NASCAR Saturday: The Eckel 4 pick Bass Pro Shops Night Race in Bristol, as 16 become 12 – Kyle Busch favored
Bass Pro Shops Night Race, Bristol, Tenn. 7 p.m. TV: NBCSN
Remember when Joe Gibbs won three Super Bowls with three different quarterbacks when he was head coach of the Washington Redskins?
Saturday night Gibbs could get his third straight playoff win with his third different driver if the odds are accurate and chalk prevails.
NASCAR heads to Bristol Saturday for the final race of the round of 16 and Kyle Busch, who came in second a week ago at Richmond, is the 9-2 favorite.
Should Busch win it would give Gibbs Racing three straight wins. Denny Hamlin won his first race of the season two weeks ago at Darlington and New Jersey native Martin Truex Jr. won last week at Richmond.
This week will see four of the 16 playoff eligible drivers eliminated as the Round of 12 begins next week in Las Vegas.
Going into Saturday’s race only Hamlin, Truex and regular-season points leader Kyle Larson have clinched spots in the Round of 12. The four drivers currently on the outside are Alex Bowman, Tyler Reddick, William Byron and Michael McDowell.
Here’s the way The Eckel 4, which as always includes Scott “Tobacco Road’’ Baker, Mike “Left Turn’’ Sweeney and Barry “Dr. NASCAR’’ Davis see Saturday’s race.
Kyle Busch (9-2): All of The Four picked Busch, with three of The Four picking him to win. Busch is the favorite for a reason. He has eight career wins at Bristol and has finished 1st, 4th, 4th and 2nd in his last four races here.
Chase Elliott (8-1): The only other first-place vote when to last year’s Cup Champion, who has never won at Bristol but has been very good here. Elliott’s average finish of 12.1 at the Tennessee track is the best among all drivers.
Kyle Larson (5-1): “Tobacco Road’’ and “Doc’’ both likes Larson’s chances. In his last four Bristol races he’s been in the top six all four times.
Ryan Blaney (14-1): Blaney has never won at Bristol, but has four top 10 finishes in his last five races here. He’s not a bad play at that price.
Longshot Play: Kurt Busch (16-1): The elder Busch, who wrecked last week, needs a strong showing to hold off Bowman and Reddick for the final playoff spot. The fact he has six career wins at Bristol is reason to think about him as well.