The NASCAR World Cup: Previewing the Bristol matchups

Can David Ragan upset Kevin Harvick? That's been the big question in the media center at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday*, and well, his chances don't look good.

But, it's Bristol. Crazier things have happened, like Kasey Kahne's car sliding on its side on the wall in turns one and two in the Nationwide race last night.

The Matchups: Kyle Busch v. Jimmie Johnson, Carl Edwards v. Denny Hamlin, Tony Stewart v. AJ Allmendinger, Kevin Harvick v. David Ragan.

Jay's Picks:

Busch: Best matchup of the WC so far. While Jimmie has the pole, Kyle has the better long-term record at Bristol. Could go either way, but Kyle's absolutely on fire this weekend and I expect that to continue.

Edwards: Again, the track comes into play. Bristol sets up well for Carl, who's also riding momentum that Hamlin seems to have lost.

Stewart: Dinger has snuck in with a couple surprisingly high runs, but that ends at Bristol. Smoke will, well, smoke him.

Ragan: Harvick is due for an ugly, early-race wreck, and Bristol's the place for it to happen. Ragan continues his Cinderella run at Cupcake's expense!

Nick's Picks:

Busch: I have a feeling that Johnson is going to get a top five finish, if not win, but Kyle Busch winning the Truck, Nationwide and Cup races in the same weekend at Bristol is an accomplishment that I want to see.

Edwards: Hamlin's no slouch at Bristol, but Edwards is getting closer and closer to Victory Lane and starts second.

Stewart: This one seems pretty easy given that Stewart is starting fourth and Allmendinger's car was so loose that he spun twice in practice on Friday. However, because it seems so easy, it'll probably be much closer than I think.

Harvick: This doesn't seem like much of a contest, but again, it's Bristol.

*No, that's not a serious statement.