Tomorrow turns now at Bristol for Jr.

August 21, 2007 6:21 AM
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It seems like forever since a Car of Tomorrow race was run on an oval.

We have had two of the last three COT events run on road courses. New Hampshire (July 1) was the last time we saw these cars run, here’s a refresher on who did well.

To begin and end the discussion, you only need to review the Chevys. Juan Pablo Montoya managed a COT win on a road course for Dodge, but you can almost throw out that one since he hasn’t placed better 16 in the other eight. The scoreboard reads: Chevy 8, Ford 0, and Dodge 1.

An absolute massacre! Two of the teams, Hendrick and Gibbs, are on another plateau. Even their Chevy counterparts, DEI and Childress, can’t keep up. Jeff Gordon is the only driver to finish all nine COTs in the Top 10. His average finish has been an obscene 4.2, including two wins.

Gordon’s teammate, Jimmie Johnson, has a 7.2 average and also with two wins. Kyle Busch has benefited from Hendrick’s technology and deep pockets, netting a win and a 10.4 average. He’s fourth in the COT power rankings.

Joe Gibbs Racing has the second best COT driver in Denny Hamlin, who has finished outside of the top 10 in only one COT race. His average finish is 4.7 for the nine races. He won the last COT on an oval and if not for a few issues in the pits would likely have had more victories..

Hamlin’s teammate, Tony Stewart, picked up his first COT win of the season a couple weeks ago at Watkins Glen. Stewart has had his ups and downs with the COT, but his average finish is 13.

The other Chevy win came from Martin Truex Jr at DEI at Dover. Both he and teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr have been considered contenders to win in the last few oval races, as their program has evolved with more information from actual races and not just testing.

The Fords are in a tough spot. Carl Edwards is the best with a third at Dover. The next best finish is fifth. Fords have only five top 5’s and 13 top 10’s in the nine races.

This week is short track racing at Bristol under the lights. Bristol is where the Car of Tomorrow debuted in March as Kyle Busch took the win. In the last 11 races, a Busch brother has won six. Five wins came in the March day race.

Bristol at night is one of the best races of the season to watch. The pace is incredible. The tempers flaring, fenders rubbin,’ and paint tradin’ doesn’t get any better for spectators.

Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch are the active win leaders at Bristol with five each. Jeff and Kurt have won only once under the lights at Bristol. The night race is a different animal altogether. Scrubs or crumbs or out. It’s pretty much best of the best that win at night.

The stars in NASCAR consider this race like being on stage, and they want to put on a good show for the fans. To follow "Showtime" theme, but update it due to the COT, we’re going to throw out all past Bristol stats when dissecting a possible winner.

We mixed the results at COT banked tracks of Dover and New Hampshire and sprinkled in a little bit of the March Bristol race from this season. Assume the only thing brewing has a Chevy bow-tie on it.

After we cook it all up, we have quite a few Chevys. In a stretch, we Junior stepping up at Bristol as the brightest star to shine.

ROBERTS Top 5
AT BRISTOL
1 #8 D.Earnhardt Jr 15/1
2 #24 Jeff Gordon 5/1
3 #11 Denny Hamlin 6/1
4 #20 Tony Stewart 5/1
5 #29 Kevin Harvick 10/1

EVENTS

WINS TOP 10s
27 16 76 of 135