey Kahne. Defending Food City 500 winner Kyle Busch was 13th, while defending Sprint Cup champion and last week's winner Tony Stewart was 23rd. Fan-favorite Dale Earnhardt Jr. was 18th quickest.

Unadilla's David Ragan was joined this weekend by Peachtree City's Reed Sorenson in representing Georgia in the Sprint Cup field. Sorenson, running the first race for the Turn One Racing effort, qualified 38th, good enough to make the show. Ragan put his Front Row Motorsports Ford in the 16th row, timing in 31st.

Missing the field were Timmy Hill, who has now failed to qualify for two of the three Sprint Cup races he has attempted (and crashed early in the one he qualified for, last week at Las Vegas) and Robby Gordon, who's self-owned team withdrew from the field when its Dodge engine would not fire.

To see where your favorite driver is starting, head over to Jayski.com.

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NASCAR At Bristol: Thunder Valley Marks First Short-Track Action Of 2012

The NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series head to Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. Kyle Busch won both events last spring, and after a tough start to the 2012 season, he could certainly use another trip to Bristol's victory lane.

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