News from the track: The night race at Bristol

Three races to go before the Chase begins and the next one is at Bristol Motor Speedway, under the lights, on Saturday night. Stay right here and we'll keep you up to date on all the action from the track. Here are a few notes to get you started:

• Driver press conferences begin at 10:30 a.m. ET with Jeff Burton
• First practice is at noon ET.
• Qualifying is at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Win a title without winning a race:

• Jeff Gordon said he would be just fine winning a championship without winning a race.

"The best team is going to win a championship, however it is," Gordon said. "Do you want to win a championship that way? Not necessarily, but I'll take it."

Newman vs. Logano:

• Gordon said he understands what Joey Logano was talking about last week when he said that Ryan Newman races everyone hard all the time, but "you can think it, you can talk about it with your friends, but you can't say it on camera," Gordon added.

The reason, he said, is that if you're not in the race, you probably don't completely understand what that means.

"There's code," he explained, "and what that is, five laps into the race, it's not smart to chop a guy, run him up the track, take him three wide. Ryan is a guy who races hard all the time, every race, every lap, and that's just the way he goes about it. ... It's not about racing too hard. It's about how you're racing."

Chink in Jimmie Johnson's armor:

• Over the past four years, Jimmie Johnson has made his living on the intermediate tracks, which make up half of the Chase tracks. This season, however, they aren't the team to beat when it comes to the intermediate tracks.

"We've been working all summer on the big tracks to find it," he said. "We're not where we want to be yet."

He says they have time, but not much. There are only three races to go before the Chase begins. One is at Atlanta, an intermediate track. If he's not a contender there, it would be a sure sign that Johnson's four-year reign over the Cup Series could be coming to an end.

Practice No. 1

• David Gilliland sits atop the speed chart in the early going. He's followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr.

• First practice is over. Here is the top 10: Gilliland, Robby Gordon, Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon, AJ Allmendinger, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jimmie Johnson, Greg Biffle, Scott Speed and Mark Martin.

Practice No. 2

• Second practice is over. Here is the top 10: Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, David Gilliland, Jimmie Johnson, Jeff Gordon, Matt Kenseth, Jamie McMurray, Juan Pablo Montoya, Jeff Burton and AJ Allmendinger.

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