Bet NASCAR's Bass Pro Shops 500: The Playoffs head to Bristol and the Eckel 4 are looking for a Busch brother to finally win a race in 2020
Bass Pro Shops 500, Bristol, Tennessee, 7:30 p.m. TV: NBCS
Four of the 16 playoff drivers will be eliminated when NASCAR heads to Bristol for the Bass Pro Shops 500 Saturday night.
A quick look at the playoff picture shows Clint Bowyer (2061 points) in the 12th spot and with just a slight lead over William Byron (2058), who is in 13th.
Rookie Cole Custer (2053), Matt DiBenedetto (2036) and Ryan Blaney (2034) are the other three drivers currently facing elimination. Suffice to say DiBenedetto and Blaney need a win Saturday to advance to the Round of 12.
Bowyer is at a good place for him to hold on and advance. The 41-year-old Kansan has eight top 10 finishes and five straight top 10 finishes in Bristol. Byron, on the reverse, has just one top 10 finish in his last 10 Bristol races. Custer has raced just once at Bristol and finished 35th.
Here are some other notes as the field prepares to be pared down.
Busch Brothers: Kyle, with eight, and Kurt, with six, have combined for 14 career wins at Bristol. Both are looking for their first win of the 2020 season Saturday night. In his last six Bristol races Kyle has five top five finishes. Kurt has four straight top 10 finishes and three top five finishes in his last 10 races at Bristol.
What’s in a Name?: It seemed fitting that Martin Truex Jr.’s only win this season was in Martinsville. What doesn’t seem right is that the driver who wears a Bass Pro Shop firesuit hasn’t performed well at the Bass Pro Shop 500. Truex has never won the race and since the name change in 2016 has finished 23rd, 21st, 30th and 13th.
Here’s how The Eckel 4, which as always includes Scott “Tobacco Road’’ Baker, Mike “Left Turn’’ Sweeney and Barry “Dr. NASCAR’’ Davis see Saturday’s finish.
Kyle Busch (13-2): “Tobacco Road’’ was not alone this week. All 4 mentioned Busch and “Left Turn’’ joined “Tobacco Road’’ putting hm on top. You have to think if he’s going to win a race this year, it would be this one.
Kurt Busch (16-1): The odds are too good for a driver with the success Busch has had at Bristol. It wouldn’t shock anyone if he won Saturday night.
Kevin Harvick (11-2): He’s already made it to the Round of 12, but that doesn’t matter. He’s always a threat to win this season.
Brad Keselowski (13-2): Last week’s winner is in, but “Left Turn’’ thinks he’ll be right there again and he does have the pole.
Ryan Blaney (18-1): He need a big showing at a place where his best finish is 4th. “Tobacco Road’’ thinks it can happen.