Heavy Hitters To Race In Friday Night’s Food City 300

The heavy hitters will be out in full force on Friday night for the Food City 300 (7:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN/PRN/SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Kyle Busch, Erik Jones and Joey Logano will all race in the NASCAR XFINITY Series race at the Bristol (Tenn) Motor Speedway.

Joe Gibbs Racing has tapped Busch to pilot the No. 18 Toyota Supra. Busch leads the series in poles (six), wins (nine), top fives (17) and laps led (2,067) on the high banked Tennessee oval. Busch, won this race in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017, so 2019 makes sense to keep the trend going. In four of his five starts this season, he’s either finished first or second too. 

Team Penske has called on Logano to strap into the No. 12 Ford Mustang on Friday. Logano has made 12 series starts at Bristol posting a pole, two wins, six top fives and 10 top 10s. This will be his second start this season as he finished runner-up back on June 29 at the Chicagoland Speedway. 

Finally, XCI Racing has dialed-up Joe Gibbs Racing’s Jones to jump behind the wheel of their No. 81 Toyota Supra. Bristol is one of Jones’ best tracks as in five starts he put up three poles, two wins, three top fives and four top 10s. He’s yet to race in the series in 2019. 

Combined, from 2010 through 2017, this trio combined to reach victory lane in 12 of 15 XFINITY Series races at Bristol.

But, they have to contend with Austin Cindric who has won in each of the last two weeks in the series in his No. 22 Ford. Also, they have the “Big 3” of Christopher Bell, Tyler Reddick and Cole Custer who went 1-2-3 in the April race at Bristol as well.

That was the beginning of a dominant nine-race stretch of consecutive victories (Race No. 7 at Bristol all the way to Race No. 15 at Chicago). In total the three drivers have accumulated  13 of the first 21 races of the season.

Earlier this season at Bristol, not only did the Big 3 finish strong, each of the three led considerable laps that day as well (each with 25 or more: Bell 57 laps led, Reddick 61, Custer 25). 

Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell is looking to become just the third driver since the series inception in 1982 to accomplish the Bristol Xfinity season sweep, joining Steve Grissom (1995) and Kyle Busch (three consecutive victories twice: Aug. 2010-2011 season sweep and 2013 season sweep-March 2014).  Bell has made three starts at Bristol Motor Speedway posting one win (2019), two top fives and an average finish of 10.7. Among the Big 3, Bell has spent the most time out front at Bristol, leading a total of 110 laps.

Richard Childress Racing’s Tyler Reddick finished second in the spring Bristol event after leading on three different occasions earlier in the race. Reddick has a knack for Bristol, in four series starts at ‘The Last Great Colosseum’ he has chiseled out one top five, three top 10s and an average finish of 7.250 – best of the Big 3.

Stewart-Haas Racing’s Cole Custer started on the pole and commanded the first 25 laps but ultimately finished third at Bristol earlier this season. Much like his fellow Big 3 competitors, Custer has taken to Bristol with ease. With the most experience at the track among the three, Custer’s five starts have yielded two poles (2018 and 2019 spring race), two top fives, four top 10s and an average finish of 11.4. Plus, he has led laps in his last three consecutive starts at Bristol. 

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