Winners, losers from Bristol NASCAR Cup race

BRISTOL, Tenn. — A look at the winners and losers after a wild night of racing at Bristol Motor Speedway.


The fans — For those who didn’t like the dirt, the return to the concrete was quite a show. Excessive tire wear contributed to a track-record 54 lead changes — the most for a short track in NASCAR. There was plenty of drama with how long tires would last, who would be the next to have problems and how drivers moved through the field. Doubt that anyone noticed that five cars finished on the lead lap — because it didn’t matter.

AUTO: MAR 17 NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500
AUTO: MAR 17 NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500

Long: Bristol race was unlike anything seen in years at historic track

Excessive tire wear led to a track-record 54 lead changes and much discussion of what drivers experienced.

Denny Hamlin — He scores his 52nd career Cup victory and second in a row at Bristol. He said this was one of the more proud wins he’s had in his career because he had such an impact in the result with having to manage tires over 500 laps.

Martin Truex Jr. — His runner-up result marked his third consecutive finish of seventh or better. Truex is tied with Kyle Larson for the points after five races (Larson owns the tiebreaker via his Las Vegas win).

Brad Keselowski — He’s in a playoff spot after finishing third. Back-to-back top-five finishes have moved him from 28th in points to 13th. He scored a race-high 50 points.

Rick Ware Racing — Justin Haley finished 17th and Kaz Grala placed 19th, marking the first time the organization has placed both its cars in the top 20 at Bristol.

NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500
NASCAR Cup Series Food City 500

What drivers said after Denny Hamlin’s win at Bristol

Only five Cup drivers finished on the lead lap at Bristol Motor Speedway.


Austin Cindric — He placed 31st at Bristol. It is his third consecutive finish of 29th or worse.

Zane Smith — He was the first to suffer tire woes with a right front issue. He later retired due to engine problems. It is the second time in the last four races that the Cup rookie has placed 36th. The other finishes in that stretch? He was 29th and 35th.

Richard Childress Racing — Another rough race for this organization. Austin Dillon was 24th. Kyle Busch placed 25th. Busch had two cautions for spins due to tire issues.