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NASCAR At Bristol: Irwin Tools Night Race Could Bring Back Classic BMS

In recent years, Bristol Motor Speedway has lacked a bit of the excitement that once made it NASCAR's toughest ticket to obtain. With just three races remaining before the Chase and wins and bonus points at a premium, Saturday's Irwin Tools Night Race could be the slugfest fans have been longing for.

Since the Bristol Motor Speedway was reconfigured between races in 2007, many fans have complained about the lack of beating and banging - and as a result, controversy - that made the track the hardest-to-obtain ticket in the late '90s and early 2000s.

With positions and points at a premium as the Chase looms, Saturday's Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol could easily rekindle the old style of racing at BMS. Drivers will do desperate things, including using the front bumper of their respective car, to try to ensure that their team and their sponsors are part of this year's championship fight. That kind of renewed aggression and the ensuing carnage is what many fans crave in races at the World's Fastest Half-Mile.

The fight to get into the Chase is probably where the majority of action can be expected, but drivers might also be inclined to use more than a little force in their bid to win the event and gain those all-so-important bonus points for the Chase. With his win Sunday at Michigan, Kyle Busch has four wins, translating to 12 additional points when the field is reset in two weeks following the Richmond event. Busch's arch-nemesis Kevin Harvick has nine bonus points thanks to his three wins.  

As competitive as the season has been and as heated as the fight for the championship figures to be, the nine remaining bonus points for the three races left before the Chase are highly-coveted amongst drivers looking to start the playoff as close to Busch and Harvick as possible. 

All of this adds up to create a potential slugfest on the concrete high banks of Thunder Valley, Tennessee.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.